More lists! This OpenEars 2017 Year End coverage comes from Alisa Malkova, who shot her first show for OE in March of this year (Jesca Hoop). Alisa is an Atlanta-based photographer and videographer born and raised in Siberia. Her passion for music and production has become a focused energy as she grows her craft doing live productions for different companies and artists. (Check out Alisa’s work: http://www.amalkova.com/)
2017 for me was a year of a lot of growth. Mainly the second half of it.
The first half I was still at school studying Political Science, which turned out to be not at all what I wanted to do further in life. But I had to graduate and do it well, so most of my effort in the first half of the year was in school work, though in the mean time I still shot shows and learned how to be a better video editor and DP.
Right after this school year was over and I finally got the degree, I kind of leaned back into more music-related activities. I do a lot of concert photography as well as live streams and broadcasts of events. So I thought I would make an emphasis on those things.
I guess I became a little more mature and now have a clearer picture of what I would like to do. But we are not talking about 2018 goals here, so let’s dive to some of the favorite of 2017.
1) PROMO PHOTOS OF THE BANDS
As much as I love doing concert photography, there is a ton of people out there doing the same thing. I wanted to add a little more flavor to what I do and have some type of exclusivity to offer. Not just to the audience, but to the band first of all – that’s usually who I work for if it’s not for OE.
So, apart from just taking pictures of the live shows, I started doing promo shoots for the bands. It is an absolutely other level of work. It requires a little more preparation and ideas. I don’t always know if I will have a chance to snag a band for a couple of shots, but if I do, I try to make the setup work.
Here are a couple of my favorite promo photos taken this month:
2) BEHIND THE SCENES PHOTOS AND VIDEOS
Honestly, I often get bored doing just one thing for a long enough time. Part of it is why I started doing behind the scenes videos with the bands as well as music videos.
I come from a live event environment and work quite a bit on the video side of the big live shows. So at a certain moment I thought I could also do some of this on my own. Not stream live events, but offer some behind the scenes experience to the bands and the audience. It’s just the beginning of this whole thing, but hey, it is definitely fun to work on! So far I have a couple of the videos available publicly and am working on about 3 or 4 more meanwhile. Here is something my friend Chris (who I often work in tandem with nowadays) and I shot for CLAVVS in the beginning of December:
3) MUSIC VIDEOS
Apart from behind the scenes, music videos is another thing to do. It’s a lot of fun, but it can be challenging at times. Last month Chris and I as well as our friend Ashton Garner filmed a music video for Carly Burruss, an aspiring country artist. This is the first official music video we produced, but we are working on lining up some more in the future.
This year was also special because I got to work with some dope bands such as Imagine Dragons.
They had a show in Atlanta in November and I was honored to cover it for OE. It definitely was an amazing experience! I met a lot of awesome people on that shoot and we are still working together on different projects today.
Another thing that was interesting about this particular show is that I made it a challenge. You would think a person has to be prepared for a show like that and bring at least the standard kit of a wide angle, telephoto, and prime, but I rolled with just one lens. Not because I couldn’t rent other lenses, but because I thought it would be nice to see what can be done with just one lens. It went well for sure and that’s when I figured that a 24-70 is a perfect lens for pretty much anything you ever need to shoot at the show or at a promo shoot.
Okay, this one was a little bit of craziness. The show was actually in Chicago. And I live in Atlanta. I did not get confirmed until the morning on the day of the show. I had a quick mini panic attack because I was still in Atlanta. But you can’t miss opportunities, so I called a friend (Chris, who I mentioned earlier and who is now working with OE too) and asked if he wanted to come along. Together we grabbed the gear and flew out of Atlanta a couple of hours later. We would fly back to Atlanta the same night.
The show itself was a lot of fun and I made a lot of friends at the venue. It actually is interesting traveling to other places for shows like that. Will do it more often in 2018.
This was one of the first bigger bands I worked with this past year. And this was also the first time I shot a show at the Tabernacle. Absolutely loved it. The show was amazing, and the lights were on point (which is very important and you start to actually value it once you shoot a ton at small poorly lit venues). This show was special because a lot of my friends from church were attending. So literally wherever I went there was someone yelling my name and waving at me. Felt famous for a second.
Also, this is one of those shows that I rate the highest image quality-wise just because I liked pretty much every single photo from the night. Hope you enjoy those too:
This was something special for sure. Got confirmed last minute, but what a show! It is something so different from a regular show that you are just in the moment all the time. If you have never heard of Lindsey Stirling – she plays the violin and dances. Her shows are usually a lot of effects and lights. All of it looks so great that you really should just go and see a show.
One of my favorite things about this show is that I found good friends among photographers and band players. Friendship matters a lot for me, because good friends are hard to find, so I am very glad I got to work on this show for sure!
There, of course, were a lot more great moments in this year, but these are the highlights. Hope you enjoy!