On Sunday June 17, 2018 three iconic bands from the 70’s & 80’s took the stage at MidFlorida Credit Union Amphitheater in Tampa, Florida. Styx tours yearly and always has an incredible line up of stars with them. This year was the band Tesla and Joan Jett & the Black Hearts.
Tesla opened their eight song set with a rocking start as lead singer Jeff Keith belted out I Wanna Live then went right into Hang Tough. Vocally Jeff was strong as he worked his way across the stage, giving the audience a show of his still youthful moves and kicks. Mid set they performed the iconic Signs cover from Five Man Electrical Band. It was an incredible fifty minute set. Dave Rude (the only “new” member) is fun to watch on stage, he plays to the audience with flair. Overall they were tight and the audience was into the experience.
Next up was Joan Jett and the Blackhearts. I saw Joan Jett last year and wasn’t really impressed with her vocals, however this year she was on the money. Her Vocals were strong and remained so throughout her sixteen song set. She began her set with Bad Reputation and continued with several of her own songs and quite a few covers such as Cherry Bomb from her former band The Runaways, The Arrows I Love Rock ‘n’ Roll and Tommy & the Shondells Crimson and Clover. She also performed I Hate Myself For Loving You and Fake Friends. Overall her set was solid and she performed well. Unfortunately there are no photographs as no one was approved for Joan.
Last up was STYX, iconic and strong and one of this writer’s favorite 70’s & 80’s bands. This band does not disappoint. Lawerence Gowan (1999) is not just a great vocalist, but he’s an incredible showman and fits right in with James “J.Y.” Young (founding member 1970), Tommy Shaw (1975), Ricky Phillips (2003) and Todd Sucherman (1996). STYX opened their set with Overture which showcased each member as they entered the stage and opened with Gone, Gone, Gone followed by Blue Collar Man and The Grand Illusion. The set continued with them doing all of their best hits such as the rock ballad Lady and Too Much Time on My Hands. We were waiting on founding member Chuck Panozzo to make an appearance; as he normally does and I heard he did in Oklahoma. However, it did not happen in this show.
The only cover was Queen’s Bohemian Rhapsody performed by Lawrence Gowan. STYX closed their set with Come Sail Away and encored with Mr Roboto; yes, you read that correctly. Renegade was their final number for the evening.
Over all this entire tour was fantastic and delivered all that was expected.
Where I live in Florida we don’t have four distinct seasons, we have two; Snowbird season beginning in mid October and the season when they go back north which is normally after Easter. During this time in South West Florida the events and concerts pick up and my camera sees a lot of action. The weather is a lot more pleasant for outdoor events and weddings. My season started on October 15 with a wedding held at one of the most historic country clubs in Fort Myers; The Edison. I am fortunate enough to be able to work with my youngest son. He is an incredible photographer and one I trust explicitly. The long view of the couple facing The Edison was taken by him. Please visit his website at phloridaphoto
Between the special events I also schedule portrait sessions and was able to photograph an interesting fellow whom I believe is one of the many spirits which lurk in Historic Downtown Fort Myers, complete with orb and gargoyle (look closely).
I was also at Fright Nite where The Sick Puppies and Devour the Day headlined, there were also a few interesting characters out that night as well. You can see more of the photos from this frightful night by clicking on the photo below.
First let me say the title of this blog post is a bit misleading. You see I am not in competition with anyone, I am a photographer who is confident in her work and who is constantly taking classes and being mentored by pro’s who have been doing it for a lot longer than I have. I feel this is a key element to my growth, I must continue learning; I also enjoy sharing my knowledge to those just beginning too.
Interestingly enough I recently was “accosted” on a facebook concert photography group because I stated I shoot so I don’t have to edit and was told that it was impossible to do, well I’m here to tell you 95% of my concert photos are straight out of camera. I do try to get it right in camera which saves editing time and I am able to get the photos placed in a gallery before the concert is a “past thought” and out of the mind of the fans. I am also a Twitter, Instagram, Google+ and various other social media user and it’s imperative that I follow the subject I am photographing. More than once this has paid off with my photo being shared and used within the social media world of the artist; this is a success to me.
Back to competition, I’m not speaking about online competitions which have no bearing to my photography or my over-all self-esteem. I don’t need to “prove” I am worthy to the general public, I receive that often with simply posting my photographs in social media. Nothing beats having artist management contact you to use your photos within their social media page! One day I am sure to venture in the world of photographic competition, but when I do it will be for something a lot more prestigious than a simply “attaboy” in an online gallery. The competition I am writing about is that which something deep inside says “I must be better than everyone else” or I am a failure. You see I had this mindset for a few years, thinking that everyone was so much better than I am. This sort of self-talk degrades a person’s self-esteem, trust me I have been the queen of negative self-talk. A couple of years ago it finally dawned on me, I don’t need to be in competition with anyone except myself; to challenge myself to become better and grow in knowledge of my camera and all aspects of photography. As soon as I changed this mindset I began to draw clients and create opportunities that few will ever realize in their life. I competed with myself and I am winning! I am in more venues that I could have ever imagined. I have been privileged to photographed rock bands, country artists and met some incredible people along the way. I have photographed happy brides and ladies diagnosed with cancer in their most vulnerable moments, and I have photographed some incredibly beautiful women who would not allow just anyone to take their photo; to me this is success and to think I didn’t have to enter any competitions to do any of this. Keeping a positive attitude and a smile on my face is my way of life. It’s amazing how many incredible people you draw into your life when you are positive and upbeat. Every single day I look at how far I have come in just a few short years and I am really excited about where my future will take me, I know it’s going to be somewhere great! Why do I know this? Because I am in competition with no one, but mysef.
This past weekend I took off for a little road trip. I had planned this over a month ago, to spend some time with my BFF and her husband. He has recently accepted a job as a communication deputy for their county and was handed some camera equipment. I went up to visit and also to help him understand his camera a bit more. He was pretty knowledgeable so it was an easy job.
Because my life is crazy busy, I am trying to take more timeouts and allow myself some mini holidays. Visiting friends and family is a great way to spend a weekend. Of course my camera is never very far from my hands and this weekend was no exception. From getting down on the floor to photograph “the girls” to being on the back of an ATV I kept my camera close for those not to miss shots.
One of the most wonderful joys of the weekend was “the girls” I have never been around chickens very much and I must say I think I like them a lot. I even got to hold one, she was so sweet. Overall it was a fabulous weekend, but it didn’t last nearly long enough.