BEST OF 2017

I don’t have to tell you that 2017 was crazy. It was my first year fully freelancing (and I survived! woo!). One of my major goals was to photograph more music, and I can definitely say I did.

2016 | 3 Festivals, 20 concerts & 46 Bands

vs.

2017 | 5 Festivals, 72 concerts & 161 Bands

That’s an average of 1.5 shows a week! Some were music festivals, including multiple days but I had a blast. Freelancing has given me the ability to shoot what I’m most passionate about. It was one of the scariest steps I’ve ever taken but it was worth the risk.

I’m aiming high for 2018, my goals include more promotional work, video production and touring with a band (hit me up!)

You’ll find my top 35 concert moments of 2017 below!

2017 TOP 35-1Anti-Flag at The Phoenix shot for Stitched Sound.

2017 TOP 35-2Repartee in London shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-3USS in London shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-4Bad Suns @ The Velvet Underground shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-5
The Flaming Lips at Rebel shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-6A Place To Bury Strangers at The Danforth Music Hall shot for The Photo Ladies.

2017 TOP 35-7Starset The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-8I Prevail at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine

2017 TOP 35-9
Fast Romantics at The Mod Club shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-10
Muna at NXNE shot for FridaeTV,

2017 TOP 35-11
Thursday at The Danforth Music Hall shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-12Passion Pit at NXNE shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-13Jared and The Mill at Adelaide Hall shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-14Third Eye Blind at Echo Beach shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-15Dear Rouge at Niagara-On-The-Lake Canada Day 2017 shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-16Corey Taylor performing with Stone Sour shot for Aesthetic Magazine.2017 TOP 35-17Korn at Budweiser Stage shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-18Chris Stapleton at Budweiser Stage shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-19USS at Elora Riverfest shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-20Gogo Bordello at Elora Riverfest shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-21Palaye Royale at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-22The White Noise at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-23Enter Shikari at Hard Luck shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-24A Day To Remember at Rebel shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-25The Black Dahlia Murder at The Opera House shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-26Fall Out Boy at the ACC shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-28Dear Rouge at The Casbys shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-29Ellevator at The Mod Club shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-30Yelawolf at The Phoenix shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-31Circa Survive at Rebel shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-32Thrice at Rebel shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-33The Regrettes at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-34The Interrupters at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-35SWMRS at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

 

xo jo

The Commoners | Portrait Session

Over the last few months I’ve had the pleasure of catching The Commoners perform live a few times and I don’t think I’ve ever been this excited about a new band. I saw them for the first time at The Crooked’s Debut/Release party at Lee’s Palace and I couldn’t contain myself, they’re so captivating when they play. Then I happened to run into them again at Canadian Music Week at a much more intimate performance at Ildsjel in Toronto.

Not only are they extremely talented musicians (I highly recommend you check out their latest video Walkin’ South, it’ll give you chills) but they’ve got a phenomenal stage presence and are the nicest guys you’ll ever meet.
Watch their latest video below & check out the photos from our session!

We headed to Cherry Beach at the start of their session just before sunset. so we got some really nice soft lighting especially since it was an overcast day. I knew we would be walking around quite a bit so I wanted to keep equipment light.
For the most part I used my Nikon D800 and Tamron 24-70mm 2.8 Lens.

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Since Cherry Beach is also home to a rather large unleashed dog park we got a lot of awesome photo bombs which were my favourite part.

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We shot a variety of candid and some posed images but I just asked the guys to be themselves. I like to work like a fly on the wall rather than directing every single movement. I just kept in mind what they wanted to use the images for and we’re lucky that Cherry Beach has such a variety of backgrounds to shoot with that we got a lot of great options.

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Afterwords we headed to Polson Pier nearby, I know it’s where everyone goes but it is a beautiful view of the city so we got creative with the skyline.

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You’ll be able to catch the guys this weekend at Taste of The Danforth on Sunday in Toronto. All the information is available on the Facebook event here.

Thanks for checking these out!

Photography by Joanna Glezakos.
Please do not share to repost without credit.

Concert Recap: 05.22-28.2017

I managed to shoot two shows this past week! Still not my three show goal, but getting better! Plus Concerts are picking up for the summer and I’m shooting for more publications so hopefully that means more approvals. So keep your fingers crossed for me! So lets dive right in!

Brothers Of North, May 24th, 2017 @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre

I forgot how much I like this venue, it’s where I attended my first punk/rock concert, MXPX, I believe in 2002 and then the first show I ever photographed, Mindless Self Indulgence in 2007. The Phoenix is a decent sized venue and wasn’t too crowded which was nice considering there was no photo pit. I brought my long lens with me and mostly shot from the crowd. I love having the ability to roam around cause that way you can find the best angles for depth/composition instead of being confined to the 4 feet in front of the stage and super bonus you’re not shooting up people’s noses.

The show started with Dylan Hennessy, a solo singer-songwriter/artist who beatboxes & uses a loop pedal during his performance. He puts on a pretty amazing show and I encourage you to check out more of his music here.

Next up was another Toronto band, Blackie Jackett Jr, who may look a little familiar to you as they are the guitarists from Finger Eleven, James Black and Rick Jackett joined by Sandra Dee and Jimmy Reid. This is the second time I’ve seen them and they put on the best shows. They’ll get you dancing even if you don’t like country music. Their crude lyrics had everyone laughing and they’re really fun to watch so I’d recommend seeing them if you get a chance!

Last but not least was Brothers of North. Love, love, loved their LED panel in the background. It added depth to the images and made for really nice compositions. To be honest I hadn’t head of these guys before but I’m glad i did, they’ve got a really great sound, really catchy tunes and were a ton of fun to watch. They’ve got new music coming out this year so keep an eye out for em!
USS, May 25th, 2017 @ Mill St. Brew Hall for #GreaterTorontoDay

On May 25th, Toronto celebrated #GreaterTorontoDay, an initiative to make the GTA better by doing simple acts of kindness. USS Performed free mini acoustic concerts across the city including Mill St. Brew Hall in The Distillery District. To be honest this was a bit boring to shoot since there was no additional lighting on them during their performance, so I focused more on their reactions. But  They’re such nice guys, before and after their set they hung out and talked to people and even bought a round for everyone in the bar! T

Once again, I’d love to hear what you think or if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!

xo
jo

Concert Recap: 05.15-21.2017

Hey guys! I’m back and on track! Somewhat. haha! So this week was a little slow for shows, I’ve been shooting quite a few portraits lately that I can’t wait to show you guys but I’ve had to keep them on the DL. I’ve also been up to my knees in weddings, I assist two studios along with shooting my own events but these images are shared on those respective sites so this weeks recap will be short but sweet.

I was truly hoping to shoot Bush on Thursday but alas approval didn’t come through. But on the plus side, it did for Tokyo Police Club so I can’t complain!

Tokyo Police Club, May 18th, 2017 @ The Danforth Music Hall

Lighting was actually pretty nice tonight at The Danforth Music Hall plus I got to see my photo lady friend Veronique who also shoots for 102.1 The Edge. The night was sponsored by Mott’s Clamato to celebrate National Caesar Day. They handed out free samples of their new Pickled Bean flavour and it wasn’t half bad. I’m a fan of Caesar’s though and I know they’re not for every one. I entered the venue and they had big Mott’s Clamato Logo’s projected on the walls which I thought was a nice touch. The show was great and they played their classics along with some new songs.

Unfortunately there were no more shows this week as I spent 39 hours this weekend shooting weddings and I was so exhausted I practically slept till Tuesday. I hope you enjoyed these though, I’m quite happy with how they turned out. More photos at FridaeTV.

Thanks for stopping by! And once again I’d love to hear what you think! Were you at the show? Anyone have a cool experience?

xo
jo

P.S I also learned in the USA they don’t have caesar’s, but Bloody Mary’s which are made with Tomato juice. I had to explain to someone that our Clamato juice has clams (hence the name) and that’s what makes it that more delicious (sorry vegetarian’s).

Concert Recap : 05.08-14.2017

I am a little delayed posting the concert recap for the week of May 5th to 14th since I’m also knee deep in wedding season so I apologies! This past weekend alone spent 39 hours shooting so I am pooped! I’ve also shot a few portrait sessions with musicians/producers so I’ve been spending most of my time editing these but I’m happy to be back in action.
This week’s events included a Tito & Marlon Jackson, Laura Marling, I Prevail, 102.1 The Edge’s Secret Thing with Royal Blood and The Prism Prize Awards. It was quite a mix of events but a ton of fun to shoot.

Tito & Marlon Jackson, May 5th, 2017 @ Yonge & Dundas Square

I got my a text on Sunday night asking if I could shoot at Yonge and Dundas square the next day, I saw a glimpse of the name “Jackson” but thought nothing of it.
The next morning I headed to Yonge and Dundas Square in the heart of Toronto to photograph some sort of event, a live show or perhaps a meet & greet and with whom I didn’t know. I arrived early but the square was filled with fences covering up construction and there didn’t seem to be much of anything happening at all. I found a security guard nearby who knew less than I did! I quickly texted my contact and we were able to connect and she filled me in. Tito, Marlon and Jackie Jackson were all scheduled to appear for a special meet & greet with fans as a publicity stunt for their show coming up on June 9th at Rebel.  Tito and Marlon were the only ones that made an appearance but fans were excited to get photos and autographs here are some of my favourite shots from the event. More at FridaeTV.

 

Laura Marling, May 10th, 2017 @ The Danforth Music Hall

The stage was set beautifully with flowers draped from every stand. The lights dimmed and Laura appeared from stage right. From the left, a stage hand brought out her guitar, she slung it over her shoulder and smiled sheepishly. She approached the mic stand, with the first few notes I was blown away. She sings with such sadness and beauty my heart began to melt. Truly and old soul trapped in a young body. More photos available at FridaeTV.

Starset & I Prevail, May 11th, 2017 @ The Danforth Music Hall

The following night, the Danforth hosted a completely different set of concert goers with Starset & I Prevail. Starset’s performance was a lot of fun. They had brought their own LED panels, lighting and smoke rigs and the guitarists wear space suits with LED’s synced to the music for a really spectacular performance. My only qualm would be the DJ stand in the middle of the stage which made it really hard to get a group shot from the pit but I managed to get up to the balcony to get what I wanted. As the stage was cleared the crowd cheered “I Prevail, I Prevail”. The lights dimmed and the crowd erupted, overall a great performance by both bands. Being in the mosh pit reminded me of going to shows when I was younger since I haven’t been to something like that in a while. More photos at Aesthetic Magazine.

102.1 The Edge Secret Thing #3, May 12th, 2017 @ The Velvet Underground

This was the 3rd Secret Thing local radio station 102.1 The Edge hosted; This was really exciting to shoot since the performers were unannounced and you could only win your way in. I arrived at the venue for 7:15pm to meet Hayley and we headed inside. There was a buzz in the air and most people seemed to have an idea of who was going to play but I remained clueless. I had my hopes of who it would be since I was on an Arkells kick lately but as soon as they let us into the pit I quickly realized it was not. Taped to the floor was a set list with “Royal Blood” on the top and guitar picks sticking out of the mic stand with their name on it as well. Shout out to 102.1 for being able to keep it quiet for so long! I think the secret may have leaked earlier in the week as well but I was oblivious. I hadn’t been that excited for a show in a long time and I had a really great time. More photos at FridaeTv.

Prism Prize Awards, May 14th, 2017 @ TIFF Bell Lightbox

To change things up on Sunday night I photographed the Prism Prize Award show including some behind the scenes in the Green Room during interviews. It was pretty fun to do something a bit different than a live show. The Prism Prize is a national, juried award established to recognize the artistry of the modern music video in Canada.  After the pre-show interviews in the Green Room we headed to a theatre and watched the awards. See the photos for some of the award winners & check out the prism prize website for more. It was pretty inspiring to see such amazing Canadian talent in one place and I’m very grateful for the experience. More photos are available at Aesthetic Magazine.

Phewf. Alright, I’m going to try and keep this more up to date!
Thanks for checking out my weekly concert recap! I’d love to hear what you think or if you have any questions.

xo
jo

Concert Photography 101

I know the thought of concert photography excites a lot of people so I figured I’d answer some questions I’m frequently asked on how I do what I do. Concert photography definitely isn’t the easiest to capture; you’re on a 3 song time limit, you have to be prepared for all types of lighting and sometimes you’re put in tight situations.

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Underoath | Photo by Joanan Glezakos | http://www.vengenza.ca

General Info & Code of Conduct

  1. The Photo Pit, often a small section in front of the stage is barricaded off from concert goers to allow photographers the room to shoot with a clear view. There is a strict time limit to make sure we don’t block the paying concert goers for too long.
  2. 3 Songs, No Flash. Whether you’re new to concert photography or you’ve been doing it a while you’ve probably heard this rule. This is the standard rule for any show unless you’re shooting on behalf of the band themselves, respect it. Your flash distracts from the concert goers experience and interferes with other photographer’s images so don’t be selfish.
  3. Do not share photographs of your credentials, whether it’s a personalized pass, sticker that says “photo” or even your wristband, you’re creating security risks for future events & you’ve worked hard for those credentials, why give them away?
  4. Share the pit. We’re all there for the same reason so if you’re not the only photographer that night and you find a great spot, get your shot & move on. Also, Stop putting your arms up and getting in other photographers photos.

 

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Mayday ParadePhoto by Joanna Glezakos | http://www.vengenza.ca

Venue Access Areas and Limitations

Sometimes when shooting at a venue you may run into a few rules on top of the 3 songs, no flash including but not limited to;

  1. No photo pit. In this case you’re either left to fend for yourself in the crowd or they’ll ask you to shoot from the sound board.  Tips for shooting from a crowd, arrive early to get a spot near the front or bring a long lens.
  2. Balcony/VIP. Some venues have balconies and sometimes with a media pass they will allow you to go into these sections so you can get some neat angles. You never know unless you ask, and even if they say no you’re in the same position you were before!
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Brand New | Photo by Joanna Glezakos 2016 | http://www.vengenza.ca

Camera Settings

  1. I begin with my aperture, I love a nice bokeh so I shoot at f2.8, 99.9% of the time. I don’t like to shoot wide open at 1.4 although I have lenses capable of that only because your focus can be slightly off and I prefer a sharper image & I also find details can easily get blown own with an aperture that wide.
  2. I have two rules of thumbs for shutter speed, 1/60th is the minimum speed I shoot handheld and 1/200th if I want to make sure I capture motion shots. Sometimes even 1/200th of a second isn’t fast enough for hair flips so use this as a starting point.
  3. At this point you’re able to adjust your ISO accordingly & don’t be afraid to go up if you need to. I prefer a grainy image than a blurry image.
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Fast Shutter Speed – USS | Photo by Joanna Glezakos 2017 | http://www.vengenza.ca
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Shallow DOF & Fast Shutter – Digital Dreams 2016 | By Joanna Glezakos | http://www.vengenza.ca

Lighting 

  1. Fixed Spot Lights: These are the easiest to work with and will find them in small bars/venues/clubs. When you have fixed lighting you can usually set your exposure after a single test shot and shoot based on when your subject is best lit. This can be frustrating but will teach you about patience, it’s all about waiting for the right moment.
  2. Moving/Colour Changing Spot Lights: You’ll find these lights at most medium to large concert venues, with moving and colour changing lights you’ll find your camera’s light meter jumping all around. In cases like this I would use auto-ISO not to have to worry about my exposure when I’m focusing on the moments and my composition.
  3. LED Lighting: This is relatively new and I’ve only seen it in a few venues but a lot of bands now will even bring their own LED light panels to a show for audio synced lighting effects. It’s really cool but LED’s don’t sync well with your camera’s sensors. LED’s flicker so if your shutter speed is too fast you’ll get stripes across your images.
  4. The dreaded Block Red & Blue Lighting: I don’t know if this is official term but I’ve heard it on some of the photographer groups so I’m gonna use it. This is when all the lights all turn one colour, our camera sensors are particularly very sensitive to red and blue so if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, lower your ISO! You might not be able to correct the colours but you’ll at least get the details of your subject and it can lead to some cool effects.
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Block Red Lighting – Little Dragon | Photo by Joanna Glezakos 2017 | http://www.vengenza.ca
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LED Lighting – Adam Gontier | By Joanna Glezakos 2016| http://www.vengenza.ca

So that’s it! I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. I’d love to know what you think, feel free to leave a comment below or e-mail me at shootme@vengenza.ca

Thanks so much for your time! If you’d like to see more, follow along on my photo adventures on instagram, @VENGENZAFOTOS.

xo jo

 

Concert Recap: 04.25.2017

I was asked to shoot seasoned boy band O-TOWN & new comer Sonny Mackenzi on Tuesday April 25th for FridaeTv. How could I say no? Who wouldn’t want to relive the days of boy bands, spiky hair, choreographed dancing and one of the most inappropriate songs of our generation?

I wanted to know what I was in for. I re-watched the video to their breakthrough hit single “Liquid Dreams” an unhealthy amount of times prior to catching their show in Toronto at The Mod Club so I would be thoroughly prepared to see them live for the first time since their debut 16 years ago.

The show began with Sonny Mackenzi, who’s latest track New Crush has been flooding the radio since last summer. Along with her background dancers, Teresa Jade & Kalyn Hardman, they put on a killer performance and had the crowd riled up for O-TOWN.

Following her performance I had the chance to interview Sonny, Teresa and Kalyn and you can check out the interview along with a few more of the photos on FridaeTv.com.

And of course, the moment we had been so eagerly anticipating, O-TOWN.

It also happened to be Jacob’s birthday and his girlfriend surprised him on stage while the crowd sang him happy birthday, it was quite sweet. The guys are still rockin, they’ve been writing a lot and have new music which they played mostly and only indulged us with a handful of their hits including “Liquid Dreams” and “All or Nothing”. Overall it was a good performance and I’m glad I got to see these guys play at least once. By the way, if you’re wondering, yes, one of the original guys is missing from these photos. Angel left the band a few years ago to pursue personal things, too bad cause he was my favourite.

Thanks for checking them out!

Stay tuned for more show recaps!

xo
jo

9 Bands in 12 Hours – Concert Recap: 04.21.2017

From April 18th to the 23rd, bands, industry reps and concert goers flooded the Toronto core for Canadian Music Week. Although we didn’t receive accreditation for CMW this year I still managed to find myself at three shows on Thursday, April 20th. One, a Strut Entertainment Social Event introducing the wonderfully talented Command Sisters from Alberta. They recently moved to Toronto and as intro to the media performed an acoustic set in a hotel suite in the Sheraton in Toronto.

I then rushed to catch a Women’s Showcase at the new Ildsjel Collective, a studio space on Carlaw in Toronto. It’s a neat open space with tall ceilings and even a garage door that lets in lots of daylight. There’s a bar at the front which is convenient for events and overall a really cool space!  There were a total of 6 performances including Jacelyn Holmes, Caren, Gillian Nicola, Gray, Altered by Mom and The Commoners! (It was a treat running into these guys two weeks in a row, they put on a killer performance, their tunes are catchy and I have a feeling they’re going to go far.) While shooting this show I received approval for the evenings events which was an extra bonus for the day!

It was a pleasure to catch all of these performances, everyone was also really awesome about let me shoot during their whole set but I always try to ensure I’m not disturbing everyone else’s experience. I hate when I’m trying to enjoy a show and there’s a guy or gal with a camera front and centre stage the whole time. (But I digress) Timing couldn’t have been better, The Commoners set finished and I had just enough time to head to The Velvet Underground to catch The New Electric and Courage My Love.

Oddly enough I had seen the guys from The New Electric earlier in the day during The Command Sisters’ performance, they’re part of the Strut Entertainment Family so I wasn’t surprised but it’s always nice to see a familiar face. The show was amazing, I always love seeing bands in smaller venues, their performances are more intimate and I usually get more expressive shots.

Lighting however proved to be VERY challenging on both the dummerss but especially for Phoenix Arn-Horne, the drummer of Courage My Love. I ALWAYS try and take shots of the drummer, why? Because they’re often forgotten. I can’t even count the number of times I have been thanked by a drummer for taking photographs of them! And to be honest it’s not their fault, I find lighting guys either forget the drummers completely or light them like their gods, I’ve never really seen a middle ground (you’ll see what I mean in a later post). If anyone is interested I can get into the difficulty of concert lighting and how to prepare yourself for various types of lighting.

That’s all for now!

Thanks for checking this blog out and please follow for more.

xo
jo

 

36 Exposures from 2016

Although 2016 had a rocky start for me, I decided to focus on what I loved to do.
Last year alone I photographed nearly 30 concerts, 2 outdoor festivals, 3 week long festivals and close to 70 different artists. Music and concert photography are one of the reasons I picked up my camera so I knew if I wanted my drive back I needed to do what I was most passionate about.

When I was trying to narrow down my favourite photos I thought of a roll of film and what I would chose if I only had 36 exposures for the year. Hope you enjoy!

Thanks for looking, I’d love to hear from you guys, feel free to leave a comment or e-mail me at shootme@vengenza.ca

& Stay tuned for more!

xo jo