A Toast To The Cadre Of Photographers Covering SXSW

At every major event you can see them laden down with the bags of gear, strobe frames, wrists and necks full of badges, laminates, and passes. Even the cameras had their own tags

When you are watching music, they get the 1st row access (at least for 3 songs), at the conferences, they are sitting down by the stage waiting, watching, only to pop up for that decisive moment.



[photopress:_420.jpg,full,centered] a little Gary Fong flash attachment action here

They hang in the press room, and have a silent community among them. Yep, they felt that every photographer should get the shot, and there was a bond., almost like a secret handshake. Nice.
This past week at SXSW, we were very happy to have not only a paid all access pass, but a press pass, allowing an intimacy with the event, and the ability to bring you another look from a shooters point of view.

One night, we left the big cameras at home and just went out with a lighter point and shoot.
The images were just what we expected; When you look in the cameras LCD, it’s OK. There is image and it is in the moment.
But sharing with anyone? What, are you crazy?

We also ran into this hard working crew, led by Jacob Mengelkoch, who set up a studio between 2 dumpsters, and were hired to shot the bands as they came out of a venue after playing. Working 12-18 hour days, these folks still had a great demeanor.
And why not: they loved what they were doing.

And then there was this very cool guy named Gary Miller.

Big in stature and talent. Seemed he got the cover shot of the local periodicals on a regular basis.

And even seeing him upload after the event in the press room, you could see why. Congrats Gary!

It wasn’t just guys. there was a good representation on women with credentials to cover the event.

Like Anne Marie Carson, a local shooter working the venues. She also shared a great story about buying a Nikon digital camera body from a pawn shop for $50, and it only took a a coupla pieces and ingenuity, to restore it to an extra hardworking body.

There was a slightly better representation for Nikon on the lines. Not sure if it was a regional thing, but we were among that group.

Cameras abounded on all fronts though.


And sometimes the multi-taskers had to get the shots, too.


But we would like to thank all of the photographers we met, shared shooting space with, or just gave the photogs high sign in passing.
It’s a club we are happy to be members in. I’m sure all of you out there feel the same way.

We are sifting through thousands of images that we’ve shot, and will make an online gallery available for those that would like to check it out.

Some folks have asked, what was in our bag. We’ll it goes like this:

Nikon D700
24-70 2.8 lens
80-200 2.8 lens
3 camera batteries, plus rechargeable AA’s for the flash
4 CF cards- 3 4 gb, 1 8gb.
Crumpler neck strap
Nikon SB-800 flash
G-Raid external 7200RPM HD
MacBook Pro
Adobe Lighroom 2
Nikon D200 – just in the bag for back-up
Flip ULTRA camera
Business cards
Mini mag flash light
Cinnamon Gum
Lens cloths

And the bag we used? Well, this time it was an Oakley backpack, fully padded and partitioned.
With the amount of folks randomly asking how much the gear was worth, and all of masses of revelers, especially in the music portion, total stealth was the key.
We travel it all in a ThinkTank Airporter, though, and reload once at the destination. Have to look into that ShapeShifter.

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