The Big One-O

There are some people (including myself) who would like to plug their ears and say “lalalalala I can’t hear you” during my next statement:

This is the ten year anniversary of my first time taking photos at a show.

February 19, 2000. Bethel Presbytarian Church. Olive Branch, MS.

I was there to photograph my friends in a band called Via Crucis. The band that played before Via Crucis was The Quick and the Dead, a band with a couple of guys who are now our good friends Joel G. and one Mr. Andrew Bryant.

I have to laugh, because these pictures aren’t great at all. I had a $50 film SLR I’d acquired a few months earlier, a TERRIBLE flash which I barely knew how to operate, and ringing eardrums because I hadn’t thought to bring along earplugs that first time (yes, I definitely learned from that particular mistake.)

What a wild ride it’s been. I had no idea that by attending that first show, the course of the next several years of my life would be altered in many ways, from the friendships I wouldn’t have formed otherwise, to ┬áthe way I, as a new photographer, was being introduced to a a genre of photography that would define me for years to come. Those of you who only know Shoot With Personality since the site’s format change last year don’t know that, prior to that change, Shoot With Personality was devoted almost exclusively to live band photography. Hundreds of bands. So many years.

What most people don’t know is, I was already starting to think like a documentary photographer back then. I wasn’t there because I thought taking pictures of bands would be the cool thing to do. I was there because I thought, “You know, it might not feel significant now, but maybe in twenty years, these guys will want to look back and say ‘That’s what I was doing with my life during that era.'”

Twenty years. We’re halfway there.

4 Thoughts on “The Big One-O

  1. Amanda…..these are wonderful. I love them and love that you still have them upon which to reflect. Thank you so much for sharing. Everything.

    • Thank you so much, David.

      It’s really weird for me, because I remember it as if it were yesterday. Down to the fact that I remember what I wore.

      It’s nice to reflect upon where we’ve all come from, sometimes.

  2. Jason Lancaster on January 8, 2011 at 10:09 am said:

    I think this was the one I came out to although I can’t remember what I wore. Your photography is amazing! I’m happy to see where it has taken you.

    • Thank you SO much, Jason! And believe me, photographing your band majorly helped me hone my skills, not to mention how much I loved FLS’s music.

      I remember way back when, after Few Left Standing played that mini Takehold Fest in Birmingham [January 2002?]. I was at my college in South Carolina making prints of your band. The school newspaper’s editor was sharing the darkroom with me. She looked at my prints, and asked if I planned on having band photography as a major focus of mine and really thought I should. I thought about it, and said, “Yes, I think this is what I want to do.” The answer is still yes.

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