I shot Frightened Rabbit in 2010. The above is one of the shots from that show; I was very proud of it at the time. I still am, in its own way, in my own way. It marks a time. I wrote about that show here. What I didn’t write about was that show was one of the first times I tried to contact a publicist, because I wanted to do portraits of Scott and Grant for Brothers In Arms. I remember their publicist, because Storme still has the perfect lovely UK publicist name: Storme Whitby-Grubb. I don’t think I even heard back from her in 2010; I don’t blame her one bit, because in 2010, I was nobody. I hadn’t earned the time yet. It was a great show, as that blog post — very early in the life of this blog — demonstrates. But I’d never been credentialed for anything in 2010. I was a baby in terms of the work I had to do to get where I am.
I shot Frightened Rabbit in 2013. They are two albums and Capitol Records from the last time I saw them; I am hundreds of thousands of photos from it. I am hundreds of blog posts, a year of Friday Jams of the Day at Speakers In Code, dozens of beers with Matt and Tracey, dozens of list spots and dozens of photo passes pressed into journals. I have worked until my feet blistered and peeled. And a few weeks ago, when Matt said, hey, you want to do something with Frightened Rabbit? They’re buddies with Admiral Fallow. Of course. Of course. I have a project to revive.
Storme still works with them. Matt corresponded with a lovely woman at Capital Records. When we got to the Cradle on Monday, I didn’t hesitate to walk in the open stage door and ask until we found Ian, FR’s cheerful ginger tour manager.
Four years is a long time. Four years is broken hearts and blisters and tears and terrible, terrible photos. Four years is good photos. Four years is trusting yourself, and knowing how to make your subjects trust you.
Four years ago was then. Now is now.
I am not trying to brag. One of the reasons I started this blog was to look at my process, as I stumbled through becoming a rock photographer on my own, and with loads upon loads of help, scraped knees and bruised hearts and all. I’m working on a post about the ugly bits of concert photography; not aperture and first three no flash, but how to get publicists to trust you, how to establish relationships, how to get so adorable Scottish boys sit out back the Cradle while you ask dumb questions.
Dreams aren’t unreachable things. Just because someone said no once doesn’t mean they’ll say no again. The more things change, the more they change.
A few weeks before my birthday, I decided to give up. Not to stop working, not to stop pursuing, but to — release my control over things. I do what I can do. I don’t worry about the rest. What I can do is send the email. What I can do is do good work, and put it out there, and speak about it eloquently, and the rest will happen. On Monday, I shot Frightened Rabbit. On Tuesday, I got a long overdue payment for some photos. I haven’t been stressed at work in nearly 48 hours. I am working hard, and doing what I can, and the rest will happen.
That was then. This is now.