Odd Future Vs. Photographers

There is a lot of buzz on the internet right now about how Left Brain from Odd Future Wolf Gang Kill Them All attacked a female photographer during their show at Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans on Sunday.  I was there in the photo pit and I happened to be standing right next to the woman who supposedly got slapped in the face. Her story is bullshit.

Odd Future has a reputation for fucking up photographers. At SXSW they ran across the photo pit stepping on the heads and cameras of many a photo blogger. I have never seen them but I was well aware of their reputation. When I got to the photo pit at Voodoo I was pretty excited about the madness that would be happening. After Tyler the Creator told all the photographers that he fucking hated them for taking up space that should belong to fans I got excited. I was ready to see what kinda violence Odd Future was willing to dish out. I wanted to know if their shows were as wild as I had heard.

Two minutes later Hodgy Beats took a bottle of water and swung it at me covering my camera and I with water. Photographers on either side of me got a litte bit wet and a lot of people backed the fuck up. Personally I just wiped the water of my camera and face and started shooting again. When I wasn’t taking a shot I was just smiling like a crazy person at them ready for whatever the fuck was next.

What happened next was what made news. Left Brain came out to the front of the stage and swatted at the cameras below him. He slapped the guy to the left of me. It was pretty hard and kinda fucked up but I didn’t expect anything less. Rock and roll should be dangerous and Odd Future is doing that right. Moments later Left Brain slapped another camera, this time it was a camera belonging to a woman. She almost dropped it but caught the strap and was perfectly fine  just clearly shaken by the experience. He then came towards me but I think he probably saw that I was looking at him like a crazy person and decided to kick over the video tripod that Voodoo had set up. There was not a camera on it.

The the reason Left Brain targeted the photographers he did was because they were in slapping distance and nothing else. This woman is claiming that he slapped her across the face and targeted her because she is a woman. That is complete bullshit. She got targeted because she decided to shoot a crazy fucking band and was not ready to deal with that. Any serious pro photographer has all their gear insured and while getting your shit broken is not ideal, when you are shooting dangerous subjects it is a risk you have to take.

Personally I live to get the shot that no one else has. I am the guy who takes his camera in the mosh pit to get the shot.  At a festival like Voodoo every photographer takes the same fucking photos because we are all in the same pit for the same three songs with the same lighting. It’s so fucking pointless. At Lollapalooza I was the only photographer that had up close shots of Crystal Castles because I shoved my way to the front of the mosh pit and got the shot. Having a band like Odd Future trying to fuck up photographers will scare people off and only the photographers who take the risk will get the shot and I love that.

After the photographers got kicked out of the pit I got in the crowd and made my way to the front. I knew Odd Future was going to get in the audience and some point and I wanted that shot because no one would have it. I also wanted to make it clear to the band that I would not be scared away. Not that they give a shit but it’s a personal thing.  I got to the front of the barrier and Tyler the Creator jumped into the crowd. I got some fun shots of him and I got a text from my client saying they needed something so I needed to get out of the crowd.  The night before I had crowd surfed out of the Girl Talk show so I figured maybe I could get someone to lift me up and push me over the barricade where I could cut though the VIP area back to my client. But as soon as I got picked up by the crowd they started moving me away from the stage because they saw I was taking pictures while crowd surfing. Everyone started flicking me off because I was the photographer so I started flicking them off. Eventually I got turned around towards the stage so I gave Odd Future the middle finger all while shooting photos.  Left Brain saw me from stage and pointed me out to everyone. I think he said something like “Look at that photographer in the mosh pit!” All I know is that when I finally got down people were high-fiving me and flicking me off at the same time. It was a lot of fun.

After the show I walked through the artist area to piss and on the way back from the bathroom I saw Left Brain and he started pointing at me from about 20 feet away. I wasn’t sure if when I got to him he was going to try to fight me or what but when I got over to him he said something like “You are that crowd surfing photographer! I was just talking about you.” We shook hands and I told him how much I loved the punk rockness of their set.

I need to wrap this up as this post is getting really long but I want to make it very clear that the woman who claims she was slapped in the face was not slapped in the face. I also think that if you are worried about getting hurt or breaking your equipment you should go shoot safe sedate bands that stand around playing their guitars making it real easy for you and 200 other photographers to get the same damn shot of them. And if the photographers who are up in arms about this want to get pissed off at an artist get pissed off at performers that make you shoot from the sound board or artists like Britney Spears and the Foo Fighters who try to and force photographers to sign contracts saying they own the photographers images. Those are the bands really fucking up photographers… not a group like Odd Future.

Now that my rant is over, click here to see all my shots of Odd Future from Voodoo Music Experience in New Orleans, LA, including the shots of me crowd surfing and taking photos at the same time.

UPDATE: In the 30 minutes this post has been up two people have commented on the bland of these photos after I “bragged” about getting shots no one else gets. They have a point. These photos are pretty mediocre and other than the shots of Tyler in the crowd pretty much the same as any other photographer who covered this event has. I know I am going to make a lot of photographer enemies if this post gets out there so I just wanted to point out that I don’t think these photos are anything special. I also want to point out that you are a bitch. Thanks.

Left Brain Of Odd Future @ Voodoo Music Fest

Tyler The Creator Of Odd Future @ Voodoo Music Fest

Hodgy Beats Of Odd Future @ Voodoo Music Fest

Odd Future @ Voodoo Music Fest

Tyler The Creator Of Odd Future @ Voodoo Music Fest

Odd Future @ Voodoo Music Fest

Left Brain Of Odd Future @ Voodoo Music Fest

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Comments (57)

Comments

  1. ryan
    November 1st, 2011 | 12:25 am

    your photos suck for someone who talks so much about getting good shots no one else gets.

  2. November 1st, 2011 | 12:29 am

    Touche.

  3. James
    November 1st, 2011 | 1:07 am

    For someone who talks so hard about getting photos that no one else is getting, you have some pretty standard looking photos.

    You say photographers should be insured and prepared for damaged gear? Why the hell should she or any other photographer have to worry about having their gear or own bodies damaged when covering a band? People should have a reasonable expectation to attend a show without having their safety put at risk.

    All in all, this blog was pretty much pointless and completely unprofessional. You could have refuted her claims very easily without having to brag about your supposed unique images, and you also could have done so without having to write a typo-filled and grammatically shoddy diatribe.

    Driven by Boredom is right. These photos are plain boredom.

  4. November 1st, 2011 | 1:17 am

    Clearly you are new to this site because the idea that I would do anything without having to write a typo-filled and grammatically shoddy diatribe is pretty unlikely.

    People should have a reasonable expectation of attending a show without having to put their safety at risk if they want to go see safe shows. Odd Future is not a safe show.

  5. November 1st, 2011 | 2:23 am

    Agree with Igor. It’s like going to shoot ICP or GWAR and getting pissed when you get covered in Faygo / fake blood / fake jizz. If you don’t like how a band acts, don’t shoot them. Nobody is forcing you to cover these events.

    Also, if you’re a working photographer who doesn’t insure your gear you either have a shit rig or you’re an idiot. As far as damage to your body goes, we’re not talking about disfigurement here. Nobody who attends a concert thinks much of getting a stray elbow to the face, and they paid to be there. We get to go to all these shows for free, hang out with the artists, and get paid (sometimes) on top of it. If you hate it so much, go shoot weddings.. they pay a lot more I hear.

  6. November 1st, 2011 | 3:16 am

    This is why I like what you guys do Jake…

  7. Joe the plumber
    November 1st, 2011 | 3:26 am

    no but for real you are a huge douche bag.

  8. Ken Settle
    November 1st, 2011 | 4:03 am

    Ken Settle Photos
    Your comment is awaiting moderation.
    November 1st, 2011 | 3:28 am
    Listen..In over thirty years of shooting music professionally , based in Detroit, I have shot more artists of ALL types TWICE than you will ever dream of shooting, including Iggy in his heyday, G.G. Allen, Black Flag, Motorhead etc., and I never expect that I will be assaulted in the commission of my job. The fact that you are not enraged at a group of professionals (well….most of them), being targeted by piss-ant little fucks hiding behind the threat of a security team is very curious. That you fancy yourself a photographer, and this does not offend you on a personal level, I believe, reveals the truly surface, and transitory nature of you and your photography “Career.” Your photos are NOT of professional caliber, suitable for top-tier print media. And they do not even capture the essence of this group as well as others who ceased shooting when escorted out. There is usually an unspoken pact that despite the madness that may be occurring between the artist and the audience, that professional photographers are there to chronicle it and not be the victim or target of it. When that line is crossed and that pact breached, a very dangerous, adversarial situation has been cultivated, which no one benefits from. I have enjoyed a working relationship with the principles of MSO, the publicists for this event, going back to when the company was Levine-Schneider PR. Since as a photographer, and journalist, you chose to ignore to adhere to the photo policies as set forth by MSO and the artists themselves, I plan on sharing this blog, complete with you surreptitiously captured photos, to MSO account executive, Marcee Rondan. Perhaps MSO will not be so welcoming to you next year.

    Lotsa Luck,
    Ken Settle
    Ken Settle Photos

    PS—Gee, seems my post disappeared off the page. Try again! To Jake–It is clear that you are not a professional because you articulate your stance that “We GET to go to these shows for free.” The point is lost on you that photographers are there to chronicle the moment in a forum of the media that benefits the artist. If we get an elbow to the face in the commission of our job, that is one thing, but to be TARGETED by the artists themselves, is a whole ‘nother matter. Let’s see if my post stays up this time.

  9. Ken Settle
    November 1st, 2011 | 4:07 am

    I really like that my post is awaiting moderation.. What does that mean, that Nate is sitting there trying to decide if he wants what I;ve written on his blog. Well….so much for “Dangerous” right!

  10. November 1st, 2011 | 4:27 am

    The only time I don’t approve comments is when they are Spam or when they are talking shit about someone in the photos who was kind enough to let me shoot them. In this case you are just talking shit about me, so I will of course approve your comments. You just gotta give me a second….

    I’ve shot Motorhead a few times and it’s GG Allin, not Allen and I am very jealous of you getting to shoot both him and Black Flag. All three of those bands are three of my favorite bands of all time. So that is awesome.

    Share my blog with whomever you like. I wrote it so people can read it…

    Thanks.

  11. Ken Settle
    November 1st, 2011 | 4:41 am

    REAL shit is when Iggy got knocked unconscious by the Detroit biker club, The Scorpions, at a February, 1974 Wayne, Michigan gig, and his blood stained the dance floor of The Rock’n’ Roll Farm for a week before someone got around to cleaning it up. Served as a great conversation piece for the Scorpions since The Farm was their hangout. Iggy challenged the bikers to come to his show that weekend at Detroit’s Michigan Palace. Iggy’s plan was that he would hire the Scorps rival biker gang, I believe they were called God’s Children, as security. Well both gangs showed up, and they, and a good portion of the audience turned on The Stooges. The product of that was Metallic K.O. Punk was born that night. The rest of these assholes are light weight compared to that. In any case, the drama was not manufactured and aimed at photographers as a PR move. The bikers, The Stooges and the audience were just fuckin’ nuts and if a photog happened to catch a bottle of Jack upside the head, that’s the breaks. AIM the bottle at me though, Motherfucker, and you better hope it knocks me out!

  12. November 1st, 2011 | 4:44 am

    Ken Settle, I know who you are. We shot MI Fest with you a few months back. Besides being 30 years older than everyone else and wearing one of those dorky-ass press photographer get-ups, I remember you because you were a massive douchebag who stood above all the other photographers on a fucking step-stool and for some reason felt the need to shoot every fucking song of every fucking band. How many photos did you get, like 15,000? The other photographers there were all laughing at you because you were the epitome of every egotistical dickhead old-timer we’ve ever had to deal with.

    Pardon us for enjoying what we do. We make a living the same as you, we just get to have fun while we’re doing it. We’re all full-time journalists/photographers and we’ve all had work in national publications.. it’s not that fucking hard. However, while you’re busy cultivating these “working relationships” with PR dweebs, we’re publishing our own content, selling our own ads, and having fun. Honestly, I feel sorry for you that you’ve turned what should be an extremely enjoyable job into a chore.

    Also, Spin called our guy for MI Fest photos first but he missed the call haha. Score for you on that one I guess!

  13. November 1st, 2011 | 4:47 am

    See.. that story is amazing. I would risk injury and my equipment to get those shots as it seems you did.
    I would never tell you not to go after someone who tried to hurt you as well. Fun rock and roll should be a damn war zone.

    And last time I got hit with a bottle it did knock me out. I jumped up ready to fight someone and the brawl had moved 50 yards away…

  14. November 1st, 2011 | 4:48 am

    Come to Gathering of the Juggalos next year, bitch.

  15. November 1st, 2011 | 8:42 am

    Once again, Igor stirring shit up. Lol

  16. Ken Settle Photos
    November 1st, 2011 | 8:51 am

    Jake,
    The dorkey ass vest that you refer to was a Kodak sponsor photo ID vest normally issued to photographers shooting the races at M.I.S. For the MI Fest., the vest was issued to me, and just a few other photographers ( by the PR Firm handling the event) who were granted permission to shoot the entire show and to have onstage access, thus the vest indicated to security who was permitted this extended access. I guess this is why you were not familiar with the dorky ass vest, and assumed it was something I CHOSE to wear. I do agree it was dorky, however, but it was required that I wear it so that I could shoot “every fucking song of every fucking band, ” unencumbered by questions as to why I am shooting beyond the third song. I was shooting for, and being paid a day rate simultaneously, by Spin Magazine, Guitar Player Magazine, Premier Guitar Magazine, Player Magazine in Japan., as well as one of the bands themselves. Therefore, it was determined that THE BANDS, the international magazines, and the publicists WANTED me to shoot their full sets. Additionally, Jack White’s personal manager invited me and one other photographer to shoot The Raconteurs from the stage itself. Gee….neither he or Jack White laughed at me! Yeah, the step stool is a pain in the ass, and it too looks dorkey, but it is an indispensible tool when shooting stages as high as the main stage at MI. Fest. if you are going to get tight shots without monitors in the shot. You are mistaken though that I was the only photographer with a stool. I personally know three other shooters who brought stools, and it seems that every time I got off of mine for a second, some other shooter that I didn’t even know, jumped up on mine. Guess it wasn’t too bad of an idea.

    Who is the “we” that you repeatedly refer to? “We were all laughing at you; “Old timers that ‘We’” have had to deal with. Were you there with an entourage? No one had to “deal” with me at all. I was there to do my job and there was no one confronting or “dealing” with me whatsoever. I can assure you that if there were, the outcome of my shoot would have been EXACTLY the same, and I would have fulfilled my assignments in EXACTLY the same manner. I have no problems “dealing” with whatever obstacles may confront me in whatever means may be necessary. If an individual is creating an adversarial situation, or making it hard to do my job, I ALWAYS first ask band or venue security, whom I make a habit of knowing, to please rectify the situation. However, I never leave the house without the proper tools needed to deal with whatever situations may arise.

    Did you speak to me at this shoot? If you did, you would have learned that I am an extremely nice man, and have always been extraordinarily respectful to every other photographer that I come in contact with. If indeed you know any of the regular shooters in Detroit, they would tell you the same thing. If you, or the nebulous, collective, “we” that you refer to were laughing at me, it is of absolutely no consequence to me. It reflects on you and your own character far more than it reflects upon me. Age is the result and the consequence of living. Nothing you or I can do about it. I don’t know how long you’ve been shooting, but I hope that as you collect a few years, you value the experience that hopefully you’ve gained, and continue to find worth in the talent and legacy that you’ve created for yourself. I shot my first show in 1971 at Cobo Arena in Detroit and have been lucky to have a lifelong, successful career doing what I love and know best, despite its frustrations and challenges. I have been blessed and fortunate enough to create a body of work that will continue to generate stock sales for years to come, and have been lucky to have been afforded the opportunity for my work to generate revenue for the charities that I have donated my work to, such as Jim Marshall and Amelia Davis’ Rock For MS annual photography auctions in San Francisco.

    It is a shame that you choose to use very childish name-calling (a massive douchebag!!! Pu-leeeze!) when you don’t know a damn thing about me, and presumably have never spoken with me. I am confident in my work and passionate about it, but NO ONE that knows me would EVER call me egotistical.

    And yes, rest assured, that if I get a call to go shoot Gathering Of The Juggalos next year, or the year after, or the year after that, that I WILL be there to do the job. And if it is determined that I am to shoot “every fucking song, of every fucking band” that I will be there, with ALL of my equipment to do just that. Even if it is required that I use the step stool and wear a dorky vest. And ultimately it would be cool if we could shelve the hostilities that this topic seems to inflame in all three of us, and have a beer and talk about our common ground instead of our points of divergence. In any case, I will look forward to seeing you there.

    All the best,
    Ken Settle

  17. Ken Settle Photos
    November 1st, 2011 | 10:35 am

    Jake Sebastian,
    I found your profile and a photo of you on the internet. I don’t specifically remember meeting you at MI. Fest., however, I do recall talking with a fellow who looked a lot like your photo in front of the stage before The Raconteurs. This particular guy didn’t feel he could get a good angle from his position without the stool as the wall of monitors was blocking his sight line. Being the “Massive Douchebag Dickhead” that I am, I gave this guy the spot I was in, and moved further down stage right, as I knew that I could get the shot over the monitors with the added height I had with the stool. Was that you? If so, it is really douchey to turn around and call me all of those silly names. Is “your guy” that you were referring to that Spin contacted, Royal Oak’s own Joe Gall? I know Joe pretty good. Ask him sometime how big of a douche I am. Why, we get on splendidly! Finally, are you from Detroit? Ferndale perhaps? Nice piece you wrote on Ferndale. I get there quite often.If you are in the Detroit area and see me at a show (I am at most of them), why don’t you come up and introduce yourself? I’ll be the guy who is a bit older than everyone else (not thirty years though, unless a bunch of grade schoolers are shooting haha), likely with a stepstool. It is always so much nicer to meet someone in person and talk in person. If I don’t get to see you at any shows prior to the next Gathering Of The Juggalos, I will plan on getting set up to shoot that one so that we can finally get to meet.

    best wishes,
    Ken Settle

  18. Ken Settle Photos
    November 1st, 2011 | 10:51 am

    And oh yes….please note that I shot on assignment FOR Spin. They did not purchase the images as stock. The day rate/assignment fee and rights were all hammered out ahead of time. So you kinda make it sound like they called your guy after the fact. Kinda weird sense they already contracted me for the shoot and were very pleased with the results and arranged the financial deal. Oh well..sent you a FB friend request anyway. Maybe I’ll see you next time I shoot a show in L.A., or visit some of my friends out there! Best of luck with your site

  19. jason
    November 1st, 2011 | 11:26 am

    the pics were great/decent. you could easily have edited them but i like the fact that they look straight from the camera. it shows you’re not really messing with settings, especially while crowd surfing. i like that the photos and style are raw, and the blog post about the whole thing.

    it seems to me like you weren’t “bragging” about how Left Brain gave you a handshake and some appreciation, but rather, you were trying to show that he’s actually not a bad guy off-stage and doesn’t genuinely reserve a deep hatred for the people who decide to pick up the hobby/profession of photography. rather than him being mean-spirited, the swatting at photographers is part of the game. to me, that sounds like a fuckton of fun, and i’d be proud if i had the same results as you did.

    if that girl’s complaining and making up shit, then fuck her, and if you’re the only one refuting what she’s sayin, then you got to set the record straight. your work isn’t just pics, it’s the re-cap too.

    but jake, don’t knock on stools. it’s tough when you’re short! but yeah, standing in one spot for an entire set or entire night is pretty faggy.

  20. ziggy mcpherson
    November 1st, 2011 | 12:13 pm

    i really wouldn’t say it’s any kind of a point that “rock and roll should be dangerous”. that’s not to say a band with lots of bravado and an aggressive attitude can’t be fun. but odd future isn’t one of those bands, they’re just assholes – or so it seems from their actions here.

    best,
    ziggy

  21. RockTog
    November 1st, 2011 | 12:37 pm

    You are a fucking idiot.

    Shows can get crazy, and this is part of the fun of being a photographer. Being struck by the band deliberately, whether you are targeted as a woman or not is not acceptable, and never should be.

    Amy Harris is also an idiot. Were it me, I would have had the police there immediately and had him arrested before he even finished the set. It’s great that they have “a reputation for fucking up photographers,” but there are lines you do not cross.

    Now, because of this incident, they’re receiving press all over the place, and have yet to see any negative repercussions. Her failure to pursue legal options sends a message to the band that this is something they can get away with.

  22. November 1st, 2011 | 1:14 pm

    Thanks Jason… And RockTog get a life.

  23. Ashton PItre
    November 1st, 2011 | 3:27 pm

    This, sir, was a great post. Thank you for the photos, and the truth. (I was front row, saw everything as well).
    The industry your in needs more people like you.

  24. November 1st, 2011 | 3:35 pm

    Thanks Ashton. Glad a few people are on my side…

  25. SnowRock
    November 1st, 2011 | 5:27 pm

    It is kind of sad that you think this half talented, pre-fabricated, glorified group of minstrels’ act is “punk.” This is manufactured BS by a group that needs shtick to generate any buzz.

  26. November 1st, 2011 | 6:18 pm

    I agree with Igor and I believe what he’s saying is true. Now, if I was shooting Odd Future’s set and I actually got slapped in the face, I sure as hell wouldn’t assume it was because I’m female, I would just assume it was because I wasn’t paying enough attention. I’d like to hear one photographer that was in that pit with you, Igor, and honestly say they didn’t know that group’s reputation with fucking with photographers. If you’re in this business you have to expect having close calls, and you definitely will experience something like getting hit in the back of the head with a beer bottle at least once. I enjoy the challenge and adrenaline of shooting concerts and festivals. If I had the opportunity to shoot Odd Future I would do it in a heart beat.

    Ken, I was shooting at MI Fest for offthegrid.fm, not Jake, and I happen to recall having to constantly walk over your monstrous bag of equipment, as well as your little step stool in order to navigate the photo pit. Not only that, but it almost seemed as if you couldn’t help but block half of my shots with the top of your head, no matter how many times I tried to move out of your way. I’m going to assume you weren’t doing this purposely, but myself and a handful of other photographers at that event shared the same complaints and agreed with me that you weren’t being considerate to others doing the same job you were.

    Sure, we weren’t shooting for Spin, or Guitar Player, or whatever publication you deem worthy of name dropping, but what does it matter? I learned very quickly that most music photographers follow a sort of code of conduct with each other by simply looking out for each other and being respectful, however, others will view it as a competition. Igor is a good example of the former. I shot at Gathering without knowing any other photographers and he was nice enough to chat with me and give me tips on navigating the festival. I never got the impression that he resented me for being there or for taking up space in the photo pit. You, on the other hand, paid no attention or respect to those around you.

    I can see why people that don’t ‘know you’ would call you egotistical. After naming a handful of popular bands you’ve shot for a handful of magazines that have printed your work, I can understand why people would make that assumption. I’m sure you’re a nice guy like you say you are, but I just wanted to let you know that you didn’t give off that impression to myself and many others photographers I had the pleasure of meeting at MI Fest. Please keep this in mind when you’re shooting future events.

  27. November 1st, 2011 | 6:23 pm

    Igor, I’m new to your site and I really appreciate the content you cover because I find it very entertaining. It is intended to be “punk rock” and I believe that you display that style of photography very well. Professionals (ahem… and *cough* old people) won’t get it and they should just stick to what they’re used to covering instead of trying to talk shit. Every photographer has a certain style that they go for. I think your argument would be invalid if you try to tell someone, I mean anyone, how to shoot a fucking photo. I do agree that it was fucked up that the girl got “slapped” but again, it was a “punk rock” event and it is to be expected that things will get rowdy. Did I read that photographers were warned of the band not being fond of cameras? I mean, taking risks as a photographer should be the number one factor if you want to get the good shots at an extreme event.
    I remember when I attempted to take pictures of glassJAw about a year ago at EMOS in ATX. You would think that this would be an easy task because its glassJAw and they are fucking chill. Fuck no! I got squashed, punched, shoved etc. I was pissed because I didn’t get any decent shots. The people and the band didn’t care if I was taking photos. I had to expect it because it was “punk rock” and everyone was going to get into it.
    Honestly Igor, you and your site have inspired me to invest in a real camera and go out shooting myself. Be on the lookout for me. Keep it up! Peace!

  28. November 1st, 2011 | 7:10 pm

    Thanks Scares. I don’t think they warned anyone about the dangers of Odd Future but after they started saying shit about photogs and throwing water everyone backed up except for a few of us. Theres a video of it on Vimeo and you can see that only Amy and I are really close to the stage before she got slapped.

    Thanks for the comments.

  29. November 1st, 2011 | 10:17 pm

    Been reading up on this from both sides and I think you are on the wrong side of this argument. To give O.F. any cred for being such belligerent, arrogant, misinformed and dishonest (saying they didn’t slap anyone) little pricks is counterproductive to music photography gaining any ground as a respected profession. I care less about the particulars of ‘what is a slap’ and ‘was it because it was a lady’ than the larger issue of inciting and perpetrating violence on photographers. They shouldn’t have slapped ANYONE, female or male. O.F. are playing the entire media system like fools and we spoon it up by the bucket full. I would suggest if you want danger and ‘edge’ in a shooting situation, you might put your money where your mouth is and ask the Village Voice to embed you on the front lines of Afghanistan. SWAG.

  30. November 1st, 2011 | 10:28 pm

    They admitted to slapping cameras. They didn’t slap any people.

    And I don’t really want to go to Afghanistan but if we come up with a war in a little nicer climate where they speak English let me know and Ill try to get out there.

    Fuck Swag.

  31. Ken Settle Photos
    November 1st, 2011 | 10:30 pm

    Mary,
    I apologize if I inadvertently got in the way of any of your shots. Rest assured that it was not intentional. It is regrettable that you came away from ONE SHOOT with that impression of me. It is a shame that you, Jake and the others who were with you (I’m ASSUMING Jake was with you. Perhaps he wrote his bile-filled rant about me without even BEING at the show) chose to laugh at and make jokes about my “dorky vest” while being unaware that I HAD to wear the vest issued me by the festival to be able to shoot the extra access that I was entrusted with for the clients that I was shooting for. Instead, you and your friends apparently found it more appropriate to make assumptions and jokes, unaware of the facts at hand. It is also a shame that you were unaware of the many other photographers that I ALLOWED to use my foot stool to be of help to them as the stage was so high. How could you and the other individuals who had enough time to be so critical of me (without having the decency to have even a conversation with me), not notice this fact? Or the fact that I sacrificed a better vantage point during The Raconteurs set so that another shooter without something to stand on could have a chance at getting a shot. Let us make clear to the readers here that the main stage was over SEVEN FEET HIGH!! If one did not have the foresight to bring something to stand on, it would be very difficult to get a clean shot.You also are not making clear to the readers here, that on the second stage at this festival, my “monstrous bag” (a bag that is JUST big enough to carry two 5D MK IIs, 16-35, 24-70, 70-200, 50 1.2, and 85 1.2 lenses– a pretty basic kit) was tucked away between the stage and the in pit front fill speakers so that it WOULD NOT be in any other photographers way. How did you miss this? I recall running in to the second stage pit just prior to one of the performers sets, and putting my bag down where I stood until I had the opportunity to move it back by the stage and in pit front fill speakers. If you were tripping over my bag, it was when you were shooting BETWEEN THE FRONT FILL SPEAKERS BY THE STAGE, not the pit proper. Where else would I be able to put my bag and have it out of the other photographers way? If that were YOUR bag of equipment that you were working from, where would YOU have left it? I believe that that place I chose to leave my bag was the least obtrusive place for it to be.

    Why aren’t you mentioning the several other photographers at that show who insisted on shooting with their backpacks on or their shoulder bags hanging off of their shoulders, constantly jostling into others around them? Or those who continually “lifted” their camera over their heads blocking others photos. Why did you not mention the fellow in the pit for the Raconteurs set who had a D-SLR set to video ON THE END OF A MONOPOD HELD AT FULL 6 FOOT EXTENSION WITHOUT REGARD TO WHOSE SHOT HE WAS BLOCKING!!!!!??????

    If you are going to paint an accurate portrait of the shooting circumstances at MI. Fest, you also have to tell the readers here that the main stage pit was on a huge ground slant, with several 4×8 sheets of plywood thrown on the ground and continually bouncing up and down. You also need to mention that for Sheryl Crow’s set, and The Raconteurs set, the festival organizers let over 100 VIP fans into the pit with credentialed photographers, thus creating a very over crowded, volatile situation. I find it nearly impossible to believe that my camera bag pressed against the main stage or the fact that I was standing on a step stool encumbered your shooting tantamount to the hordes of non photographers drinking and dancing in the pit for the two headline artists.

    You and Jake seem to feel that it is strange that I would bring a stool to shoot over high stages. Many other photogs do the same thing in Detroit, L.A. and other major markets at shows that have high stages. In fact, many shooters in L.A. carry their gear in hard cases so that they always have something to stand on to afford a higher angle.

    If you re-read Jake’s rant about me, you will see that HE was the one who initially mentioned that I was shooting MI. Fest for Spin. If I am to intelligently address his diatribe, I need to name the entities that I was shooting for since Jake chose to lay that ground work. It had nothing to do with egotistical name-dropping as you incorrectly assumed. In addition, my only observation about Jake in my initial comment, was that it was not professional to approach shooting a show with the feeling that the photographer “gets to attend the show for free.” A statement that I stand by. It is he who took that ball, ran with it and chose to attempt to assail everything about me from my age to criticizing and second guessing how and what I do at a shoot. As far as me mentioning the bands that I have shot, if you re-read my first post, you will see that it is in the context of rough, or hard core artists that I’d shot in the past, and given that, I would not expect to be “targeted” by the artist as was the case with Odd Future. I have no idea why you did not recognize that context and instead, assumed that it was a statement propelled by ego.

    In all the years that I have been shooting, I have always been as mindful as I could be about other photographers shooting. I have been helpful and courteous, sharing business contacts and many times fielding technical questions from others and even in the film days, loading one young guys camera who did not know how to load it. BUT…I am also mindful of doing a good job for who I am assigned to shoot for. In the pit we are continually dealing with others that are in our way. It is just the way things are in a crowded situation with little time to do our jobs. If I move to be out of one photographers way, I end up in a different photographers way. If I am too mindful of staying out of everyone else’s way,, I end up not doing a good job for MY clients. It is an interesting paradox that you kind of “lectured” to me about photo courtesy, yet at the same time you feel that a photographer covering a show should “expect” close calls and getting a beer bottle in the back of the head “at least once.” Given that, it is rather amusing to think of another photographer’s “monstrous” camera bag, or step stool being that much of an issue!”

    In closing, I wish you much luck with your career and your future photographic endeavors.

    Ken Settle

  32. crista rock
    November 1st, 2011 | 11:41 pm

    Your a complete fucking idiot!

  33. November 1st, 2011 | 11:48 pm

    Now Crista, I can’t spell for shit and my site is full of spelling and gramatical errors and tons and tons of typos, but if you are going to call someone a fucking idiot you should at least double check the your/you’re thing… That’s just embarrassing.

  34. drewberto
    November 2nd, 2011 | 12:58 am

    this has gone on long enough!! this is what happens when your posts don’t have beautiful nude women!

  35. November 2nd, 2011 | 12:59 am

    Hahaha. Next week….

  36. November 2nd, 2011 | 4:01 am

    Hey, you made the news on Rolling Stone, props.

    As for the people feeling bad for the chick who supposedly got ‘slapped’… guaranteed that all the photographers/journalists in that area are big timers, they know the routine, that’s why they’re shooting OFWGKTA at a huge festival and not some indie band that no one has ever heard of. She knew this was a risk.

    It reeks of ‘OMG I GOT SLAPPED BY A MAJOR LABEL ARTIST – LAWSUIT TIME’. We get it, you want more money for taking shitty photos of a band you don’t even like! Sucks to be you, Paparazzi folks.

  37. Cas
    November 2nd, 2011 | 5:49 am

    In response to: “The the reason Left Brain targeted the photographers he did was because they were in slapping distance and nothing else.”

    If per the group’s personal belief for the fans getting access to the front of the stage, they would have been “within slapping distance” as you say. Would it have been okay, then, for them to instead swat fans simply because they were in “that distance”? Dude, worst logic ever. It is never alright for someone to inflict violence upon someone for no reason whatsoever. Especially just because they’re “in slapping distance.” These photographers are just doing their jobs, as you are. They’re not causing trouble. They clear out after the allotted time, as requested.

    And what’s the big issue anyway? If they hate photographers this much… have their management or publicist not allow them, period. Wow, what a simple and perfectly resolving idea.

  38. November 2nd, 2011 | 6:36 am

    Yes. That is what I am saying. I enjoy a violent show. A slap is not going to cause any serious injury. It’s just rock and roll…

  39. Jeff
    November 2nd, 2011 | 6:42 am

    Ken Settle,

    I don’t know you or your work, so all I can glean from this thread is that you are an arrogant, pompous, name dropping, and most importantly, an insecure prick. If you were half the pro you claim to be you shouldn’t be trying so hard to be the head pig wrestling in this shit.

    What has gotten lost here, after this thread got hijacked by the Ken Settle show is that the girl lied about getting slapped in the face. I for one think the work has to start with integrity, and that it shows in the work. If you don’t have it, then you don’t deserve to be there documenting things for the rest of us.

    The more interesting questions here are: Does Odd Future Have the right to treat photographers the way they do? And clearly knowing the deal going in, how loudly can the photographers complain?

  40. SnowRock
    November 2nd, 2011 | 9:14 am

    Please stop comparing that terrible act to Rock and Roll or Punk. Its manufactured violence and not even original. They suck. To pretend these minstrels are somehow authentic and the “violence” is anything more than a stunt is laughable. They hate photographers so much? They hate the pit so much because their fans cant get access to the stage? Seems like there are plenty of ways to get around those issues. As in 1) having their management prohibit photography and 2) not playing festivals where you know there will be said photo pit.

  41. hahaha
    November 2nd, 2011 | 2:54 pm

    i love reading this and seeing peoples ignorance and pompous ass comments. While not everything said in the blog is right, the part about it being an odd future show is. If you’re not ready to get pushed around and in close quarters with the artists and the crowd…then don’t fucking go. Its that simple. If that bitch wasn’t ready for a show thats a little more intimate, thats her problem. Its one thing to say he slapped the camera. its another story altogether when you MAKE UP the fact that he slapped a person. Exaggeration is killing the world.

  42. November 2nd, 2011 | 4:13 pm

    This is what appears to be true:

    Left Brain violently and aggressively slapped Amy Harris’ camera while it was pressed up to her face. There is legal precedent that this is equivalent to striking someone in the face. It does not matter if happened to a woman or a man. It’s unprovoked assault.

    There was NO ‘warning’ for the photo pit to clear, unless cursing unintelligibly and throwing water bottles count as communication.

    The band and their representatives (The Windish Agency) completely lied about the incident and distorted the facts more than any other party in this argument. Either they are just scumbags or are aware that they crossed a legal line and are downplaying the incident to protect their interest, which is making them look even worse.

    It is also an entirely moot point to argue that anyone photographing Odd Future ‘should know’ about the bands antics. Many highly professional news and wire service photographers were covering the event AS A WHOLE. It is not reasonable to assume they would expected to be familiar with every act on a bill of over 100 artists.

    Photographers accept a reasonable risk in attending a concert (Faygo, foam, spit, blood, stage diving, mosh pits, etc) but I have never heard of an artist essentially cold-cocking a journalist, approved by the artist themselves and the festival to be there.

    This crossed a line and I hope there are serious repercussions for ‘ol Shit Brain.

  43. November 2nd, 2011 | 4:27 pm

    Jacob I have almost no with anything you said. Odd Future did tell the photographers to get out of the pit but it seemed more like an empty threat rather than actual instructions for us to leave. They did eventually kick us out after two songs instead of three.

    All I wanted to say when making this post is that 1) Left Brain slapped her camera and not her face like she claimed and 2) That the show was a lot of fun and I enjoy that element of it. You can disagree with my opinion but I don’t think attacking me is justified.

    I hear she may be pressing charges and she has the right to do that, but I think the person who has more right to do that is the photographer whos lens was broken with Left Brains first slap.

  44. November 2nd, 2011 | 5:27 pm

    I don’t think I’m attacking you in any way in my last comment. Maybe my previous comment about sending you to Afghanistan was more of a personal dig, I apologize.

    To me – and I have a very high tolerance for hi-jinks, rock n’ roll, and civil disobedience – the expression and demeanor of Left Brain as he draws his hand waaay back and appears to swing as hard as he can, is pure unprovoked violence. I feel it is morally wrong for the media to keep giving these guys a pass and essentially condoning their behavior when it crosses the line like this. Jumping around, saying whatever they want, being little scuzzy, spoiled brats is entirely their prerogative and I support it as a matter of artistic ‘expression’.

    I agree (as far as I understand it) with you in that 1) The camera was slapped and not the face 2) Amy was not targeted because she was a woman.

    I agree that it is wrong and rather disgusting for the media and the public to make this an issue about ‘scary black people’ or ‘rappers beating on defenseless women’. That’s total bullshit.

    What is not bullshit: 1) Left Brain purposefully and violently assaulted someone 2) The band and their management/booking agents/publicists blatantly lied about it.

    So it is disappointing to me when you implicitly condone what happened as par for the course of a hip-hop (via punk aesthetic) show. Some of the greatest and edgiest performers (Iggy Pop, Henry Rollins, etc.) turn out to be some of the most non-violent and intelligent spirits off stage. People like them can put 100% of themselves into a performance and push the limits without having to wail on some unsuspecting show attendee. Odd Future are an extremely talented bunch of kids, but they are also the most selfish, arrogant, misguided little fuck-tards I’ve come across in a long time. If they could put their ‘boredom’ and energy into growing the fuck up, we would all be better off for it.

    And I think the other photographer who got his lens busted should file a complaint / police report as well. I bet with all the commotion he probably will.

  45. November 2nd, 2011 | 5:52 pm

    I wasn’t even really talking about you attacking me but there are plenty of people who have been. I seem to have made a lot of enemies over a clarification and an opinion.

    And I am not arguing it’s justified for him to attack someone, I just think it’s fun. And if he wanted to break a camera or hurt someone he would have done a lot more than slap it.

    By the way I checked out your Tumblr. You got some nice Occupy Wall Street shots. I wish I had time to get down there more than I have.

  46. November 2nd, 2011 | 6:03 pm

    Don’t worry. There’s scores of hackneyed shooters who hate my guts too for shooting off my mouth. Wear it as a badge of pride.

    I think they are expressing their frustration at the larger situation on you (unfair, but you kinda brought it on yourself, however inadvertently), and in this scenario it can snowball pretty fast because of the racial, male v. female, general disrespect for music photography vibes out there.

    Thanks for the comments on the OWS stuff. Case in point – I found it truly exciting to be there instead of some shitty photo-pit, that’s what I was getting at about ‘finding the exciting edge’ in a cunt-y, roundabout way. After shooting events there and then going to cover a show and being told where I could stand and what I could and couldn’t do, I was ready to rip the poor little publisicts’ head off.

  47. November 2nd, 2011 | 7:04 pm

    I can see your points about getting the same shots as every other photog. if you stand in the same place. I agree that yes, music photography is actually LIVE music. If I go home from a concert I attend as a ticket-holding punter, with bruises, it’s been a good night. If I go home from a concert I’ve been photographing, with bruises, it’s been a GREAT night.

    We have to expect a bit of rough and tumble. I’ve been stepped on, had drinks dropped on me, been kicked, had stage equipment shoved into my lens, been knocked on my arse a few times (often by big tubby male photogs with Canon teles stuck to their face)…and so on.

    You know what though? NONE of it was done on purpose (as far as I know, or have been able to deduce) and that’s the important distinction. It was all accidental. If it had been done on purpose, I’m not sure what my reaction would be. Different, certainly.

    I thrive on the adrenaline of live music photography. If there’s no energy coming from the stage/crowd, photos invariably suck. They can be technically perfect, but boring as bat shit. That’s not what I’m after.

    Alice Cooper nearly kicked a mic stand into my head (missed by inches) I almost wet myself with happiness.

  48. Heather
    November 2nd, 2011 | 9:52 pm

    ok, why isn’t this guy out shooting for spin magazine or whoever he name drops for and stop leaving long ass comments back. doesn’t he have anything to do in his issued vest.

  49. November 2nd, 2011 | 10:23 pm

    I saw them perform two nights ago here on Halloween. I was recording but stopped because my battery was about to die. 10 seconds later Left Brain jump kicks somebody in the crowd and started throwing punches down at him (im assuming it was a guy), it was intense.
    Im pretty interested in seeing how everything turns out when you shoot them again next week.

  50. November 3rd, 2011 | 12:08 am

    Wild. Also I am coming down to Miami for Basel btw…

  51. Alex
    November 4th, 2011 | 11:10 am

    Just a quick clarification: Amy Harris doesn’t claim she was slapped because she is a woman. She’s interviewed at MusicPix.net:

    Musicpix: Do you think he singled you out as a woman?

    Amy Harris: I don’t. I’ve not stated that. He had extreme anger and angst against the photographers in general. The bottom line is that he hit a female. And it’s obvious that I’m a female . For someone to slap a female in the face for any reason, at any time, is just wrong. Whether he singled me out to do it, I don’t know. The sheer fact that it happened, is a huge problem.

    http://www.musicpix.net/index.php/news/odd_future_voodoo_music_experience_incident_-_amy_harris_interview_and_excl/

  52. November 4th, 2011 | 12:01 pm

    Except that he didn’t slap her in the face…

  53. November 8th, 2011 | 12:10 am

    Untill Left Brain goes to jail or gets sued… nobody (really) is going to care. Get over it already. That bullshit is going to blow over anyways. Who cares if its “legally” a slap. He still didn’t slap her. As for all the photographer haters… What is really “professional” in photography. This man got his bread, and the photo’s look great! He got his ass out there and put his equipment on the line just to get his shots. THAT’S WORK! He got shots that no one else did. That’s pro to me. Not big ass magazine names, expensive equipment, and most of all YOUR FEELINGS. Fuck your feelings. People want to see photo’s. Not press about the photographers. It’s about the shot! Not the man behind it.

  54. Mephistol
    November 10th, 2011 | 3:02 pm

    Was not expecting to see a drivenbyboredom link on my local newpaper’s website. You still suck igor, and I like your brother better.

  55. November 10th, 2011 | 5:40 pm

    It’s been too long Meph. Glad to hear you are doing well…

  56. Ian
    November 14th, 2011 | 11:41 pm

    Lames typing big words from behind computer screens. Fuck em DB, sick pics sick post.

  57. Elaine
    February 8th, 2013 | 3:34 pm

    Great blog & pics. LB’s mom

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