Category Archives: bands

BPR Pic of the Day: KC/DC 2014

BPR Pic of the Day: KC/DC 2014

Happy Tuesday, everybody. Today’s blog entry features a favorite band publicity photo I did with my friends in the AC/DC tribute band KC/DC in 2014. It was a very simple photo with a very simple light set up, designed to look like an iconic photo of the actual AC/DC from way back in the 70s. (See here.) It’s one of my favorites because my solution in lighting it was just to bounce my hot shoe flash off the wall and ceiling behind me. Which was great because it meant I didn’t need to set up an umbrella or soft box. You can do a lot with minimal gear. KCDC_2014_1500I’ve realized it’s been a while since I posted a blog entry actually featuring a photo, what with all the video-related posts recently. And this year especially I feel like there’s been a dearth of photo galleries in comparison with years past. Obviously my energies have shifted a bit toward the video side—and there are still really cool video projects in the pipeline as I write this that I can’t wait to finish and release (can you say, “Zeros promo video”?)—but I have definitely not left photography behind. And I’ve wondered if I haven’t been hurting myself perception-wise because I’ve fallen out of the game somewhat. I’m a prolific, creative person, and I like delving into a lot of different creative pursuits, but I worry that it’s hurt me in getting certain jobs if people want a “specialist” who “only” does wedding photography or senior photography, or whatever. But then again, I’ve never been comfortable bragging about myself and have always preferred to let my work speak for itself…and I’m really proud of my work and really believe it holds its own against the best in this town. (And even writing that makes me feel uncomfortable.) I’m still trying to figure that all out.

ANYWAY…all that being said, I wanted to do a photo-based entry today, and with KC/DC performing at the Voodoo Lounge at Harrah’s this Friday, I thought this would be a great chance to feature what I consider a “simple”, straight forward photo, with few bells and whistles involved.

This was taken in August of 2014 backstage at the former Sandstone Amphitheater (later Verizon Wireless, then Cricket Wireless, and now apparently Providence Medical Center Amphitheater…naming rights, man, I’ll tell you…). They were part of a tribute band lineup and were the final act slated to play (see HERE for my blog post from the following week).

John Roy (second from right and the band’s “Brian Johnson” wanted to do a group photo in the style of one of AC/DC’s iconic photos. Very simple, but I either didn’t have the proper lighting with me, or decided to give it a go by just bouncing my hot shoe flash off the ceiling/wall to create similar shadows on the band members. Which I thought worked great and even better, it saved me from having to set up an umbrella or soft box in such tight quarters. I also set another hotshot flash on the floor behind the band to light the curtain behind them. Very simple, and it’s one of my favorite publicity photos I’ve done over the years because I think it captures the band’s essence perfectly (and they still use it in their promo to this day; thanks, guys).

Bonus pic: Publicity photo of KC/DC with a slightly different lineup from 2012. Van courtesy of Dan Tietjen from KC-based Poison tribute, Poison Overdose. This pic did use an umbrella, as well as a second hot shoe flash behind them gelled with red to accent the shot. I then “crunched” up the contrast to make it pop.


Backroad Anthem, July 2013 at Kanza Hall in Overland Park, Kansas (Kansas City)

Everyone has probably heard of the country singer, Craig Strickland of Backroad Anthem, whose boat capsized while duck hunting and caused his and his friend’s deaths last week down in Oklahoma. I realized that three years ago I shot his band at Kanza Hall when they opened for Joe Nichols. I didn’t actually meet either… Continue Reading

Throwback and Tribute: The Record Bar

  Last night (Saturday, January 2nd), one of Kansas City’s most esteemed live music venues, the Record Bar, closed its doors for good. (Not through any lack of success, but as I understand it, solely on account of the property’s landlord refusing to renew the lease for various reasons.) I was there Friday night shooting… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: THE RELATIONSHIPS

4) The Relationships: Foster the relationships with your fans, because they are the reason you’re getting booked; with the bar owners and other clients, because they are not your adversaries; and don’t overlook the wait staff and bartenders, because they’re not your servants; they are your COLLEAGUES This subject I saved for last because I… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: THE SHOW, PART 3

3b) THE SHOW: Sequencing is NOT cheating There. I said it. Now get over it. Seriously, this is one of the most controversial aspects I’ve encountered among many (especially older) musicians. For those unfamiliar, sequencing is when a band incorporates a pre-recorded sound—an effect or an instrument of some kind—that they use to back up… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: THE SHOW, PART 1

3) THE SHOW: Have the right songs at the right time, avoid indulging in personal favorites that drive people off the dance floor, don’t take too long between songs, and know when NOT to take a set break THIS is going to be the topic I think most people will have some of the biggest… Continue Reading

BPR’s Keys to being a Successful Cover Band: PROMOTION

2) PROMOTION: The most mysterious and elusive aspect of success Okay, I’m not sure I really have a lot of advice about this aspect in particular, but as the scope of this project began to expand exponentially the more I contemplated it, it grew to encompass four key “legs” holding up the table that supports… Continue Reading

BPR Top Twenty-Five Pics of 2012

Well, this is a revival of a tradition I thought I was starting in 2009: an end of the year review of my favorite photos. It was never intended as a “best of”, because that would be too hard, and too focused I think on the technical aspects of a given photo. Which is still… Continue Reading