Sunday, February 22, 2009

The Stellar Estelle

January 2009 was a whirlwind of a month! The Superbowl brought all kinds of celebrity parties and musicians to town. In the course of one week, Tampa Bay hosted performances by 3 Doors Down, Snoop Dogg, The Eagles, John Legend, Rihanna, Fall Out Boy, and a at least a dozen more major artists!

Opening for John Legend this month is Grammy winning British singer Estelle.

This was my first time shooting Estelle - and my first time seeing her sing! I had become a fan just several months before, finding out about her through John Legend's Homeschool Records, who signed her on not all that long ago.

Estelle's performances were a bit different than the usual experience one would have at an R&B/pop/soul show in a sit-down performing arts center. Estelle, her band, and her dancers turned the place into a lively party by the second song! The John Carr Performing Arts Center was full of people dancing, clapping, smiling, and having a great time! This isn't to say John Legend did not engage the crowd - John truly rocked our socks - but it was a surprise to see the crowds so quickly break from the formality of such a venue and bring the party!

The full archives can be found here:
http://willhawkinsphotography.com/Estelle-28JAN09 - Orlando, FL
http://willhawkinsphotography.com/Estelle-29JAN09 - Clearwater, FL


Here are some shots from Estelle's performances in Orlando, FL and Clearwater, FL:
Estelle
Estelle

Estelle
Estelle

Estelle Drummer
Estelle's Drummer

Estelle
Estelle

Estelle
Estelle

Avenged Sevenfold's The Rev

**** ATTENTION **** This post has moved to my new site. Here's the direct link:
http://willhawkinsphotography.com/james-the-rev-sullivan-one-year-anniversary-of-his-passing/


My client Promark Drumsticks has me shoot each of their artists as they pass through town, in addition to covering their artists at other major events and trade shows.

Kevin Radomski at Promark was excited to hear that Avenged Sevenfold would be coming to Tampa - which meant that their drummer, Promark endorsing artists The Rev, would be here!

Emails were sent, calls were made, texts were exchanged - and the shoot was arranged. Shoot day came and I lugged my gear out to the amphitheatre.

This was another shoot, like my Mike Portnoy or Dave Lombardo shoots, where we were working with difficult time constraints. In the end, the entire shoot was just under 3 minutes.

Avenged Sevenfold's crew, Tour Manager Diony, and The Rev's drum tech were all very helpful in arranging access and any assistance that we might need.

The shooting constraints were very difficult - no time, no space, no equipment! The Rev's drum kit was already on stage, wedged between a heavy stage curtain and the back wall of the stage. We could barely get a few people back there!

Luckily, the kind of shot that Promark needs doesn't call for big sets, equipment, full lighting - Promark runs a couple types of photos in their artist centered ads - artists playing live, and artists in their own element with Promark gear. For most artists, the latter means shooting an artist at the kit. It always means shooting them with Promark drumsticks.

Although it sounds like a very basic format, it is amazing how much personality can show through a face & a drumstick.


Prior to the shoot itself, the Avenged crew, myself, and my lovely assistant went back to the kit for a runthrough.

Working within the limitations, we decided that the best setup in this pitch-black, tight space would be one that involves lighting coming up through the drumheads and some frontal lighting.

Shoot time came, The Rev was escorted out to the kit. Like a machine, we began working... a couple minutes passed, we thanked The Rev & crew, and the mission was accomplished!


Here's are some shots of The Rev from our shoot:
(Full rough set here: http://willhawkinsphotography.com/TheRev-7DEC08/)
The Rev - Avenged Sevenfold


Jimmy The Rev of Avenged Sevenfold by Will Hawkins
Jimmy "The Rev" of Avenged Sevenfold

Jimmy The Rev of Avenged Sevenfold by Will Hawkins
Jimmy "The Rev" of Avenged Sevenfold

Jimmy The Rev of Avenged Sevenfold by Will Hawkins
Jimmy "The Rev" of Avenged Sevenfold

Jimmy The Rev of Avenged Sevenfold by Will Hawkins
Jimmy "The Rev" of Avenged Sevenfold