Wow…. Where has 2018 gone???

There is just over a week left to 2018, the year that saw me hit a couple of milestones in my life, both good and bad.

So lets take a look at the Life of Frank over the course of 2018.

My first Victim of 2018, my oldest son Frank.
My first Victim of 2018.

I decided to shoot more portraits and start pushing my photography more then I did in 2017. Which led me to play around with a continuous lighting set up I had bought on Amazon. The best thing about that was getting to spend time with my oldest son, who was gracious enough to agree to this torture LOL.

It was after this, I decided that I needed to not only practice more on my lighting set up skills but also my editing skills, is it worth paying for Photoshop and Lightroom month after month if I am not getting everything that I need to out of it? So I have been doing alot of reading on lighting set ups and also on doing headshot photography, Peter Hurley is FANTASTIC. I highly recommend reading his book and perusing his websites! His headshot photography is inspiring.

One day……

there wasn’t much of a start to my concert photography at the start of the year or to concerts in general. Dizzy Reed’s Hooks and Blow being the highlight of January. Guess it was foreshadowing of how the rest of the year would go.

Dizzy Reed of Hookers and Blow
Former Guns and Roses keyboardist, Dizzy Reed now of Hookers and Blow.

Don’t get Me wrong, there were plenty of concerts in 2018. Black Label Society, Corrosion of Conformity, Alice Cooper, not once but twice lol, Wednesday 13, Judas Priest, LA Guns, Vixen, Streetlight Circus, Ryder and a few I cant recall right now and also couple of destination festivals, like 80’s in the Park and M3. A great year of shows and great music but still not as many as 2017, definitely didn’t shoot as many as I did in 2017.

There were reasons for that, which I will explain in a bit.

It was my concert photography that did bring one of the highlights of 2017. One of My images being used in the latest Vixen CD “Live Fire” along aside photos by Igor Vidyashev, Mike Savoia and tho he isn’t listed on the notes he is in there, Mike Cox. My name listed in credits with a couple of the greats!

Liner Notes from Vixen's Live Fire CD
Liner notes from Vixens latest CD “Live Fire”

A couple of big milestones came in the middle of the year. I hit the big Five Zero and I got a new job and I also finally got to take part in a Music Photography Seminar offered by Jeremy Saffer I had been wanting to take his 2 day course for a couple of years now and something always seemed to come up when it was time. I either didnt have the money or something was going on with family. It was an awesome, 1 day of classes learning about how to do things the right way and the wrong way. Then the next day was spent watching and learning, then trying…..

Me at Jeremy Saffers work shop

I had a blast! I definitely learned alot that weekend

Half Hearted

Much to wifes chagrin, ended up spending money on pretty much a budget studio set up the following week, adding 3 strobes and other stuff to the pile of photography equipment on the bedroom floor.

It gets even better!!! Shortly after the workshop, I started working with a local 80s and 90s Hair Band cover band, Bedrock. Great band, great people and I have enjoyed the work I have done for them.


Bedrock, before a couple of line up changes this year
My nephew David. From his Senior Pic Session

I am feeling a bit more comfortable shooting with flashes, and my arsenal now includes four speedlites and the 3 studio flashes and stands and umbrellas and more junk then my wife thinks I need LOL

Well I started a new job in March/April and that is definitely been a two sided coin. I now drive a box truck and work in a warehouse of one the companies I used to buy product from at my old job. Its a good job, but unfortunately 30 to 40 minutes west of where I live and dont have the flexibility I use to have. So I dont have the time to drive to alot of the venues I used to be able to.

The up side to this job, is I think it has saved my life. At the very least prolonged it a bit longer then before. I had to go for a DOT physical because I am driving a box truck and got my blood pressure back under control. On a follow up visit, they found an abnormality in my EKG and I had to undergo a 45 minute session having my heart sonigrammed. Apparently having a big heart is not a good thing after all and I was told I have an enlarged heart among other issues. So now my blood pressure is under control, I have lost about 30 pounds, cholesterol is down. I am getting there.

Now if I could stop smoking…….

Massachusetts Pirates of the National Arena League

So due to the time frames involved in traveling and wanting to get a better handle on my health, and a few other personal issues, I thought it would be best to step away from shooting as many shows as I had the year before and just continue with a select few gigs and helping out a friend or two when they needed some one to cover for them. I actually covered an Arena Football Game this year. Now that was interesting. I think I am going to branch out a bit more into other genres of photography in 2019, at least I am going to try to. One thing I have been doing has been trying to improve my Photoshop skills. I have been messing around with layers, brushes and masking, and have learned to do a couple of cool things. Thanks to Youtube.

Alice Cooper

I figured, that people would actually want something a bit different and maybe just a bit more artistic for their walls. Not that many people have bought prints of mine, but a few have. I also like to use them for donations to charity events, especially if I can get them signed by the artist!

So thats pretty much the recap of the last year for me. A whole lot of nothing but work, work, work and not enough play. I am hoping to change things up for 2019. I know I have said this in the past, but I need to stop neglecting this blog for 2019. I have some ideas and I am hoping they will come to fruition. This is the best place to share a lot of the things I am doing and plan on doing. So we will see what happens.

As this year comes to end, my best wishes for a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year!

Frank

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