Wednesday, June 30, 2010

Oh hello perfect campsite.

Fortunate is not even what I would say I am. I mean, I am fortunate, but it's a word that runs much deeper than that. Summer is the time where my chosen field of work thrives and not being a salaried employee never tastes better.

I don't know that many people know what I do exactly and it's hard sometimes for me to explain. In fact, that was the main reason I kept this blog up after it started as a college extra credit assignment in Steve Manuel's photojourn class... believe it or not. I wanted to try to explain through pictures and words that your life could be whatever you wanted it to be if you worked hard, played hard and were respective and kind to people along the way. That there was nothing, save yourself, holding you back.

If you take a look back at this blog, from my first non-project-based job out of college in Asia up to now, you will absolutely see that all of the above has been true to what I believed I could accomplish. I had tried to explain in conversation once that "paying dues" didn't necessarily mean getting some CEO coffee and making copies, and the party with whom I was speaking replied, "What, so you think you are above paying dues?" "Absolutely not," I said, "I just want to pay them differently." With a shake of my head in disappointment in my explanation or in his understanding, I now have tangible proof through this silly little blog that dues have been paid (and are still being paid) on slightly different terms and that anything is possible with enough knowledge, motivation and comprehension.

A point in April of this year was my once a year, what-the-heck-am-I-doing? moment. I was watching things, people move and shake around me, and while I still had my hands on the reins, there was plenty of slack in my palm and I really wasn't sure why. How do you go from a jam-packed, three-month gallop on an Arabian Stallion to the slow trot of a Clydesdale in practically no time? I didn't even remember a graceful dismount! Sharing my concerns with one of my most trusted in New York, I merely got this is return:

"Take a step away from the edge, Ms. Harvey."

So I did. I had a look back over, stepped back and reassessed.

In a roundabout way, after a wonderfully long Monday night at a Grammy event at the Hard Rock, that's how I found myself on Assateague Island in Maryland early on a Tuesday afternoon with a $20 tent from Wal-Mart...

John and I went exploring around the Assateague campgrounds (a.k.a the beach) and we found this little dude.

Dancers' toes.

My feet are quite beat up, but man, what a nice pedicure!

Monday, June 28, 2010

A perfect Saturday in New York for a ferry ride to Liberty State Park to photograph the Red Bull Air Race. A big thanks to Mr. Dan Palumbo for hooking it up and giving me the opportunity to experience one of the coolest events of the summer from the inside.

Man challenging nature or nature challenging man?

I don't know exactly what these dudes are called, buuuttt they jump out of planes with parachutes and jet packs.

Adding to the bucket list? I think so.

Red Bull Air Race Qualifying Round, New York, NY - 6.19.10

Monday, June 21, 2010

"Pat's Lunch" in Stone Harbor, NJ.

Top photo by me, yes, on John's Canon 7D, bottom photo by John McClellan.

He went through the desert with General Patton and stormed the beaches of Normandy on D-Day. Convinced he was never coming home from the war, he put all of his money into a life insurance policy to make sure his parents were taken care of if he never returned.

Clearly, Pat, 91.5-years-old, of "Pat's Lunch" in Stone Harbor, NJ made it home and with nothing but a lifetime of experience packed in his G.I. bag.

Like many fellows returning from the war, Pat wanted a woman (specifically Italian because he wanted to be able to eat well) and needed work. He did indeed find both, though in the beginning, as he says, "I couldn't even buy her an ice cream cone."

It was this Italian Catholic woman's traditional father with a "no money, no marriage" policy who landed Pat his first job in a restaurant, a restaurant next to the family house in Wildwood, NJ.

From there, Pat moved up in the ranks of the restaurant business, eventually moving away to open a new place in Stone Harbor. While his homemade seafood soups are one-of-a-kind and his lobster rolls, have nothing but lump lobster meat on them, my favorite part of Pat's story is that he is the sole owner and employee of Pat's Lunch... at almost 92.

Pat is in his store at 5 a.m. everyday whipping up his creations for droves of summer shore-goers. With his new Cadillac parked outside, you know that Pat is in his element, making soup and telling stories. Before John and I walk out the door, Pat says to us,"My doctor says I should never stop working. He says it's what keeps me going."* Hmmm... where have I heard that before... Sue Shuma**...

What a generation. What a frickin' amazing generation.

*sidenote: Jen Bilec goes to a financial planner. Financial planner says, "You should think about a retirement plan." Jen Bilec says, "Haha. Retire?"

**my almost 93-year-old grandma

All five of my cameras stayed home on this trip. Photos by John McClellan on his *cough* Canon.

Happiness at the hands of a great story, two great dudes, a great bowl of shrimp saute soup, a beautiful impromptu day at the beach and one of the most merry Bloody Maries I've ever had.

Photo by John F. McClellan

Saturday, June 19, 2010


Who knew I would ever in my lifetime get to hear the classic hit "Move Bitch" live annnnd crouched two feet in front of him!

Ludacris performs at Hot 97's Summer Jam at New Meadowlands Stadium on June 6, 2010.

Sooo what do you do when Ludacris crawls into your lap?

Keep taking photos, of course.

Ludacris at Hot 97's Summer Jam at New Meadowlands Stadium on June 6, 2010.

(L-R) Fabolous and Ludacris perform at Hot 97's Summer Jam at New Meadowlands Stadium on June 6, 2010.

Come on Luda, Fabolous?? Where's your pal Jesse McCartney?? Nooww that's (!!) a dynamic music duo of the 21st century.

Ludacris performs at Hot 97's Summer Jam at New Meadowlands Stadium on June 6, 2010.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

Bon Jovi/NMS/5.27.10

Hiking up to the top of a stadium, changing your radio to the pyro channel and waiting for the go-ahead, you watch Jon pick up his maracas via the giant LED screens and listen for "Keep the Faith" to start. You get behind your lens and have a good gut feeling about your position. A very good gut feeling.

This photo is the first round of pyro on the Thursday show. Possibly one of my favorite photos to date and definitely the best pyro display I've ever seen.

Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

First round of pyro on last show day. Shot from the mix.

So speaking of pyro... according to a pedometer, one of the pyro guys walked over 23 miles during one day for the pre-rig of this gig.

All for your enjoyment, kids, all for your enjoyment.

Tuesday, June 15, 2010

Similar points of pyro in the show, different days.

Top: 5/27
Bottom: 5/29

Friday, June 11, 2010

Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

Shooting from the mix. As any true concert-goer knows, sitting by the mix is really the only seat in the house.

Front row can kiss my butt. Audibly and visually.

Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

Big Jon to the right, teeny, tiny Jon to the left.

Thursday, June 10, 2010

Do you know what Jon Bon Jovi and his crew of merry men love to do?

Make people happy.

I love people who love making people happy.

Because I love making people happy.


Jon Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

Jon Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Jon Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

Jon Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

Jon is working for the working man, hurting for the working man, getting his hands in the dirt to work off the curse and brother, he'll be damned if he doesn't raise a hand, he's gonna work, work, work, work, work for the working man.

Where's Christopher Walken's recitation skills when you need them?

Jon Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Long exposure - Bon Jovi/NMS/5.27.10

This shot and the two below, I have had in my head since I started shooting music years ago. The epitome of stadium shooting, the shots that explain the grandeur of it all.

It was fitting that this was the show where I was able to bring those tiny thoughts of mine to life, because the wonderful fellow I was working for played a major part in creating arena rock. Honestly, there are few people I've worked for that I respect equally or more than Mr. Albert Lawrence.

Now, I've worked for and been around some of the greats in rock, past and present, but Mr. Lawrence provided a particularly fascinating view on the history of his career a.k.a the history of rock concerts, small or large, as he's from across the pond. I've heard many a tale from the American side, but very few from the British side. I would give you a run-down, but it's way more exciting to hear in-person, so for once I will abstain from a lengthy piece on something I love.

Basically, all I can say is that I was happy as a clam for ten days. The greatest week ever.

While music is very different today, there is no doubt that stadium shows are still some of the coolest things out there. I mean, look at it. Look at how many people are there! Every one of those people wanted nothing more than to be at this show, one of the first shows ever at New Meadowlands Stadium. Want proof? Check the price of the worst seat in the house.

Lastly, thank you to the insanely intelligent Mr. Doug Brant for wanting site photos. One of the greatest experiences behind the lens to date.

Bon Jovi/NMS/5.27.10

Where the light ends, the seat kills begin... which means that I am the only one present in that area. It's amazing how quiet it is, given that there is a rock show at full blast in front of me. What I am seeing is so beautiful, I wish I could be there with more than just the occasional lighting technician who comes to check on the spots. Someone who appreciates designing, building, rock'n'roll.

Something from nothing. To create. To watch what you create serve its purpose to the fullest.

Greatest feeling in the world.

Bon Jovi/NMS/5.27.10

Front row and beyond - Bon Jovi/NMS/5.29.10

Monday, June 07, 2010

Sunday, June 06, 2010

(L-R) Richie Sambora, Jon Bon Jovi, 80,000 people.

Thursday, June 03, 2010

Apologies for the Blackberry and the skipping of build steps, but sometimes things don't work out as you'd planned. Annd I think the biggest problem here is that the tiny phone lens is smudged. Poor form, Alli, poor form.

Our friend and wonderful co-worker, Mike took a really awesome time-lapse of the build, so hopefully I can get that up here one of these days.

As Jared taught me, using orange gaff tape and multiple exclamation points (note: plural) on signage is really the only effective way to keep people off of your stuff.

Wednesday, June 02, 2010

Airplane over New Meadowlands Stadium.

Did you know that it is illegal to implode in New Jersey? Who knew?!

Remains of Giants Stadium.

Tuesday, June 01, 2010

The beginnings of something wonderful. One of my favorite things in the entire world.