15th Annual Indian Larry Block Party – 9.15.18

Indian Larry Motorcycles used to be a few blocks from my apartment and I would always stop by their block parties. One of the first jobs I ever did for Inked Magazine was shooting the block party in 2009. A few years ago they moved to Greenpoint and I haven’t been to a block party since, but my friends at Sailor Jerry were there and asked me to swing by and when I heard a guy was going to jump a motorcycle Evel Knievel style I wasn’t gonna say no. 

Cole Freeman jumped his Harley across a pyramid of 9360 bottles of Northern Chill water which is honestly a god damn incredible branding promotion. I mean the actual jump lasted about 2 seconds but it was awesome and a million people took photos and video of their water. They got promotion and we got the chance to maybe see a guy die right in front of us, but he made it because he’s great and because this is fucking America god dammit. 

Look, it was great, it was a really fun time and I would have stayed a lot longer except I had to do all of this Miami Dolphins related stuff which I will tell you guys about in a couple of days but I gotta wake up in 4 hours to organize a tailgate party for a few thousand people at an ungodly time in the morning so look at these photos in the meantime. 

Click here to see the photos from the 15th annual Indian Larry Grease Monkey Block Party.

Cole Freeman

Indian Larry Block Party

Indian Larry Block Party

Indian Larry Block Party

Cole Freeman

 

 

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Untold Festival – Part 3

I attempted to get the final photos from the Untold Festival up yesterday during my layover in Istanbul but, surprise, my website was blocked. I then had a 10 hour flight from there on two hours of sleep and then we got stuck on the runway for two hours and by the time I got home I was barely alive and I fell asleep and woke up 14 hours later. But here I am, functional once again, and ready to give you the final photos from my trip to a Transylvanian rave.

On day three I had this idea to walk to the festival with the two other American press people there for the fest. It was an under an hour walk and we got to see a little of the city. We got there and ate food and hung out a bit, but I didn’t shoot a ton of photos. Suddenly I realized it was 5:30 and the fest was taking us back to our hotel at 6 so I only took a few photos during the day. We went back to the hotel, packed up and took a little break because we all had stupid early flights the next morning and would be out late.

I got to the festival in time to see the Black Eyed Peas who were one of the few non-EDM musicians to perform. I was a pretty big fan of them before they became huge pop stars. Before Elepunk was released in 2003 they were sort of considered “Backpack Rap” and was a white college student I of course loved them along with groups like Jurassic 5 and all the Native Tongues stuff.  I was notably not a fan of the Fergie era BEP, but I was really surprised how much of their set I knew most of the words to. Fergie is no longer in the group, but they have someone doing her parts. Also, for the record Fergie was super nice to me when I met her and on two different occasions nearly a decade a part Will.i.am has completely ignored me when I asked him if I could take his photo. I am respectful enough to not do that paparazzi shit and the least you could do is make eye contact and tell me no. Okay, enough bitching.

After the BEP I went out and walked around checking the rest of the festival out and I sort of hit a wall. I don’t know if it was the jet lag or just three days of walking around a massive festival, but I was pretty beat. I still shot a bunch more photos because there was madness everywhere and it’s super easy to do it, but I also spent a bunch of time sitting on a hill just observing the whole thing. I also happened to eat the best cannoli I’ve ever had which is impressive given that I live in New York City and love cannoli and have gone to all the famous bakeries just to try their cannoli but fuck this thing was made with Nutella somehow and I would go to Transylvania again just to eat another one of those. 

Anyway, this whole thing was an incredible experience even if I don’t really care about dance music. Seeing 80k people listening to music together is amazing no matter what kinda music it is. Everyone was super nice and I think my only regret was that it wasn’t a super terrifying experience full of vampires, but instead a family friendly good time. And although I didn’t see any vampires, I did get bit by something and now my arm still itches 4 days later so it’s entirely possible that my arm is filled with vampire eggs that will hatch while I am sleeping and devour me in the night. Hey, you never know.

Click here to see my final gallery of photos from the Untold Festival in Transylvania, Romania. 

Untold Festival

Black Eyed Peas

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

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Untold Festival – Part 2

My second day at the Untold Fest was a lot longer than the first. It’s 24 hours but during the day it’s a bit slow with nothing going on on the main stage but plenty of things to do. I wanted to get some daylight shots in but I wanted good light so I went down just an hour or two before sunset. I think I am going to go down early today and then maybe come back to my hotel and finish this post because it’s 6am in NYC as I type this and 6am on a Sunday is not an ideal time to post content on to the internets. I also got a super early flight tomorrow so I don’t know if I am gonna stay out late tonight. Whatever the case part 3 of the Transylvanian rave photos will have to wait until Tuesday unless I can find decent WiFi on my layover in Istanbul tomorrow. 

Yesterday I actually took advantage of my press access and shot some of the main stage stuff from the photo pit. I didn’t bring a long lens because I hate carrying it and I wanted to focus on the crowd a lot more than the DJs. Still I got some shots of The Prodigy performing and some shots of Steve Aoki headlining at 4am although they kicked us out of the photo pit before he got into the crowd and did the fun stuff he does smashing children in the face with cakes, etc. It was crazy seeing Aoki play for a massive arena full of people. There are something like 70-80 thousand people who go to Untold every day and most of them were watching him DJ. I’ve seen the dude DJ for a couple dozen people at a pool party in Miami, so it’s pretty fucking insane to see a million kids holding up “Cake Me!” signs and going absolutely insane. 

Another thing I should mention is that I broke out two flashes last night for the first time in years. I have been organizing old nightlife photos and realized I was way better in like 2009. A big part of that is that I am not shooting party photos every day of my life anymore, but part of it is that my technique changed. I used to use two flashes. I would use the pop up flash on my camera as a fill light and then I would have that trigger a hand held flash which was my main flash. But when I bought my workhorse 24-70 lens it was too long for the pop up flash and would cast a shadow so I just stopped doing that. This trip I brought a second flash as a back up and I just decided to put one on my camera and have the other one trigger the flash and it honestly worked pretty well. I might have to stop being so fucking lazy and start shooting with two flashes again. I guess we will see…

Okay, that’s about it. I am gonna try to do some daytime stuff and come back and hit send on this post when I get back to the hotel. Check out these photos and I will see you guys when I get back to NYC (or at least when I get back to the Istanbul airport). 

Click here to see the photos from Saturday at the Untold Festival in Transylvania, Romania!

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

The Prodigy

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

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Untold Festival – Part 1

Less that two weeks ago I got an email from my friend Dave who runs the music blog Brooklyn Vegan. I was shooting a Gathering of the Juggalos gallery for him and he pitched me on another idea. He wanted to know if I wanted to go to a EDM festival in Transylvania. “I got offered a free trip to Romania to cover this festival. Do you want to go for us?” Obviously I had no choice but to say yes and here we are.

After a 20+ hour trip with an upsettingly long layover in Istanbul I made it to Cluj-Napoca, the capital city of Transylvania which is an actual place that exists and from what I can tell the locals have zero interest in talking to you about vampires. By the time I finally got to my hotel I had been awake for more than 30 hours. It was about 11pm in Cluj and I decided the smart move would be to miss day one of the festival completely and just get some damn sleep. I had three more days of the Untold Festival to attend. 

The team from Untold were great and offered all the media people a tour to see Transylvania during the day so the next day I jumped on a tour bus and got to see some of historic Cluj and then we headed out to a famous salt mine that for whatever reason has a sports complex/ amusement park in it. It was completely insane and I would talk about it more but I want to get these photos up and get back down to the festival, so you are just going to have to imagine if the Batcave was 300 feet deep and at the bottom a bunch of families were playing ping pong and rowing boats around the lake at the bottom

I finally got down to the festival around 10pm and had plenty of time to shoot considering music goes until after 5am and the festival is open 24 hours a day for the four days of the fest. They are not fucking around. I spent most of the night with one of the festival media guys Ioan and my friend Lina who I brought with me as a writer and another New Yorker who works for Tumblr. We pretty much just got the lay of the land and explored the festival. I didn’t shoot a ton, but I still came back to the hotel with more than 300 photos on my memory card.

By the time I finished editing photos it was after 6am and I was completely dead, so much so that I slept through my alarm today which I never do. It meant missing another media tour to check out Transylvania which I am honestly pissed about, but at least I had some time to get these photos up.

I am going to talk more about the festival when I post more pictures, but honestly I am not going to pretend to know what I am talking about when it comes to EDM (which is why I brought Lina with me) but I will just say that I got to see Hordor from Game of Thrones (aka Kristian Nairn) DJ and when I was in the media area Jason Derulo walked by me and he was wearing a t-shirt that said Jason Derulo on it which is kinda perfect.

I probably won’t post any more pictures from the festival until it’s all over which is why this gallery is called part one instead of day one (also it was day two of the festival so that’s confusing) but maybe I will get a chance to get more photos up tomorrow. There’s no tour tomorrow, but I have a feeling I am going to want to sleep in again…

Now click here to see my photos from part 1 of the Untold Festival in Cluj-Napoca, Transylvania.

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

Untold Festival

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Random Events At The 2018 Gathering Of The Juggalos

Okay, let me dump one more Gathering of the Juggalos post on you today. This one is sort of a grab bag where I put photos that didn’t make much sense anywhere else. The Gathering has a ton of events during the day and then at 6pm the main stage band start. They end sometime after midnight and then the after parties start. The issue for me is that during the day the sunlight sucks and people are kinda hung over so it makes more sense to show up around 4pm and work until 2am or something, but then at night the light sucks too because you are shooting with a flash and the people you are traveling with talk you into leaving early.

So long story short is that I have a handful of photos from a handful of things. I think there are maybe two photos from some sort of Prince themed party and a few from a “Juggalo Yacht Club” party because that’s a real thing that happened. There’s a few other shots from some other after parties too but the gallery is honestly mostly fights.

I have blogged about the Juggalo Fight Club a lot. It’s a day time event thrown by the band Wolfpac who run one of the day time stages. It started out with juggalos on roller skates boxing and then over the years devolved into straight up bare knuckles boxing before eventually becoming a little more organized with a makeshift ring and MMA style gloves and things like that. 

This year I only got to see two matches (well 2.5) and I had to leave before the championship round but I did get to photograph the first ever female juggalo fight club fight which lasted about 15 seconds before one of the girls hurt her ear and quit. Fortunately another juggalette jumped in and actually won in pretty convincing fashion. The girl who lost bloodied the winner but then got her own head blooded by the ring and ended up having to quit after one round. She looked a little concussed but seemed fine shortly after. Let’s hope she is and let’s hope there are more juggalette fights next year cause feminism.

Oh and the ICP seminar is in here but the photos suck because they held it under a red tent so not the greatest lighting situation around and I am not gonna convert my photos to digital black and white like some hack. You heard me.

Click here to see the photos from the random events from the 2018 Gathering of the Juggalos. 

Shaggy 2 Dope

Juggalette Fight Club

Juggalo Yacht Club

Juggalo Fight Club

Gathering Of The Juggalos

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Best Of 2016

Another year down! My photos from 2016 are properly organized and I have already moved on to 2017 although I am only a couple months in. Here is a gallery of a bunch of my favorite images from 2016 that you get to look at if you want. It’s over 200 images so it should last you a while as I travel to Ohio to take a bunch of photos of juggalos like I do every year. I will be back Sunday with far too many juggalo photos, so rejoice.

Meanwhile, let’s see how quickly I can write about an entire year worth of photos so that I can start packing for this trip. 

There are a ton of girl photos in here (even more than normal) because I had started working on my Instaxxx book towards the end of the year. There was also the release of my book Public and a topless bar crawl to promote it. Some of this girl stuff is unpublished even and I have two galleries from 2016 that still haven’t been posted. Coming soon. (One of them is already on Girls of Driven By Boredom!)

Update: I forgot to go through all the photos from my West Coast Road Trip so there’s a ton pics missing. Sorry.

One of the more impactful moments of 2016 was the night that Prince died. Spike Lee went threw a block party in his honor and I made my way to the front right as they played When Doves Cry and everyone was singing a long. It was a really amazing moment and I uploaded a video to my Instagram and somehow Good Morning America found it and bought it which made the day incredibly bittersweet. Just to keep it depressing, visiting Stonewall after the Orlando Pulse Nightclub shooting was incredibly moving for me, and the closing of the bar Jarome’s was another nail in the coffin of downtown NYC nightlife. 

Some events seem to have better photos than others: the Sailor Jerry Fleet Week party, the BBQ Films Ghostbusters party and Fool’s Gold Day Off all have more than their fair share of images in here. One of the weirder things I have covered in my life was the Kid Rock Fish Fry in Nashville (and that’s saying a lot) and even weirder news I got hired to shoot something for Teen Vogue. Oh, and I also shot a halloween party for babies. Seriously. And as always there are a ton of photos from my normal yearly gigs, AVN Awards, SXSW and of course the Gathering of the Juggalos.

Speaking of which, time to go back. See you guys in a few days.

Click here to see a bunch of my favorite photos from 2016.

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

Best Of 2016

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Best Of 2015

Apparently it’s Thursday so I guess this can be a “Throwback Thursday” post. Whatever the case it’s another addition of my “Best of” posts. I have spent way too much time of my life organizing every photo I’ve ever taken and I done with another yet. 2015 is in the books. Fortunately I’ve also pretty much finished 2016 too. I am getting dangerously closed to being organized.

2015 was a terrible year for me and it featured the single worst day of my life where I got served with a lawsuit on the way into my good friend DJ Jess’ funeral. On the way home I got into a car accident. A few weeks later I broke up with my girlfriend and got into a second car accident. Months of depression followed and honestly my photography suffered from it as well. My back has been fucked up from the (first) car accident as well. When I was going through some of these galleries I just kept thinking about how much worse they were than stuff I shot previously. It’s really weird how my personal state of being could impact my work so drastically.

That being said there are still some highlights. I am currently figuring out how I am going to make it to another Gathering of the Juggalos, and when going through that stuff from 2015 I realized it might have been some of my best ever juggalo coverage. I shot a record cover for one of my favorite bands. I shot some great portraits at SXSW. I had some work in an art show in LA. I got my head shaved my a 90’s teen icon at an Empire Records party. I covered some quality nerd stuff like NY Comic Con and a Bronies watch party. I shot my friend Eaddy’s band Ho99o9 a bunch of times. I shot some fun stuff for Sailor Jerry as always and the Fool’s Gold Day Off is always fun. Oh, and I had a book release party for my second book Dinner With Igor.

On the naked lady side I shot some decent stuff over the year. I really liked the shoot I did of Ava Dalush at AVN and these photos I took of Chanel Preston. I met Carter Cruise in 2015 and we did two photo shoots in LA and then she came to NYC and bought us matching NSFW tattoos for my birthday. I also met my friend January Seraph in 2015. She reached out to me when she read about my depression and after we shot together we became really close friends. Unfortunately we lost her to depression last year.  I shot my friend Lucy Everleigh for the first time in 2016 (it was her first ever shoot!) . I don’t love the photos we shot but she’s a good friend of mine now so that rules. And lastly I should mention the shoot I did with my friend Erica. It wasn’t naked but she is one of my favorite humans and I’ve known her forever and I love the photos we made. Plus she just had a baby a few days ago which is adorable. 

I also found a few unpublished shoots from 2015. I found a second shoot I did with Ava Dalush that I already edited and posted on Girls of Driven By Boredom over two years ago, but apparently forgot to post on here. I also found a really fun shoot I did with Jenna J. Ross (that I just posted on Girls of DBB today) that I have no idea how I lost. And of course I found the Kaya & Vonka shoot I posted in my last update. I am gonna try and get the Ava & Jenna shoots up this week and try and get rid of the old photos sets ASAP. I found a few when going through 2016 as well so I might make a whole week of it. 

There are a lot more photos in here this gallery but I don’t wanna keep typing this. Lot’s of nudity and madness and famous people and I need to eat. It’s a massive gallery of nearly 300 photos and a ton of links to keep you busy. Just a couple more of these posts and I am gonna have to come up with a new excuse for not having a proper portfolio site. Come back soon. There will be more photos…

Click here to see some of my best photos from 2015.

America

Jason Schwartzman

Gathering Of The Juggalos

Chanel Preston

Robert Duvall

Ho99o9

Atrak & Joey Bada$$

Carter Cruise

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Washington Capitals Championship Parade – 6.12.18

Last Thursday the Washington Capitals beat the Vegas Golden Knights to win the first Stanley Cup in team history. It was the first major Championship in my hometown of DC since 1992 and the first championship team that I have rooted for in my life. After celebrating all night at the NYC Caps Crew bar Jojo’s Philosophy in the West Village I started planning my trip to the Capitals parade in DC. 

My plan was going to go down with a few people on Monday afternoon, beating rush hour and getting to my parent’s place in Northern VA with plenty of time to sleep, but on Sunday night the Capitals announced that star players Alexander Ovechkin and Braden Holtby were going to be in NYC with the Stanley Cup for the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I couldn’t believe it. Not only was the Stanley Cup going to be in NYC, but they are going to the show where my friend Seth Herzog works as the warm up comic. Heroically Seth got me backstage where I not only got to check off a major bucket list item and hold the Stanley Cup but I got to meet Holtby and Ovechkin. Ovechkin just happens to be my favorite human of all time. 

After Fallon was over I met up with my friend Sam who I have been watching hockey with since 1991 and my friend Justin who is part of the NYC Caps Crew and we drove south and got to my parents house around 2am. After a few hours of sleep we hit the parade. We got to the National Mall around 9am and it was packed with people already. We found a spot near the end of the parade route under a tree which was ideal given that we were going to have to stand there for four hours. When the parade finally started I made my way a bit closer to the street but still was behind a ton of people. I brought my camera just because I felt like I had to, but I didn’t even bring a long lens so my parade photos were pretty pointless. I got a few decent shots, but mostly garbage. I was just happy to be there.

I shot a few more photos of the crowd on the mall, but we were so far from the rally stage and just exhausted so we texted all of our friends and had them meet us in Arlington at the Arlington Rooftop Bar & Grill for an after party thrown by Russian Machine Never Breaks. RMNB is probably my favorite sports blog of all time and it was great to finally meet Ian who runs it. A bunch of the NYC Caps Crew made it out too, and I got to hang out with my friend Jamie who with Sam is one of my oldest, closest friends and is another person I’ve been watching Caps games with since childhood. I ran into a ton of people I know from hockey Twitter as well and it was just a really good time. 

I decided not to go out after that because I hadn’t slept at all and was pretty exhausted so I came home and edited these photos and crashed, but my Championship week isn’t quite over. Today I am going to get a Stanley Cup tattoo at Jinx Proof tattoos in DC which was the first place I ever got tattooed almost exactly 20 years ago.

It’s been one hell of a week after a lifetime of sports related suffering. I realize many of you can’t possibly imagine why I would care so much about sports but if you are interested in knowing a little bit more about how I felt, I wrote something for the NYC Caps Crew blog about it. Some of it might not make any sense if you aren’t a Caps fan, but I actually started crying while writing it, so it means a lot to me. And if you still don’t care about sports, don’t worry, I will go back to posting parties and nudity ASAP and won’t bug you with any more sports related content until September when football season starts…

Click here to see my photos from the Washington Capitals first ever Championship Parade & the RMNB after party.

Washington Capitals Championship Parade

Jakub Vrana & TJ Oshie

Washington Capitals Championship Parade

Washington Capitals Championship Parade

Washington Capitals Championship Parade

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Fleet Week & Playoff Hockey – 5.23.18

When I used to shoot dance parties every day of my life I would bounce around from club to club and I would occasionally do theses “Random Night Out” posts where I would combine all the shots I took in a night when I didn’t want to do a bunch of posts or didn’t shoot enough photos to really justify their own gallery. Wednesday night was a little bit different, but I felt like the galleries make sense together anyway even if they don’t really have anything to do with each other.

On Wednesday night the Washington Capitals played the biggest game in their history. The Caps went to the Stanley Cup in 1998 but no one really gave them a chance against the Red Wings and they got swept in four games. 20 years later the Caps were on the brink of their first trip to the finals since 1998, but they had to beat the Tampa Bay Lightning in a terrifying game 7. The Caps were big underdogs in the series and no one expected them to take it to 7 games much less win.

I had made plans to watch the game with my NYC Caps Crew family so when I got a call from Harley-Davidson asking me at the very last minute to shoot the Fleet Week opening night party I almost had to turn them down, but they only needed me until 9 and the game started at 8. I asked them if I could go at 8:30pm and they were fine with that so I threw my Caps jersey and my camera in my bag and got my ass up to Times Square to shoot the Fleet Week kick off at the Hard Rock Cafe.

My second roommate in NYC worked at the Hard Rock Cafe but I haven’t actually been there before. I loved Hard Rock’s as a kid but as an adult the only Hard Rock’s I’ve been to are the casino in Vegas and the Dolphins stadium in Miami which is, as of last year, Hard Rock Stadium. I ended up getting there pretty early so I shot the Harley on stage and took some photos outside. I didn’t want to bug the sailors while they were eating the pretty serious buffet they had available for them, but I got some decent crowd shots before the USO entertainment began. 

The entertainment consisted of Broadway style versions of pop songs mostly, but you would be really surprised how well Katy Perry goes over in a room full of sailors and Marines. It was honestly pretty amazing. They were a few songs into the country music part of the set when I had to escape to go watch hockey, but the crowd was loving it. Personally I was loving the fact that Alex Ovechkin scored 1 minutes and 2 seconds into the game to put the Caps up 1-0 before I got to our bar Jojo’s Philosophy.

When I got to Jojo’s the bar was completely packed. The bouncer whispered to me to go around and sneak in the back because he couldn’t let me just walk in when there was a huge line. It was pretty funny cause that’s the exact type of shit I pulled in my nightlife days except this time it was a sports bar. I somehow made my way up to my friends near the front, threw my camera bag over one of the bar stools and put on my Caps jersey even though it was 100 degrees in the bar at this point.

When the Caps scored their second goal after the Lightning had been really dominating play I almost started crying. In so many past seasons the exact opposite would happen to us. We would be killing a team but they would get the lucky breaks and the Caps would somehow lose. This felt so different and after the Caps scored again I could see the expression in the Lightning’s faces that I had seen so many times before in the Caps faces. With twenty minutes still left in the game they knew it was over.

When the Caps scored their fourth and final goal with only a few minutes to go in the game Jojo’s completely exploded. Suddenly I realized I still had my camera on me and dove into the crowd to pull it out of my camera bag. I just started blindly shooting and as the bartenders sprayed us with wine and water I just kept shooting. As the clock ticked down we all began hugging and high fiving and just losing our minds knowing we were finally going back to the Stanley Cup Finals. If you don’t give a shit about sports you can probably never understand this moment, but 20 years of pain was wiped out in 60 minutes of hockey. 

Again, if you don’t care about sports, or hockey or the Caps you might not care about any of this, but the faces of jubilation are worth looking at if nothing else. Sports provides the highest highs and the lowest lows and even if you can’t understand that, you can still appreciate the emotions so I recommend you checking out these photos even if it’s not something you’d normally care about.

Anyway, I have broken this up into two different galleries but it’s all one night and all one post. 

Click here to see all the photos from the Harley-Davidson sponsored Fleet Week kick off party at the Hard Rock Cafe.

Click here to see all the photos from the NYC Caps Crew’s Eastern Conference Finals winning celebration at Jojo’s Philosophy.

Harley Davidson Fleet Week

NYC Caps Crew

Harley Davidson Fleet Week

NYC Caps Crew

Harley Davidson Fleet Week

NYC Caps Crew

Harley Davidson Fleet Week

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