2016 has been a rough one for a number of reasons we’re all aware of, but I’d like to take a moment to focus on some personal positives. This is my 5th year of being a full-time freelance photographer, and I’m happy to say things are still going strong! I visited some incredible places for the first time, ticked a few more things off the bucket list and met plenty of great people along the way who I’m lucky enough to now call friends!
For me this was a year of reassessing my goals and taking steps to make sure I am still heading in the right direction. The last few years I’ve been spreading myself far too thin, saying yes to everything and bringing myself a lot of unnecessary stress and anxiety. I lost sight of what was important, and feel like I burnt myself out because of it. I’m now feeling confident that I have found my focus again and I’m looking forward to starting 2017 with a clear head!
Here are a number of my highlights from 2016, in no particular order:
Vans Warped Tour
I owe Against The Current for a number of great experiences I’ve had lately, but this was up there with the best of them! 2 months in the USA, 41 cities and countless bands, Warped Tour is quite the monster of a tour. It’s the most physically and mentally draining tour I’ve ever done, but the highs were worth the lows. Warped was top of my lifetime career goals list, so I’m pretty happy that I’ve been able to do it twice now!
Intel Extreme Masters Katowice
This was my first experience of an eSports event in a huge arena setting and it was just as incredible as I imagined it would be. With the crowd cheering and singing together, it felt like I was at a football match! This was also my first ever trip to Poland, which was pretty cool. A huge thanks to ESL for inviting me to shoot this one.
Yellowcard Final UK Tour
These guys are honestly some of the nicest people I’ve had the pleasure of working with, so when the opportunity came up to shoot the UK leg of their farewell tour, I couldn’t pass it up. As you can imagine, these shows were pretty emotional and I’m glad I got a proper chance to say goodbye to them. I’m definitely going to miss shooting Sean’s legendary backflips!
Halo World Championship 2016
I’ve been playing the Halo games since I was 12 years old, so to be able to shoot the Halo World Championship was a huge deal for me. Events like this really make me realise just how lucky I am to be in this position, and I’m incredibly grateful to the guys at Gfinity for opening the doors into the eSports world for me. Walking around a shopping centre with Master Chief was a particular highlight of this event for me.
All Time Low UK Tour
This is another experience I have to thank Against The Current for, as they were supporting this tour alongside Good Charlotte. Arenas are always great fun to shoot as the lighting is generally quite ridiculous. All Time Low were incredibly welcoming to us, and Good Charlotte were super nice dudes too. Overall, a great tour with excellent people!
Arenacross for Monster Energy
I’ve always been a fan of the extreme sports events that Monster get involved with, so I was very excited when I was asked to shoot Arenacross in Birmingham! Shooting in the middle of the packed arena while the bikes flew through the air around me on all sides gave me quite the adrenaline rush. I’ve never shot bikes racing before, so it was quite tough, but I enjoyed the challenge and I’m pretty happy with my photos!
Battlefield 1 World Premiere
When Gfinity asked me to shoot a “secret EA event” they were hosting at their arena in London, I was pretty excited to say the least. When I arrived on the day and found out it was the World Premiere of the latest release in the Battlefield franchise, a series I am hugely fond of, I thought Christmas had come early! The reveal trailer looked and sounded absolutely incredible on the cinema screen and it seemed to go down very well indeed. The game turned out to be hugely fun too!
Slam Dunk Festival
I couldn’t say no when Yellowcard invited me to shoot them at Slam Dunk Festival in Hatfield where they were performing Ocean Avenue in full. The album came out in 2003 and I have many fond memories attached to it, so to be able capture this special set was an honour indeed. To make the day even better, Rob Chianelli who I’ve toured with plenty of times in the past was filling in on drums! The show went great and I’m really happy with the images I came away with to remember such a special day.
Happy New Year! Here’s to a great 2017!