For the third year in a row I shot Savannah Stopover professionally; my first year for the festival itself, and the last two for Savannah Magazine. Over these last three years I’ve had the good fortune to meet, and become friends with a handful of photographers & music-industry folk that travel down each March for a weekend of lowcountry living. While I certainly understand that the reason is the music…there’s so much more networking & fun to be had over the week leading up to the festival days/nights themselves.
Amy Condon (Sav Mag editor) said it best in a personal Facebook post which I asked permission to quote: ‘#HappyStopover, indeed! One of the glorious aspects of the work I do with Savannah Magazine is the intersection of storytelling and culture. Savannah Stopover is a rollicking three-day indie music festival that feels a lot like a progressive dinner rolling through a big neighborhood where everyone is joyful, open to new musical experiences and supportive. There’s always a bit of a #stopoverhangover afterward, and we get over it just as the Savannah Music Festival kicks off. Thanks, Kayne Lanahan and Co. for having and executing the vision to host Stopover in our city. It’s what SXSW wishes it still was–community-oriented, accessible and visionary.’
There are always challenges to shooting concert photography, as well as maintaining the mental motivation & physical stamina to keep pounding the pavement, but every year I look forward to this unique event, and I always find that I’ve learned something new by the time it’s over. The staff are great at supporting the bands & the industry folk doing their best to get as much covered as possible. It’s not possible to make it to every show, and as long-time local photographer, Geoff Johnson, said to me the first year ‘There’s always going to be another leg kick, or rock & roll pose…you’ve got to learn when is enough, and move on to the next show’. I’ve taken that bit of advice to heart, and I use it not only during this festival, but with the rest of my live-music shooting as well.
During the wandering in & out of venues, criss-crossing downtown, hollering hellos in passing to friends & colleagues, and catching up on corners in-between gigs there’s a very special camaraderie that happens. We might grumble & gripe a bit, but we also trade stories of what incredible moments of performance we’ve just seen & heard. Day 1 is full of almost giddy enthusiasm, Day 2 the energy spikes and everyone gets into the groove, and by Day 3 most folks are running a bit ragged & weary at the seams. However…just when you think you’ve reached the end of your endurance, you push past, find some time to get something to eat, perhaps catch a quick nap in your car, grab a Red Bull, check your gear for the umpteenth time, head towards the venue and catch the final show. In my case this year that was Capsula at The Jinx, who reminded me that some bands out there still have the swagger that I grew up idolizing, and are the genuine rock n’ roll article.
By clicking on this highlighted Savannah Magazine, and the one above you can view some of my photos for the magazine. Many thanks to Sav Mag for also allowing me to use my outtakes from that work to help put together this post, and to Savannah Stopover, from the top to the bottom, for one helluva’ great weekend!
Check out a few of those outtakes here, and then more after the jump.