Nov 21, 2009
Sep 7, 2009
Sep 5, 2009
Aug 16, 2009
Aug 4, 2009
Aug 1, 2009
Jul 4, 2009
Jun 29, 2009
Jun 15, 2009
As PJ said during his thank yous, Todd stepped on his toes from the beginning and never let up. Todd does the same thing to me. He wanted pictures NOW. After fourteen hours of stage and shooting, and a pool party on Sunday for my seven-year old angel, I was up at 4:00 am this morning to catch a plane to Vegas. In between, I tried to get all the photos processed and uploaded.
Sitting in my room overlooking the strip in Vegas, I am finally getting some of the galleries organized so they make a little more sense. PJs Rock Camp brought me good luck as I was upgraded from a standard room at Mandalay Bay to a suite at THEhotel and I won a Nintendo Wii on a spin of the prize wheel at the conference out here. Thanks Peej.
Anyway, there is one main group that contains sub-galleries for photos from throughout the Festival Day. The link to that group is here. MAIN GROUP (get it).
Since there are so many pictures to explore, I'm only going to post the one that I almost couldn't shoot because it brought tears to my eyes. PJ singing "Electric Lady" to his little lady.
Jun 11, 2009
FULL IMAGE GALLERY
Jun 10, 2009
Daughter: "Mommy, what are these?"
Mom: "That is lip gloss honey"
Daughter: "How do they work?"
Mom: "They don't"
Jun 4, 2009
I don't have time for a large post, but wanted to get a link out to the pictures from last night. Hannah Bethel worked with the band to work up one of the songs we performed with her last year for the Arts Festival and Bridgefest.
Additionally, there are some shots of the dancers rehearsing to one of PJ's great tunes.
And...Do you think this hurts? The young ladies called it "a stall".
Jun 3, 2009
That's right Rock Camp followers, PJ and kids will be on Upper Peninsula TV as Jeni Jewell from WLUC TV6 in Marquette, MI paid a visit Wednesday evening. Jeni began by shooting video as songs were practiced. When it came time to interview the Campers, she said she, "didn't want to break any hearts". Jeni picked a month and asked who was born in that month. She then asked those kids if they would be comfortable being interviewed for the TV broadcast. About halfway through the first interview,
I was impressed with the intelligence and thoughtfulness of the answers given by the kids. When it came time to interview PJ, I found I had to put my camera down as there was so much emotion when he explained why he was doing the camp and described his experiences growing up in the local music scene in the 80s. This guy has a heart size XXL.
The most fun part of the evening was watching Jeni film the closing. It looks to me like being a TV broadcaster is a pressure-cooker and would not be my choice of careers. Jeni rehearsed the closing to get the day, the time, the event name, the group name, and the sponsors just right. It was impressive that she did this with no notes, no teleprompter, and no assistance of any kind. Jeni is one young lady with a lot of poise.
And just to make sure she's still following Rock Camp, we want all her friends and co-workers to ask her when the concert is. Those of us watching her closing bet she'll never forget.
FULL IMAGE GALLERY from Jeni's Visit
Jun 1, 2009
Todd told me my job during the Rock Star photo shoot was to shoot behind the scenes. There was a lot of scene to shoot behind. Adam Johnson of Brockit had his Rock Star photo equipment and assistants with him. Todd of Brassard Media had two video cameras and a couple of assistants. Jessie was organizing rock star poses from publications, and PJ was a non-stop blur of motion.
The music instructors, "Doc" Milt Olsson, Mike Irish, and Mark Lucier were in the house along with a group of dancers and a special guest appearance by Hannah Bethel. It was definitely a rock star kind of night. It was a real learning experience for me shooting behind Adam as he set up enough lighting to land the space shuttle.
My goal was to be unobtrusive and stay out of the way. To accomplish this, I shot half the time with flash (during Adam's down time and lens swaps) and half the time at high ISO with slow shutter speeds. Since Adam is still as a statue when he shoots, keeping him sharp at slower shutter speeds wasn't too bad. Slow shutter speed is an issue, however, when the non-stop bundle of energy otherwise known as PJ would blur across the lens. It was kind of like shooting a puppy dog circling a fire hydrant getting ready to do his thing. And we all know PJ knows how to do his thing.
The kids were great and the energy in the building reminded me of playing on stage in front of an appreciative audience. I especially enjoyed shooting Mark "Loosh" Lucier and his lovely daughter. I graduated from High School with Mark's wife Paula. When Mark and Paula's daughter had her back to me and was talking to her Dad, I swear it was her mom, same voice, same speech pattern.
Mark, thanks for all the great poses.
Adams, thanks for the great learning experience.
Todd, thanks for the invite.
PJ, thanks for putting on this great event. I keep wishing I was a teenager again so I could be one of your campers.
May 30, 2009
May 29, 2009
When it came time to learn another PJ tune, Mike Irish and PJ had a little work to do figuring out tuning for capoed acoustic guitars and the electric guitars. Being the guitar master he is, Mike had it figured out and notated in no time. I found it fun to watch Mike in a teaching environment again. Although I've been to many Jazz Lab Band gigs over the years, its been awhile since I've seen Mike work with the kids. I was especially impressed when he sat down with Dominic the drummer and laid down the beat for PJ's tune. Remember, Mike's a guitar player.
About an hour into the session, Todd rolled up with lights and a smoke machine. According to the girls, it was vanilla smoke. Todd is working hard to prep the space for the big Brockit rock star photo shoot. Todd was able to coax Dominic into donning some shades in preparation for the shoot.
Mike and PJ continued to work with the guitar players learning another great PJ tune. As is typical with all the bass players I've known over the years (with the exception of Todd), the bass player in this group is very laid back and just grooves. What is it about bass player personalities anyway?
I had a little tag-along who was disappointed that we had to leave prior to PJ working with the vocalists. I have a feeling my six-year old will be back for another session. PJs's tunes are so much better than Hannah Montana's and I would rather she learn substance over style.
May 27, 2009
Wow, what a great teacher. I was fortunate enough to be invited to the first evening of Camp Rock to take some photos for Todd. I must say Mr. PJ Olsson is a wonderful, motivating teacher. You can see the father in him in the way he communicates with the kids; such kindness, such motivation. This is one lucky group of kids. The closest I ever came to an opportunity like this was attending MTU’s Summer Youth Jazz Program with Don Keranen.
And speaking of Don Keranen, two of PJ’s special guest instructors have links to Don. PJ’s Dad, Dr. Milt Olsson was in attendance guiding the kids through some music theory and working with the vocalists. The apple doesn’t fall far from the tree. A gift for music and education were definitely passed on to PJ through “Doc” as he asked the kids to refer to him as.
The second link (not missing) was Mark Lucier, one of the most talented drummers I have had the privilege of knowing and playing with. Mark and I go way back to our Jazz Lab Band days when Don was our director. Last summer and fall, I got to reunite with Mark to back Hannah Bethel and Katie Marie Rukkila. This was the first time I have had the opportunity to watch Mark in a teaching setting and he was awesome with the resident Camp Rock drummer. During the jam sessions, Mark worked with this young man and taught him three or four different styles in a very short time period. This was prior to Mark blowing out of the place on his souped-up Harley.
The best part of the evening for me was hearing PJ sing live and in person. This guy has chops and he almost sounds better in person than he does on his CDs. You PJ Olsson fans will be very impressed with his upcoming CD. The kids and instructors got to hear previews of some of the tracks and there are some really neat tunes in the works.
May 24, 2009
May 23, 2009
What can you say when a visit to a camp site has it all? Todd and Jessie had the maiden voyage of their new pop-up camper (but they weren't there when we arrived). Rodney and Erin were gracious hosts as always. Gabby got to play, kids were fishing, hula hooping, campfires, some spring color, a bike goes for a splash, cute dogs, and Kriss even got to go for a boat ride on Lil' Johnny. We even had a visit from the young version of the Michigan Militia.
Yup, it was a fun evening.
May 19, 2009
May 9, 2009
Have a good season Gabby and Brad!
May 2, 2009
This past week I received a last-minute call to shoot photos for the Hancock Prom at the Miscowaubik Club in Calumet. Luckily for me, I have a friend with some flashes and light stands (www.brassardmedia.com). Also lucky for me, one of the owners of Brassard Media, the pregnant Jessie, agreed to help out with the formal shots.
Jessie and I shot the formal shots, the Grand March, and for the rest of the evening, it was SB-900 in Commander mode with two SB-800s on stands or the floor or a shelf or a speaker or wherever...for candid shots.
The kids bowled, played billiards, and of course danced. This type of shooting was definitely a new experience for me.
FULL GALLERY (requires a password to protect the innocence of youth)