First rock star silhouette is up :). Lots more going up soon. Click here to check it out.
A merch store via Redbubble. I’m finally getting a bit enterprisy, yay! :))) I’m going to start with a collection called Rock Star Silhouettes. If you followed my work, you’ll have no trouble identifying the rock star. If you haven’t, have fun! I have a few other things up my sleeve, but first let’s get this one off the ground. The first items should be up by Friday. Hope you guys (my one reader) likes them. P.S. Since I’m no longer on social media, feel free to share the bejesus out of them. I won’t love you long time, but I will love you lots. Plus, in my opinion, they’ll make excellent stocking suffers. ; )
That I start updating the galleries. Lots and lots of pictures going up soon. Side note: I got to break the three song rule with these three bands. : )
I can’t believe it’s been over a year since I last updated this site. Lots of stuff happened over the last year. Some of my favorite moments ever, and some of my not-so-favorite moments. I had some moments where it felt like total awesome madness, and then it was just madness. I got to shoot some of my favorite bands and even broke that 3 song rule barrier with some, which was a HUGE thing for me. Like freaking Andre the Giant huge! And then I had some of the worst problems I’ve ever had, and all the energy I would get from trying to follow my bliss would be withdrawn from trying to take care of those issues. If I wasn’t busy trying to pursue photography, or with my full-time job, I was busy handling very serious matters. In all the hustle, I neglected taking care of myself. I attributed my low energy to my overflowing plate and to getting older. Turns out every once in a while you have to take care of yourself a little bit, too. After feeling like poo for a long time, I finally went to the doctor’s office. And last week while I was at lunch, my doctor calls me and tells me I need to go to the ER stat. I thought he was exaggerating. It turns out that I’m a vampire and needed a ton of blood. I hope they put in some good young blood in me. Seriously, I read an article that young blood is like the fountain of youth. Anyhow, I digress, my point is that whatever you are doing, take a little time to take care of yourself. The hospital doctor asked me how I was able to function, and I said I just walked it off and pushed myself a little harder. She looked at me, gave me a scolding, and said that my brain needs oxygen to live, and blood caries that oxygen to it. If you are running low on blood, then your brain is not getting the oxygen it needs and everything tanks after that. Who knew (I’m sure plenty of people know that, especially medical students). So now with an almost full thank of blood, I’m running around with rosy cheeks again, I’m also starting to turn into a vitamin/healthy eating Nazi (side note: I kinda miss my pale vampirish skin tone, ha!). I’m also a little upset at myself because had I been taking care of myself all this time, I would have done so much more this past year. Instead, I was operating at 40 percent capacity, literally. So if you want to take over the world, take care of yourself, yo!
About social media: Yes, I pretty much quit all social media. No, I haven’t quit photography, but perhaps because I felt so tired all the time, I wanted to better allocate my time and give all my energy to the really important stuff in my life, and social media took too much of it. Right now, I’m regrouping and figuring out a new way to do things. The old-way disillusioned me, and made me feel a bit jaded, and that’s not how I want to feel about what I’m doing. I want to be excited about stuff as much as possible, and I never want those butterflies to fly away. So I’m doing whatever it takes to get to my happy place, and I’m letting go of all things that I think are unnecessary and disillusioning. I will never again quit doing creative stuff, but if I need to change a thing or two, I have no problem doing so, even stuff that meant the world to me not so long ago. I have a lot of high hopes for the future, and will do whatever I can to make it happen. I suppose that’s how I would like to end this post. Never lose hope, and continue fighting the good fight, but take care of yourself in the process, too.
I was raised to never ask for anything. I’m not sure if it’s Mexican culture that dictates that it’s not polite to ask for anything, or if that was just Chilo (mi Abue’s thing). I lived with my grandparents from the ages 5 to 8. During that time, it was so instilled in me to not ask for anything that even when someone gave me something, I never accepted it. This was particularly hard when I was a kid. I remember someone once tried to give me a toy, and I couldn’t accept it even though I really, really wanted it. To this day, I’m still being shamed for asking my mom for money when I was 19. Really. But despite how I was raised, once in a blue moon when I have a wild hair up my ass, I go against everything I was taught.
So this brings me to Jane’s Addiction. I got to shoot Jane’s Addiction three times. The first time was at El Cid, in Los Angles, the second time was at the Music Hall in Tucson, Arizona, and the third time was last weekend at The Brooklyn Bowl in Las Vegas. Two of the times, I bit the bullet and asked Dave Navarro if I could shoot the shows. I remember the first time I asked him, he said the guest list was full but to ask him again for the next show (The El Cid one). When I did, he apologized for only being able to get me in without a plus one. I emailed him back something along the lines of “Seriously, Dave, I’m super stoked that I’m getting in. There is no need to apologize”. He then apologized, again, and my mind was blown. The second time I shot them, remembering that the local shows are a lot harder to get into, I asked his manager (who happens to be an awesome lady) if I could shoot the Tucson show. She was super sweet and hooked it up. I hadn’t shot a show in a couple of years. Despite the fact that one of my pictures made it to his Facebook fan page (the cover photo) I felt like my pictures sucked overall and I went into a depression. I remember feeling incredibly disappointed with myself, and put down the lens for a few months. Side note: when you shoot most concerts, you only get to shoot the first three songs, unless you’re Ross Halfin or some other kick-ass photographer. The first 3 songs of the Tucson show I pretty much got nothing. Then I saw some other photographer go somewhere else and continue shooting, so I said “fuck it I’ll shoot until someone tells me not to, too.” Had I not done that, I wouldn’t have gotten that shot or anything else.
I’m skipping a couple of stories that happened in between the Jane’s shows including Camp Freddy in 2012 and the 2013 SSMF. The pattern was pretty much the same. I shot the shows, then I went into a severe depression following the shows because I thought my pictures sucked, so much so that I deleted all my social media accounts. And after a few months would go by, I found myself missing it deeply.
About two month’s ago, once again, I began daydreaming about taking pictures. I began Instagraming and Tweeting old photos like crazy. When I remembered, I tagged people on them or @ them. Both Dave Navarro and Dave Kushner retweeted a few, Billy Morrison retweeted a couple more, Robert DeLeo also retweeted one, and then Juliette Lewis regramed one of my pictures, and, for a minute, everything went bananas! At that time, the only thing I knew for certain was that this time around, I wasn’t going to quit no matter what. I was heading in a different direction when my friend (one of my favorite humans ever) convinced me to do this site. Riding on all the craziness from the Juliette Lewis’ retweet, I finally accepted his help and within a couple of days this site was born. Since then, every waking hour and even during my sleep, I have been obsessing over pictures (except for a few days when I had a Game of Thrones marathon). It was during one of my walks in the park, when I thought to tweet Dave to see if I could shoot one of the Vegas shows. I knew that if I didn’t tweet him at that very minute, I never would, so I just went for it. He tweeted me back instantly to contact his guitar tech, Dan. And that’s how I got to shoot the Brooklyn Bowl show. Do I still question the quality of my work? Absolutely. I came to the conclusion that no matter what, some part of me is never going to be satisfied with my shots. I’m always going to wish I did better and that’s a good thing. Normally, I would go curl up in a ball and hide for a few months (I’ve never really curled up in a ball, literally, but I was practically there). This time around, I’m breaking my patterns. I can’t recuperate lost time, but I can choose not to continue making the same mistakes. As for asking for stuff, while I’m still not very comfortable with it, I have to admit that sometimes you just have to do it. I mean the worse that can happen is that they say no, and if they do, the sun will still shine the next day. Maybe one day, I will be so good that bands will start asking me to go shoot them. That’s one of the goals. In the meantime, the fact that one of the members of my favorite bands, called ME last week, shows me that maybe I do have some mad skillz after all. I look forward to my phone blowing up with more awesome calls in the near future ;P
“Luke, I am your father.” I always wanted to say that. While this has nothing to do with Star Wars, it does have to do with someone named Luke, Luke Steele, and his band The Sleepy Jackson (Sorry. I couldn’t pass up the opportunity to use the quote). But, back to The Sleepy Jackson. Sadly, I only saw them perform twice. The first time I saw them was a fluke. I went to a show to watch Tom Morello and came out being blown away by them. I remember them being funky, energetic, fun, and incredibly talented. Discovering them that day, is still one of my favorite concert memories. Their show was so good that I had to buy their CD, “Lovers,” right away and came to absolutely love it.
The second time I saw them was at the Troubadour. Again, they were awesome. I had just purchased a Digital Rebel (an upgrade from my point and shoot camera) and I snuck it in. I didn’t have any fancylenses, but their light show was phenomenal and those pictures are stilll some of my favorites. While I was shooting them, I remember I was trying to make my camera “bend”. Many times when I’m photographing, I’m just going through the motions, but I know I have something special when I feel the same way I felt that day. It’s as if I can make my camera bend to my will and produce something that captures both what I’m feeling and seeing. The goal always is to chase that same feeling. When I manage to catch it, it’s a great day.
Side note: I don’t usually listen to Electronic music, so I have no clue what’s new or who’s who. The other day, while trying to find hashtags for some of my pictures, I discovered that Luke is in Empire of the Sun. It’s no surprise. The dude is seriously talented. Luke, I am your fan.
I lost count how many times I saw them. They were one of my favorite addictions. I always said the Camp Freddy experience was like a straight shot of Rock ‘n’ Roll to the veins. My journey with Camp Freddy went from fan girl, to fangirl with a camera, to fangirl with a camera who took really good pictures, to photographer who shouldn’t have smoked some of B-Real’s joint, to “where’s WendyBird?”. The first private show that I saw them in, I snuck in. It was at the HOB and we literally just opened the door from the restaurant and made our way in. It was afreaking awesome show. I remember fearing that someone was going to catch on, and we were going to be thrown out. But that never happened (side note: one of my pictures from that show taken with a point-and-shoot camera made its way to rollingstone.com). But I digress. After that, as I got better at my craft, I didn’t have to sneak in any more. Still, those butterflies (actually more like fireworks) in my stomach never left. In my head, I was still that chubby Mexican girl from the SGV who snuck her way in through the restaurant door. Eventually, I let all my fears and insecurities get the best of me, and I removed myself from the scene and thus stopped doing what I was born to do. I will forever regret that. What I didn’t realize back then was that even if I didn’t feel like I belonged, and even if I felt like all the other photographers had more of a right to be there, my contribution was just as valuable, and that I was, via my documentation of it, part of the experience. I didn’t need that shot of Rock ‘n’ Roll because my veins already oozed it. Ha! Maybe I’m going a little too far there, but you get the point. So now that Camp Freddy is over, if I get the chance to be part of the Royal Machines experience, I’m going to pack a ton of Tums and show the world my world, one kickass foto at a time. Here are a few Camp Freddy shots. I’ll post more in the Gallery section of my site tomorrow. Sweet dreams world. XoXo
PS. The moral of the story (besides that Camp Freddy was a freaking kick ass experience) is that there are many people in the world who are going to bring you down, you don’t need to be one of them (this advice was given to me and I’m finally getting it).
I remember going to see Stone Temple Pilots in Fontana, CA at the California Motor Speedway. There are still several mental images that come to mind when I think of that concert. I was memorized by the lighting. I was enchanted by the energy. I was dreaming that maybe one day I would be able to capture on film what my eyes were seeing. That was in 2001. Fast forward to 2008 when I had one of the most amazing moments ever. I went to the Santa Barbara show with a friend that worked with them. I didn’t have a photo pass, but I took my camera just in case. I guess I believed that somehow magic would happen and I would get to shoot the show. While we were backstage (just to be clear I don’t usually hang backstage) Dean walked in. I introduced myself as WendyBird. He said “WendyBird, I love your photos. Are you shooting tonight?” (I think it went something like that but I was having a moment so I’m not too sure). I told him I didn’t have a photo pass, so he proceeded to call someone to give me one. And that’s how I got to shoot that show. I’m still amazed that a member from one of my favorite bands ever knew who I was and liked my photos. The girl dreaming to shoot them in 2001, after doing some cartwheels demanded that I get out there capture some magic.