He's come a long way

Portrait of Bill Ritter

Bill Ritter, guitarist and mastermind of The Scarlet Paradigm, and his own side project, William Alden Music. My title for the photo describes Bill as a budding audio engineer.

Caption: Bill recorded some drum tracks from James in the garage. I took this while they were listening to it. (May 24, 2009)

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Vintage art by Melissa at LMU

Vintage art by Melissa

If you’re a lover of Polaroid and similarly vintage photography, head to the Thomas P. Kelly, Jr. Student Art Gallery at Loyola Marymount University.

Melissa’s gallery has been open since September 9th, 2009, and will continue be on display until this Friday, September 18th, 2009.

In case the doors aren’t open, Melissa suggests that you email her (msweet3 [at] lion.lmu.edu) if you’d like to visit.

Fantastic work, Melissa!

I’ll update this post when I get more concrete details.

Update: Gallery is called “A Retrospective on Retrospect.” The hours are from 8:00am to 7:00pm. To be safe, email Melissa to schedule a time and she’ll make sure it’s open. You can find more of her work at Flickr.


It was great seeing James Taylor last night. I haven’t seen him in over a year. He made the long drive just to see my band play at the Terrace Restaurant in Pasadena.

I’ve known him since he was in sixth grade.[1. I coached him for a year. Football, basketball, baseball, soccer. Don’t ask me when that took place. I haven’t a clue!] We’ve kept in touch ever since. I do need to make the trek out to his area (Orange County) more often, especially to get him taking more photos.

I asked him if I could take his photo before he headed home.

The photo is in B&W (grayscale) because the street lights gave off two drastically different color temperatures.

Dedicated fans from San Diego

While waiting two hours in line for The Mars Volta concert at the Ventura Theatre, I met Chaz and Danielle.

This cute couple drove from San Diego. That’s dedication!

Chaz and Danielle let me catch a few precious moments of them. Very cool.

I gave them my card in case they wanted me to send them prints.

You can see this and two more on Flickr.

Dave, the chicken man

While waiting for the Metro Gold Line at Union Station, Dave saw my camera in hand and approached me, asking if I wanted to take his photo.

Since I can describe the conversation like a moth in flight, bullet points might make more sense.

  • He explained that he wasn’t mentally right. He was talkative and easy going.
  • “I know the new Incredible Hulk movie. He has a special power,” which he then demonstrated as if he were generating a fireball or something.
  • He talked about his brother who fought in Vietnam, but wasn’t receiving benefits. Somehow, that was a segue into him not getting SSI.
  • “You know the Spiderman song?” *singing the Spiderman theme song* “I’m chicken man. Chicken man, chicken man…”
  • “A girl I know on the subway. She sees me, says, ‘Hey chicken man!’ I give her a hug and kiss.”
  • Lastly, he holds up a circular opaque object. Apparently, it’s a valuable ashtray. I tell him he should try to sell it, but he’d never part with such a priceless object.

Dave's ashtray

When the train finally arrived, I wished him well…and sat half a car away[1. I just wanted to veg. Nothing against Dave!]. I’m pretty sure he struck up a random conversation with someone else.

If you ever meet Dave around LA, talk to him for a bit. (Or, listen to him talk.) It won’t hurt!

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An interview with Jered Scott

In concert and band photography, Jered Scott is my inspiration. In the past year, he’s hung out and photographed a bunch of bands. (Anberlin, MxPx, and Relient K to name a few.)

I’ve been wanting to talk to Jered and see how he’s been doing. A few weeks ago, I mustered up the guts to ask him out. Yes, a man date, shut up.

After he got back from SxSW — and my Trig test was over with — I called him. (It helped that he sent a Twitter updated of his rough schedule for the week.) So, between his photoshoots, we met at Millie’s Diner in Silverlake for lunch.

For such a mellow guy, he’s very insightful and makes you analyze yourself.

I asked him several questions about his photography career in the music industry, to which I can sum up with this statement in my own words: Be patient, the best at what you, promote others and know the right people.


For Jered’s first year doing concert photography, he was essentially doing it for free. Well, not exactly free because he was building his portfolio. Once he amassed a portfolio of his best photos, he went full time and needed to start charging.

Some cheapskate bands dropped him, some didn’t. Regardless, he knew how valuable he was to bands and knew that it was more than fair to be compensated.

Jered is now an AP photographer, and then some.

You’re the best…around

Look at Jered’s photos. He strives to capture photos nobody else can get.

Don’t use camera bodies and lenses because everyone else has it. Use the equipment you need that makes your photos different than the others.

Watch, listen, then thank me in three minutes (SFW). I couldn’t help myself.

Promote others

Aim to make everyone else look good. That’s your priority.


This word hurts me because I’m pretty shy around new people. Unfortunately, it’s a requirement. Talk to lots of people in the industry, be confident.

In conclusion / Therefore

In the grand scheme of things, Jered still considers himself an unknown[1. I don’t “know” many other concert photographers, but I do follow Nicole Rork and Tasha Schalk (Redwall Photography).]. No matter. He’s one of my industrious heroes.

Thanks for the lunch and advice, Jered! I hope I can be like you someday. 🙂

You can find Jered at:

About the photo

I was lucky to get a deal for two tickets to Bamboozle Left (Sunday), so James bought the other one and went with me. We ran into Jered that afternoon while wandering around. After Deftones finished their awesome set, Jered sent a Twitter update:

Who wants to eat in n out with me right now? (#)

So, we met up with him in La Mirada and had a grand time. I took his photo again because the one I took of him the week before was terrible.

A skeptic

I’m taking $1 portraits as long as money permits. (See Thomas Hawk with his $2 portrait project and Justin Korn with his $1 portrait project.)

What’s the premise? I’ll offer $1 to anyone who asks me for money in exchange for their portrait. I’m a shy person, but I’ll do my best to find out a little about the person. You never know if it’ll make someone’s day for at least talking to them a little bit.

While I was on the escalator at Wilshire/Normandie, this man asked me if I had a dollar.

“What do you need it for?”

“I’m need to get a ticket for the bus, man.”

I awkwardly told him about my $1 portrait project. At first, he hesitated. I reassured him that it was only a photography project, allowing me to interact with people.

I noticed his eyes were slightly yellow. Jaundice? Sad.

At the top of the escalator, he finally agreed. He walked to a spot away from foot traffic, then I snapped his portrait.

“Where you off to now?”

“I gotta get some food, man. I’m hungry,” walking in the direction of the bus stop.

“Alright, take care.”

I never did get his name.

View on Flickr / View more $1 portraits here or at Flickr