Since I have not put any pressure upon myself to blog this year, I have been enjoying photographing and writing a bit more. Pressure is off and I’m being more creative.
January was busy, February a close second and March is catching up! In the past three months, I’ve photographed mega star Cher, WWE, a Bacon Jam festival, a circus, a couple of local bands & events, Joe Bonamassa, Shinedown with Asking Alexandria and Papa Roach (more on this later). I have also photographed a hip hop concert and a TacoFest!
I have upcoming this month (March) Impractical Jokers and a couple more local events.
I would have had a few more opportunities, however the Shinedown concert took me out of the picture for about a week. The concert was great, but the fog used, not so much. I know I can’t be around smoke for very long without running into breathing issues, but I never once thought about stage fog, and I was out for several days due to bronchial asthma caused by the fog. Live & learn!
Recently I’ve been doing some commercial work for my son’s best friend. He recently returned from Vietnam where he was managing a resort and has started a Bamboo Straw business. Because I have done some website photography work for him, he has given me a discount code for my followers who may be interested in purchasing a renewable no waste straw to replace using plastic ones. These straws are fantastic, no aftertaste, they can be composted so they are zero waste and with the beautiful travel kit you will received a lovely pouch with a coconut button closure. The discount code is EARTH and it will give you 10% off your total purchase; his website: Bamboo Step. Please visit and consider saving our planet one straw at a time.
Every year I start out with, “I’m going to blog more, I’m going to shoot more and I’m going to post more”; then, reality hits and it doesn’t happen. This year, because I want to take better care of myself mentally and not put the weight of this upon myself, I am not going to set any resolutions. However, my usual goal setting is going to happen, because I achieve more when I set goals, but they will be things that will enrich my life and not make it more stressful or things that won’t make me feel guilty if I fall through.
Another thing that is going to happen this year, is I’m going to focus my energy more in doing concerts and open myself up to doing more local band portraiture work.
I also want to do more nature photography which takes me to my happy place. I will continue to do the occasional wedding and portrait shoot; in fact I have a wedding on the books for August of 2019 and I know I will be photographing my favorite little and her family a few times this year. I really want to focus on what drives me which is the music and being out in nature.
I want to grow my Instagram and will be focusing more on the concert side of that with my @photocreationsbydeb page. I may create a new one for my own personal work with the natural environment, but time will tell.
The point is, I’m not going to goal myself to the degree where I beat myself up if I don’t achieve the goals. I’m putting them out there, if they are completed, great! If not then that’s ok too and I will just work smarter on the important ones.
A Quick Look Back
In 2018 I decided to take a full vacation, somewhere other than Florida. I went to North Caroline to spend time with girlfriends who know me better than just about anyone (and they still love me, imagine that!). I began planning early which made the excitement build. It was such a wonderful trip with lots of mountain air to clear my head and exploring new and exciting places.
I look forward to a wonderful and exciting 2019!
Happy New Year!
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.
Music is my first true love. As far back as I can remember I loved to sing and to perform music and I even took a turn at teaching music. I don’t get to sing anymore, but I now photograph musical artists as part of another passion; photography.
Music is a universal language, every culture has music and it brings people together in celebrations no matter what the reason. I have learned something significant in being able to photograph concerts; people are happy when they are listening to music. I photograph everything from Country to Hip Hop and I have found that people of all colors can come together, love each other and enjoy being in the same place with each other. Last night was proof that multi-cultures can work together and treat each other like humans are supposed to. It was refreshing to be away from the political crap of division and to just be happy humans; A rainbow of humans out enjoying music.
“I’d like to teach the world to sing
In perfect harmony
I’d like to hold it in my arms
And keep it company
I’d like to see the world for once
All standing hand in hand
And hear them echo through the hills
For peace through out the land
(That’s the song I hear)”
April – what can I say? It’s been one of those months and we are just halfway through. My weekends are here and gone before I realize it, yet I’m invigorated by the bustle of it all. I have had something every single weekend and will have until mid May. I’m still booking portraits and other shoots on top of this during the week so my time to sit and write has been limited, but I wanted to share with you my audience what I’ve been about the past few weeks.
The highlight has been Stars on Ice. If you are not familiar it is the Ice dancing show with our Olympic Champions. It’s so exciting to mingle with these young people who are so passionate and excited about their sport, many fresh off the plane from PyeongChang at the 2018 Winter Olympics. This was my second year being hired by Stars and it was even better than last year, the show was incredible! The skaters so kind and friendly and fresh faced. Adam Rippon (Silver medalist PyeongChangcame) up to me and introduced himself , Charlie White (Gold medalist with his partner Meryl Davis, Sochi winter Olympics) remembered me from last year and did something quite special for me……I still get chills thinking about it (you’ll see it in the photo).
I take nothing for granted, I know how special this is and I look forward to doing it again next year!
Okay it’s time to stop overthinking and get back to work of being a blogger.
On Thursday I worked our local arena for the Florida Gulf Coast University’s NestFest (they are the FGCU Eagles). You may be familiar with FGCU because a couple of years ago they were in the Sweet 16 basketball playoffs as complete unknowns and became “Dunk City”
First I stopped to get myself and the Channa the young woman whom I report to, a healthy bite to eat; it’s going to be a long night!
NestFest is a yearly spring hiphop concert event put on by FGCU for the students as their college year winds down. On this year’s stage is A Boogie wit da Hoodie & Hoodie Allen
A Boogie wit Da Hoodie & Hoodie Allen
If the names are not intriguing enough, you have to meet the players of the bands. Interesting to say the least. Please enjoy as I bring you Hoodie Allen and Boogie Wit Da Hoodie!
Most of the time I enjoy looking back on my year. However, this year I slacked, a lot, and I have to make some changes. I just didn’t get out as much as I normally do. Even during camping season it seemed it was always interrupted with something I “had” to do. I wasn’t as intentional as I had been the past few years. I didn’t create good content for my Facebook page and actually neglected it. I had something happen that set me off into the “not good enough” thought process, which in turn caused me to purge a lot of unneeded stress in my social media life. But I would go out and take photos and think, “these are not good, what am I doing trying to create good photos when I can’t do it?” I really had to shake that mindset; I am my own worst critic.
Life was disrupted with a move in the middle part of the year and it was during a very stressful time. I’m still trying to adjust. Then, in September we were hit by one of the largest hurricane’s in recent history. Irma totally upset my world, but I came out a whole lot better than many of my friends did and I can tell you I am most grateful for that blessing. Yet, the stress was still there and even guilt that so many lost so much and I didn’t. I can’t explain why it was that way, but it was; again I am so grateful to not have had any damage.
Sometimes life gives you those old lemons and it’s not always easy to make the lemonade. In fact, I have thrown a lot of lemons away because I just could not bring myself to make them work. Ever feel like that?
I’m looking forward to a clean start with 2018, I won’t make promises I can’t keep, but I will put a lot more effort into making it an incredible year personally and professionally.
Here’s a look back on what I did accomplish photographically:
A cute Super Hero
Four homes down from me.
Rod Stewart & Cyndi Lauper
Stars on Ice
The Late Chris Cornell, two weeks prior to his death
A wedding profile