I've shot SXSW quite a bit these last few years. Traditionally I've mainly covered the music aspect of the festival, but this year I branched out more into the interactive and film side of things.
One of my first tasks this year was to cover a panel discussing the lasting appeal of the 'Six Degrees of Kevin Bacon' game, featuring the man himself, with guest appearances from Felicia Day (Buffy The Vampire Slayer, The Guild) and Maisie Williams (Game Of Thrones), amongst others. If you don't know the premise of the Six Degrees game (where on earth have you been these past two decades?!), it basically revolves around the notion that Kevin Bacon, being the prolific actor that he is, can be linked to any other actor, living or dead, through their film or TV roles in six steps or less. In simpler times, before we depended on the internet for absolutely everything, this game was a great way for movie buffs to show off their encyclopedic film knowledge. Nowadays, of course, you can cheat - check out The Oracle of Bacon website and marvel at how surprisingly difficult it is to find someone that can't be connected to Kevin Bacon in just two steps or less.
Going into this panel, I was a little skeptical of how much mileage they could get from such a topic, but the whole event was surprisingly entertaining and informative. For instance, did you know that Bacon originally hated the game when he first heard about it because he thought it was making a mockery of him? Or that the game led to him starting his own charitable organization, SixDegrees.org? Apparently the website has already raised over five million dollars for various charities. Not too shabby, Kevin.
Lauren and Tanner's wedding was a treat for me for so many reasons. For starters, their reception was way out in far West Texas, in a little town called Alpine. Even just driving through the desert to get there felt like something out of a movie for me. It's a part of the country I rarely get to experience. And when the journey includes old-timey diners, ghost towns and questionable gas stations where people give you that "you ain't from around these parts" look, you can't even begin to imagine my delight.
And then of course there was the wedding itself. Lauren and Tanner opted to eschew pretty much every normal wedding tradition in favor of a weekend long party. Everyone had such a great time. For me, even shooting the bride and groom was a different experience. Normally, I just have a small window of time to grab the formal shots right after the ceremony, but with Lauren and Tanner I was able to spend several hours with them before their ceremony, traveling around Alpine and the surrounding desert to get shots in all kinds of different locations - a baseball field, a train station, the middle of a deserted highway, even the tour bus of cult country music star Dale Watson (who not only performed at their reception, but officiated their actual wedding ceremony, too). I got so many great shots I couldn't possibly include them all here, but below are some of my favorites.
It's been quite a while since Madisons last graced this humble blog, but the band has certainly been gaining momentum over the past year. The crowds keep getting bigger and bigger with every performance, and deservedly so. This show at The Parish marked their first of 2014, and they're off to a cracking start. I love The Parish as a venue, both as a photographer and as a music fan. The sound and lighting are always absolutely top notch.
The extremely talented and sexily-voiced Karl Morgan has been a staple of the Austin blues scene for quite some time now. Karl is moving on to bigger and better things, however, so tonight's farewell show was a wonderful, yet bittersweet occasion.
I don't think anyone could deny that he went out on a high note. Joined on stage by collaborators past and present, Karl played to a packed house and was on top form throughout the night. In all my years of concert photography it also marked the first time I'd ever seen someone actually throw their underwear at the stage (their bra landing squarely on Karl's head, no less). I'd like to think Karl is pleased he got to experience something that people who aren't Tom Jones rarely get to experience.