Here we are again, a glass of sweet wine in hand while reminiscing on another great year. 2017, in a nutshell, was interesting to say the very least; Between starting a new chapter in my career at a new publication, to shooting some of the biggest events of my life as a professional concert photographer, 2017 had a lot of sweetness to offer this gal. I experienced no shortage of support from my family and friends, both old and new, and I am extremely grateful for all that they have done for me this year. I don't know where to being when it comes to explaining how much that means to me, so before I get all sappy on ya, let's jump right into the things that made 2017 rock for me!
So, over the course of the last 365 days, off the top of my head, I've shot 55 gigs in venues all across the city of Edmonton, featuring both local and world-wide rockstars; Proudly smashing last year's total of only 40. I also had the pleasure of shooting roughly 18 press photoshoots for numerous local artists who are all totally awesome. I had the great opportunity to shoot a few gigs for Aesthetic Magazine, as well as had a handful of my shots, both live and press, make it to print in numerous issues of Exclaim! and Vue Weekly this year, which is always something that I get really stoked about. Things are still going strong with Edmonton's number one local promoter, Concertworks as well, and I am so looking forward to what this new year has in store for us! I also had the pleasure of being welcomed aboard as a new contributor to Vue Weekly in the month of August, for whom I photographed two of the biggest gigs of my career thus far, but we'll sink our teeth into that a little later!
Towards the end of March, I had the opportunity to photograph my first event at the brand-spankin' new hockey arena in Edmonton. The doors to Rogers Place officially opened in September of 2016, and played host to a handful of concerts during their first few months of being open. Luckily, I was approved to photograph The Lumineers at the end of March in 2017, and despite shooting many concerts before then, I'll admit that I felt slightly intimidated to be setting foot on the floor of the new 20,734 concert capacity venue for the first time. Thankfully, I feel like I nailed the shoot, and was chomping at the bit for more opportunities to be in the pit at Rogers Place. Since then, I've shot a handful of events there throughout the year, and each one has been just as awesome as the last.
In the month of June, I was invited back to Victoria School of Visual and Performing Arts to speak to a new batch of photography students about the in's and out's of concert photography. This was my second presentation with high school and junior high students, and though my fear of public speaking hasn't gotten much better, I was excited to pass on my knowledge of concert photography and working one-on-one with bands to a new group of eager individuals who are equally as passionate about photography as I am. The genuine interest shown towards what I was talking to these promising kids about gave me hope for the future of concert photography and photography as a whole. I'm so very much looking forward to visiting the school once again in 2018 to teach another new batch of kids about how and what it means to shoot concerts.
August was a huge month for me, and that's putting it lightly in terms of the sentiment behind what all went down. Officially starting at Vue Weekly was a huge step in the right direction for my career, but I also had the opportunity to shoot not one, but two of the most highly anticipated concerts of the summer in 2017, both of which were at Edmonton's Commonwealth Stadium. My first official gig with Vue Weekly couldn't have been any better. I was ecstatic when I received the news that I would be shooting Metallica that evening (read the review HERE!). Being a long time fan of the band and legitimately counting down the days until they returned to Edmonton, I was a mixed bag of excitement and anxiety upon entering the photo pit for their set. Thankfully as soon as the band began to play, the intimidation melted away entirely and the show ended up being one of the best ones of the year. Two weeks later, I would be doing the exact same song and dance ordeal all over again, this time with a little band called Guns N' Roses (read that review HERE!) I had been anticipating both of these events for a long time, and both being top-of-the-bucket-list bands for me to have in front of my lens, needless to say, these two gigs were a huge deal for me.
Putting my finger on what I loved the most about this year, or what my favourite memory was is a trying task at the moment... Throughout 2018, I had so many great opportunities to photograph some truly amazing bands, and work with some really remarkable people, who I haven't the slightest clue to put my gratefulness into words for. The opportunities to grow not only as a person but as a photographer were endless this year. I was put in many situations that helped me learn so much about myself, my adaptability, and the extent of my persistence while keeping my eyes on the prize. 2017 was by far one of the most successful years of my career as a professional photographer, and I'm chomping at the bit to see what 2018 has in store for me as one wicked show announcement comes after another. I also need to thank everyone who has supported me this year, whether it's through sharing posts on social media to hiring me for your biggest gig of 2017 or simply referring me to your friends, from the bottom of my heart THANK YOU!! So, as I bring this long-ass blog to a close, I managed to sift through thousands of photos from this year and picked out 30 of my favourites (in no particular order) I wish whoever is reading this (or actually made it this far) all the best and utmost success in 2018, and from my heart to yours, HAPPY NEW YEAR! <3