Alright alright alright, this blog post has been a long time coming. I have literally been trying to go to Vans Warped Tour since I was like, 15 years old. I'm 23 now! Going to high school in the Lake Charles, LA area pretty much made Houston the closest stop on the tour to me.... which means a parent would have to drive me all the way there, I'd have to find friends who even wanted to go with me, and I'd have to have time in the summer to go. Every year since high school through college the lineup would be announced and I'd be like DANG IT *cheer camp* DANG IT *student council camp* DANG IT *sorority rush* etc. This year, they announced that the tour would be rolling through New Orleans for the first time in like 10 years or something like that, and I was like oh heck yeah not only am I taking off work and GOING, I am GOING TO SHOOT IT AND I DON'T CARE WHO TRIES TO STOP ME!
I ended up getting to photograph the New Orleans date for Tune Fix, and I had a freaking blast. It was my first time to finally get to go, and it was also my boyfriend's first time too. We both listen to 99% of the bands on this tour....so it was basically the most exciting day of all time.
Unfortunately I have had oodles of back issues lately (another blog post to be written when I know more, but that's coming soon) so I was very nervous about walking around a festival with heavy camera gear around my neck and on my back while it's 1908309168 billion degrees outside and muggy in the Louisiana heat. It was a rough day, I'm not going to lie... but I think the only way I survived was my pumping adrenaline, and my giant Dasani water bottle I kept filling up and then leaving everywhere. Oh, and also my "Make America Emo Again" hat that I bought from one of my fave bands, The Maine. They're the best. And they have the best merch. I get so many compliments on this hat, so I'm linking where you can get it here. You're welcome.
Anyways, I'm slacking as per usual with updating the blog posts and I know this is a late one, but there are a TON of photos below. It was just a very overwhelming day on a personal level as a fan, and also as a photographer trying to catch as much as possible. I got to photograph 19 bands (some more than others because I was running around like a crazy person) and I am super happy with a lot of the images I got! I must say... I'm not as big of a fan of outdoor festivals because there's no cool stage lighting. And I am soo inspired by stage production and lighting. This was kind of refreshing though, because it made it more of a challenge to shoot, and I ended up liking a lot more of my images in black and white when it came time to edit them. Unfortunately, some bands got the shaft and had to perform indoors or after it got darker, so my photos aren't as good (ahem ahem, Knuckle Puck, New Found Glory, Emarosa) which is unfortunate because I love all of these bands.
It was also kind of a breakthrough for me to finally get to shoot SOMETHING! I had been getting denied for show after show before, and I was getting really discouraged. It was so much fun to be able to not only finally get approved for something, but for a festival that means so much to me and has all the bands that I actually listen to. It was even more exciting to see the response on social media from the bands that liked my photos and reposted them. I'm hoping to gain some more momentum here in the fall with concerts, but my approvals are in the hands of the almighty PR Gods... stay tuned and we'll see what happens next!
EVERY TIME I DIE
BAD SEED RISING
SLEEPING WITH SIRENS
WE THE KINGS
FOUR YEAR STRONG
THE STORY SO FAR
NEW FOUND GLORY
ALL PHOTOS © JORDAN HEFLER. Credit must be present if reposted anywhere.