Thursday, October 21, 2010

Farm Aid 25

So a few weeks ago I had the opportunity to photograph Farm Aid 25 at Miller Park. It was a blast and what I have always wanted to do. Now I have to figure out how to do it all the time!

I arrived at Miller Park about 10:00 Am to check into for my press pass.

Press conference started at 11:00 at Hefner field in front of Miller Park. Press kept rolling in and I myself was pretty nervous..but more axious to see what the day would hold and to hear some good music!

Well Willie, John, Dave, and Neil came onto the press conference stage right in front of me.
Snapped some photos during the event..and listened. It was very cool to hear everyone talk about what Farm Aid has done and still does do for local farmers. Its such a great cause. Buy local and organic. Support the family farmers.

After the Press Conference a escort took us into Miller Park. Our press area was the brewers press box.

Pretty cool if you are a brewers fan! Had a great view of all of Miller Park with the stage set up etc.

It was cool to be in the press box but I wanted to get down in the pit and start taking photos! As the photo pit coordinator and press liaison talked to us about what was gonna go down and how...Willie took the stage. A group of us photographers made our way down to the pit with our escort. Whenever you left the press area or the photo pit with camera gear you needed a escort. We arrived in front of the stage..and it was HUGE. Standing in the outfield of Miller Park and looking back is not a view most people get...Pretty impressive.

At first throughout the first couple bands we were allowed to just hang out in the photo pit and snap photos. Good practice. It was a big adjustment to shoot photos of a large stage with amazing lighting.

We had half of the pit infront of the stage..sharing it with a camera boom. Which is behind me in this photo.

This presented a problem with most acts cause we were right of the lead person playing guitar/singing. This ment the guitar neck was in the way alot. All you had to do was be a little more creative!
By the time Kenny Chesney took the stage we had been split into two groups. Each group got two songs to go into the pit for. We rotated who went first. All the acts were steller.

I was in the first group to go in for Dave Matthews and Tim Reynolds. They played a short set in my mind but I got some good pics and Willie came out and played with him.

After Dave was Mellencamp. Put on a long good set. I was in the second group for him which kinda stunk cause I did not get many pics close up of him playing electric guitar. Just singing and playing acoustic which is ok to!

Then back into the pit to wait for the start of Neil Young. This was probably the performance I was looking forward to myself. He is a legend with so many great songs. I was in the pit talking with other photographers when I turned around and he was standing there. He opened with "Down by the River" and I had a hard time taking photos and not watching! Our two songs were up and out of the pit we went.

I should mention when not in the pit we got to stand off to the side and watch and listen so I can not complain to much!

Rest of his set was amazing. Then next was Willie and friends. He played all his hits...we basically got to be up there in the pit for his whole set.

Oh and he had a guest stop by...Steven Tyler who was in town doing American Idol.

Willie rocked it with his son Lucas who is amazing as well.

For the finale everyone from the day came out. Played a few tunes. And it was over.

My first large concert photographing experience was a success. Could not wait to get home and check out all the pics.

709 pics total after everything but I have condensed them down to this album you can check out of 50 or so photos.