2023 Exxxotica NJ Part One – 11.3.23

Exxxotica Expo New Jersey just celebrated their 15th anniversary. The company does events all over the place but the very first one was in NJ and I was there so of course I had to show up for the big anniversary. My plan originally was just to go for a few hours but they actually reached out to me and asked me to shoot the first two days for them and I was more than happy to take their money. My buddy Steve Prue is their staff photographer and every few years he spends the weekend shooting portraits and they ask me to fill in for him. So glad it worked out.

Over the weekend I shot nearly 2000 photos which edited down to nearly 500, so I figured we should break this up in to two posts. The first one you are looking at right now and the second post should be up Wednesday. I got too much to do tomorrow. Also, a lot of these photos will be exclusive to Girls of Driven By Boredom, but we will get to that in a minute.

This is the first adult event I have photographed since AVN in 2020 just a couple months before the world ended. I missed Exxxotica last year because my girlfriend’s car was in the shop and I missed AVN because I got the dates wrong and when I started looking at flights and hotels it wasn’t worth it. Between that and my LA trips recently being more about my 1 year old nephew than photographing sex workers I feel a little bit out of the adult world. I knew only a handful of the girls so it felt less like a family reunion than normal, but I still got a bunch of good shots. Plus it was great to see my friends who were there. 

After the show ended I hit the after party for a bit. I shot two burlesque performances including one from Vonka Romanov who I actually photographed way back in 2015. But my bad back was killing me so I wasn’t there long and went up to my hotel room to get a jump start on editing these photos. It’s so wild how old I have gotten in just a few short years. I guess a global pandemic, a severe back injury and getting wifed up will do that to a person. Hey, we had a good run. 

Okay, so let’s get to that other thing… If you are a regular here you will know that my website is broken and I cannot fix it. I have been using Flickr to host my galleries which has a lot of drawbacks, but the main one is that if you post adult content the photos will get marked as such and you can’t see them without having a Flickr account and then updating your settings to be able to see adult content. Because of this over 100 of the photos I shot on Friday are only going to be posted on Girls of Driven By Boredom. I realize that sucks, but maybe a few of you will actually sign up which will help my life since OnlyFans disabled my account last week. That being said, if I took your photo at the convention and you don’t see it in the free gallery, contact me, and I will try and find your photo for you. 

Okay, here are a ton of photos and there will be a ton more in a couple of days. Thanks so much to everyone at Exxxotica for having me out. Can’t wait to photograph the 20th anniversary!

Click here to see all of the vaguely safe for work photos from day 1 of the 2023 Exxxotica NJ Expo!

Click here to see all of the uncensored photos from day 1 of the 2023 Exxxotica NJ Expo!

Exxxotica Ribbon Cutting

Exxxotica 15th Anniversary

Alexis Texas Twerk Contest

Exxxotica Seminars

Exxxotica 15th Anniversary

Exxxotica 15th Anniversary

 

Comments (0)

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade – 10.21.23

Happy Halloween! I shot these photos from the 2023 Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade more than a week ago, but I had to save them for Halloween. There is honestly nothing I love more than having an excuse to hang out with doggos. Sometimes I will be hanging out with people and they will just walk up to strangers dogs and pet them like that is a totally normal thing to do, but I am 6’2″ 200lbs and I look like a scumbag so I can’t just be petting strange dogs (honestly I am down to 190 right now, but the point remains). But you know where I can pet dogs? A Halloween dog parade.

Years ago I shot the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade for the Village Voice and since then I have had the opportunity to shoot it a few times, even when it wasn’t at Tompkins. Two years ago I shot the McGhoulrick Dog Parade because my girlfriend was living in Greenpoint at the time and I had just hurt my back so I couldn’t go very far. Luckily squatting down to photograph dogs actually made my back feel so much better. It was the first time I realized I could just squat down and it would release so much pressure on my nerve. Anyway, that is not important at all. The important thing is that you now have several links to go see more photos of cute dogs in Halloween costumes. 

This year I kinda half assed it with photos for a number of reasons. The main one was that they shut down the park and it was such a clusterfuck of dog owners and a million people trying to take photos of dogs. I didn’t get a press pass so I was just out in the masses and I got sick of fighting for shots pretty early so I walked to the end and got people leaving. It was also raining and I had a photoshoot after so I had to leave early, but guess what? I still got a ton of photos of cute dogs in costume so I don’t know why you are complaining. That being said, it would be fun go get a press pass again, shoot the entire thing and actually prepare and bring toys and treats to get these dogs to pay attention to me.

Anyway, happy Halloween and go look at some photos now. 

Click here to see all my photos from the Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade!

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Tompkins Square Park Halloween Dog Parade

Comments (0)

Off The Hook

I can’t believe it’s been four year since I released a new zine.

At the end of 2019 I started getting ready to launch not just one zine, but a collection of zines. I actually finished the entire Kickstarter for the project but still needed to shoot a video for it. I was going out to LA in January 2020, and I figured that would be a good time to shoot the video. I did shoot it, but when I got back I got really sick and then I got really busy and right as I was about to launch it, the pandemic happened and it seemed like an absolutely terrible time to ask people for money. 

The first zine in my series of zines was called Off The Hook and it was going to just be a fun zine of photos of people on their phone. It wasn’t deep, it had some fun photos and some nudity and some famous people and I figured it was a perfect way to kick off the zine series. I had the edit done and had started laying it out, but with Covid and BLM protests and an election and everything that came along with that, it just seemed like a uniquely terrible time to release a fun zine. 

As the years went on I kept opening the InDesign file and I would work on the zine a little bit. I was still shooting new stuff for it, and I would pull those images off to the side somewhere, but I just kept putting it off. About a year ago I started working on a new project, a new idea, a new art show, but I just couldn’t commit to it, because I couldn’t get Off The Hook out of my head.  Finally I just had to finish it. 

Off The Hook is not the zine it would have been in 2020, but when I finally got it in my hands the other day  I was so happy with how it turned out. It’s my biggest zine to date and even though it’s just photos of people on their phone, there are a lot of great shots in it and when you lay them out together, they work really well together. I am pretty proud of it and I hope you guys dig it. I also have a second zine that I published as a companion to it, but we will get to that in a minute…

Off The Hook is available in two editions. The regular edition is 44 pages and from an edition of 200 and features the iPhone lock screen style cover above designed by Barbie movie font/ titles designer Teddy Blanks.  The special edition zine features four extra pages and a wrap around variant cover, also designed by Teddy based on a sketch I made years ago when I first came up with the idea for Off The Hook. The special edition is signed and hand numbered out of 50 and comes with a signed 5″x7″ mini print of the image on the cover. The whole thing is polybagged and looks so clean. There is also a special edition bundle that comes with both the special edition AND an actual Instax signed by me and one of three adult film stars, Carter Cruise, Phoenix Marie or April O’Neil.

On top of the two different versions of Off The Hook, I also published my first zine from another artist. I have wanted to publish zines for other people for a long time. I wanted to focus on a mix of photographers I liked with other people who I thought really had something, even if they weren’t traditionally photographers. The fun of being a curator is trying to organize work so that it is greater than the sum of the parts, and I love the idea of taking work from someone who isn’t an “Artist” and trying to turn that into something special.

So when my girlfriend, Shannon McNair, started texting me photos of her nails next to things that happened to be the same color as her nails, I knew we were on to something. These photos were so much fun, and as she sent me more and more I knew I could make something fun out of them. I started saving them in a folder on my desktop because I knew they would make a good zine one day.

I wasn’t planning on releasing her nail zine at the same time as Off The Hook until I got around to picking the cover. I wanted to make the cover of Off The Hook about the concept and not about a specific person, so I was looking for an image all about the phone. I realized I had just the shot and it happened to be a photo of Shannon when we were on a vacation in Palm Springs. Her green hair and bikini matched her green phone case and was obscuring her face making it a perfect cover shot. 

Strangely enough when we were working on her future phone zine I realized the perfect cover for that was the only selfie in the collection when she was showing how her nails matched her phone and her hair. Suddenly the two zines worked perfectly together. I couldn’t believe it. I immediately laid out Nailed It in and afternoon. All we needed was an inside cover, which I shot myself, and I don’t want to give away, but I am really happy with the way it turned out. 

You can buy Nailed It on its own, or in a bundle with Off The Hook. But if you want one, hurry because we only made 50 and she took half of them to work to sell to her clients. 

Finally, I know how people feel about NFTs, so please feel free to ignore this part. I know a ton of people think they are stupid or a scam, before Ethereum moved to proof of stake people had environmental concerns and of course since the market crashed even people who were interested in the idea have decided they were Beanie Babies and moved on. 

As I have probably mentioned before, when I heard about NFTs I immediately got it. I thought the hype was silly and a lot of the art sucked but I am a collector at heart and I totally got the idea of paying for digital collectables. But more importantly I thought it was a great way to support artists. I love supporting my friends and artists and I love getting something in return. So when I heard about NFTs I immediately thought of them as a way to crowdfund and to support artists. In the process I found some amazing groups of people who deeply cared about art and photography. I have been to great events and art shows and had my work on two billboards, multiple group shows and a book through NFTs. I made some money which I then immediately spent on other artists. Now that things have all crashed down to earth I still have some JPGs I love, was able to support a bunch of artists and made some great friendships and I am not giving up on any of it just because things aren’t worth the money I didn’t think they were worth in the beginning. 

So long story short, you can get a copy of Off The Hook with an NFT.  I made an NFT edition of the cover. There are 20 of them, they are .0333 ETH and if you buy one I will send you a zine in the mail with free US postage. I also made a collection of 20 1/1 images from the zine which are more expensive, but come with the special edition as well as an 8″x12″ print of that photo. I don’t expect these to sell well, and I am totally fine with that. But if you are one of the few people who still care about digital collectibles just know that if you buy one, I promise to pay it forward and buy something from another artist. 

My motto is forever, Make Art, Sell Art, Buy Art. Thanks for your past and continued support.

Click here to buy Off The Hook. 

Off The Hook

Off The Hook Special Edition

Nailed It

Comments (0)

Jamie Peck

Fifteen years ago I met my friend Jamie Peck at a bar in Brooklyn. She was a Suicide Girl way back then and I had shot for them and we had some mutual friends and I feel like we were probably gonna do a shoot but then it didn’t happen and she sort of got away from that NSFW life and our friendship continued as she was a journalist and we worked for some of the same outlets and I ran into her all the time in nightlife. 

Years later I was working on a zine about public nudity and I did a collaboration with my friend Kate’s Tumblr called Boobs of Bushwick which was just photos of her and her friends flashing each other at bars. Jamie happened to be one of those friends and I actually did photoshoot / bar crawl with her and the BoB crew which was really fun. A few years after that when I was working on my Instaxxx book I hit her up again and I did a photo shoot with her and her roomate exclusive to that book. But in all that time, we never did a “proper” photoshoot until now. 

Over the years Jamie has become something of a minor left wing celebrity, working for The Majority Report and doing a bunch of podcasts and shows about hard left topics. Recently she’s parlayed her communist influencer status into an OnlyFans career, posting nudes to pay for her life so she can go on speaking tours like the one she’s on now. If that’s not controlling the means of production I don’t know what is. 

While she was on tour, she needed content to post while she was a way so we did two photo shoots, one that I will be posting on my site Girls of DBB and one that will be exclusive to her OnlyFans. We also shot some BTS videos that will be on my OnlyFans. I put a preview of both shoots on my OF today. Oh, the shoot today also has a few Instax photos and a couple film photos too. All of it is paywalled, but that is just the world we are living in. 

Okay, I am about to end this post, but my new zine Off The Hook comes out tomorrow. I will be doing a whole post about it soon, but you can still pre-order it, and I would love it if you did that. 

Time to click here to see all the photo of Jamie Peck on Girls of Driven By Boredom. 

Ps. These photos look much better than the low res previews I post on the front page of this site because it was designed in 2008 and anything higher res will break the page. 

Jamie Peck

 

 

Comments (0)

2023 Louder Than Life

As promised, I bring you my third DBB update in less than a week! Recently I put up a round up from my two week trip to Louisville, Nashville and back to Louisville for Sailor Jerry which explained everything and gave some highlights. Then on Friday I dropped a ton of photos from Bourbon & Beyond and today I bring you a bunch of photos from the Louder Than Life Festival. 

Louder Than Life is a (mostly) rock festival in Louisville, Kentucky that was thrown one week after Bourbon & Beyond.  They both are thrown by the same company and take place at the Highland Festival Grounds. B&B is more about drinking and eating and the bands are super eclectic, while LTL featured mostly rock bands with a real nostalgia kick. I was photographing for Sailor Jerry during the day, but then I was shooting for Creem Magazine at night so this weekend I shot a ton of bands. I didn’t shoot a few of the headliners because of either restrictions (Either they wanted me to shoot from the soundboard or had contracts I didn’t want to sign) or because they played while I was still shooting for Sailor Jerry. 

I did get to shoot a few bands during the day, like childhood favorite Rancid, L7 and my friends The Bronx. I got to shoot less than a song from Megadeth because I had to run back to the SJ booth, but it was still cool to see one of my favorite bands when I was in the 5th grade. Other daylight acts I got to shoot were the Viagra Boys who I kinda love now and Run The Jewels cause how could I not? I think my favorite headliner was Weezer cause pretty much every girl I dated before the year 2003 was obsessed with them and so I pretty much know every word to their first two albums. I loved Green Day when Dookie came out but a year later I was way too punk rock for those “sell outs”. As an adult that seems super silly, but they were great live. Usually when I see a punk band that is older than I am it’s really disappointing but Green Day felt like a Broadway show or something than an aging punk act. Headliners that I have never listened to but photographed anyway included Godsmack, Avenged Sevenfold, Queens of the Stone Age and Tool. Queens of the Stone Age had us photograph them from a distance and I don’t like shooting with a long lens so those photos aren’t great, and same with the Tool photos because I got kicked out of the photo pit almost immediately because I forgot to pick up specific pass I needed after I was approved to shoot them. Whoops. Oh, and I shot Pantera too which was fun. Okay, I think that’s everyone. 

Aside from bands, there are tons of crowd shots in the gallery. I may have doubled up a few from my SJ Trip recap post, but I tried my best. Whatever the case we have nearly 200 photos for you guys to click through. Fans of my juggalo photos should enjoy these since there’s a pretty good crossover audience. I actually saw a bunch of juggalos while I was there but only photographed a few of em. Two of the girls towards the end of the gallery I actually interviewed for my Daily Beast article on Gen Z juggalos. Wild. Anyway, go check out these photos and come back soon because I have two updates coming soonish.

Click here to see all my photos from the 2023 Louder Than Life Festival in Louisville, KY.

Ps. Go pre-order my new zine!

Louder Than Life

Green Day

Louder Than Life

Louder Than Life

Viagra Boys

Pantera

Louder Than Life

Comments (0)

2023 Bourbon & Beyond

As I mentioned in my last post, I went to two music festivals in back to back weekends in the exact same place. Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life were put on by the same company at the Highland Festival Grounds in Lexington, Kentucky. They had two very different lineups but we will get to LTL on Monday, for now we are going to talk about Bourbon & Beyond.

I was working for Sailor Jerry photographing their tattoo activations so I didn’t see much of the music, but there were a few artists I was excited to see. I got to see Blondie and Duran Duran which was really cool. I am not exactly a Killers or Bruno Mars fan but they both put on great shows, and Spoon and the Black Keys are always enjoyable. Unfortunately I missed seeing Buddy Guy and Wayne Newton but they would have been awesome to see. I didn’t photograph any of the music because I was working for SJ and didn’t apply for a press pass, but I did for LTL so I should have some decent band shots for you next week. 

The bands were so eclectic and the crowd was as well. I don’t think I have ever been to a festival with such a differing variety of artists and headliners where you had Brandi Carlile playing after Train with a bluegrass band in between. The festival was themed around drinking more than anything, which is pretty obvious with Bourbon in the name, but there were a ton of booths from different alcohol brands, like my crew over at Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. There was also an element of food and there were a lot of celebrity chefs there including my friend Chris Santos. The SJ booth was on the opposite side of the festival from the food demonstrations so I didn’t catch mutch of that, but there were a ton of Top Chef alums there who I wish I got to photograph cause it’s literally my favorite TV show of all time. 

So I don’t have a huge gallery for you as far as music festivals go, because I was focused on my SJ stuff, but it’s still 100 photos for you to click through. I think there’s some fun stuff in there just because of the wide variety of people who attended. As I mentioned I will be back Monday with the Louder Than Life photos, and I feel like you guys are going to enjoy those. 

Now click here to see all my crowd shots from 2023 Bourbon & Beyond in Lexington, KY.

Bourbon & Beyond

Bourbon & Beyond

Bourbon & Beyond

Bourbon & Beyond

Bourbon & Beyond

Bourbon & Beyond

Bourbon & Beyond

Comments (0)

Sailor Jerry Road Trip

It has been way too long since I have updated this site. I had big one planned announcing my new zine but life got in the way and then I had to leave town on this big trip that I am about to talk about. I figured I would have time to work on it on the road but I never did so I am just going to do a big update about it when it’s available for sale, but in the meantime you can preorder it here now! Now, let’s get in to what I have been doing the last two weeks…

I started taking photos for Sailor Jerry back in 2011 and they had were one of my best clients for nearly a decade, but then came the pandemic and my back injury and suddenly it had been about four years since I had worked for them. Fortunately we are once again working together. You may have already seen the trip I did with them to Sturgis Buffalo Chip, but now we are back with not one, but two music festivals, and a handful of stuff in between. In total I was on the road for twelve days, four in Louisville, KY for Bourbon & Beyond, three in Nashville and then four more days in Louisville for the Louder Than Life festival. It was a ton of work, but also a ton of fun. I am going to have separate posts about the two music festivals by themselves, but I wanted a post to give you a highlight of all the Sailor Jerry activations, which primarily included giving out Sailor Jerry flash tattoos.

The first festival, Bourbon & Beyond was an eclectic mix of music with other events centered around food and drink. The crowd was equally eclectic and we tattooed a TON of people. Tattooer Justin Smith was in town from Dallas, TX and cranked out some great tattoos all weekend. One of the highlights was that Bruno Mars was playing and my buddy Shaun is Bruno’s tour manager, so I got to hang out with him a bit and his girlfriend signed up for her first ever tattoo while he was off working. 

After B&B I jumped in my rental car and drove to Nashville where we had a series of small events mostly catered to people who work in the alcohol industry there. I spent the week hanging with bartenders and bar managers which are of course my kinda people after working in nightlife as long as I have. The first event we did was a collaboration with a clothing designer named Travis Austin who helped everyone customize their own hat that he is going to make for everyone. Now, I pretty much only wear baseball caps, but I got a chance to design one too and I am pretty excited to see how it turns out. Perhaps “Retirement Igor” can pull it off. I have a handful of photos in here from the bar stops we made at Honky Tonk Central and Tootsie’s and a couple from the Nashville Sounds baseball game we attended but those aren’t really very interesting photographically so I only posted a couple from each. The final event we did in Nashville was another tattoo event, this time for local bartenders. We had Bradley Delay tattooing who happened to be in town from Portland. He tattooed a bunch of bartenders and VIP and was still tattooing when I left to go eat lunch at an Aquarium themed restaurant in a mall. I should also mention that my girlfriend came to Nashville for a couple of days as well which was amazing. 

After that it was back to Louisville for Louder Than Life which was a kinda nostalgia festival, but one for bands that were huge when I was a kid so that’s perfect. I got to see Rancid and Weezer and a bunch of other bands I listened to as a teenager, but more on that in a future post. This post is about Sailor Jerry. The SJ booth seemed like the place to be at the second festival. We had local artist Christopher M. Waugh tattooing all weekend. We had a ton of media come by, a lot of cute goth girls and our friends The Bronx did a meet and greet there after their show. Brad from the Bronx is a friend of mine and Matt their frontman does the Sailor Jerry Podcast so it was cool to be able to do something with them. Oh, also my buddy Buff Monster was there all weekend because his long time girlfriend is my SJ boss! The festival was a lot of fun and I shot a bunch of the bands so be on the lookout for that post. 

Okay, that’s it for now, but I will be back soon with seperate updates for Bourbon & Beyond and Louder Than Life. I also have a couple other shoots coming soon and more info about my new zine so maybe check back more often than normal for a couple weeks. See you guys soon!

Now click here to see some highlights from my Sailor Jerry road trip!

Sailor Jerry Tattoos

Sailor Jerry @ Bourbon & Beyond

True Love

Travis Austin

Tattoo Event In Nashville

It's A Party

Matt From The Bronx

Sailor Jerry @ Louder Than Life

Sailor Jerry @ Louder Than Life

 

Comments (0)

2023 Sturgis Buffalo Chip Part Two

Part two of my Sturgis trip is going to be a bit shorter of an update. If you didn’t check out Part One, do that first. Part One consisted of the first two days I was working ofr Sailor Jerry at the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally, while Part Two is just day three. That being said, the last day was my favorite and has some of my best photos from the trip so this should be a good one, even if there are less photos and less of me rambling. Speaking of less rambling, let’s get into it. 

Day two started with a surprise. I was told I was gonna have to work pretty much non stop from 1pm until 9pm so I decided to sleep in. Luckily I didn’t sleep too late because I woke up to a text offering me a helicopter ride. South Dakota seems to be the helicopter tourism capital of the world because everywhere I went I saw helicopter flights being advertised, I just didn’t expect to go up in one. It’s at this point I should mention that at sometime in my 30s I developed a crippling fear of heights. I can’t stand on a railing a few flights up without my palms getting sweaty. But the interesting thing about that is that I am not at all afraid of flying, and I thought maybe the same thing would be true about helicopters. Luckily I was right. It was legitimately an amazing experience and I think I got some cool shots of the Buffalo Chip campgrounds. I would love to do it again with a longer lens, less for the photos and more for just the fun of being in a helicopter. It was just really great even if we were only in the air for about twenty minutes.

After the helicopter ride we went over to an event at Camp Zero at Buffalo Chip. Not sure what the official party was but there was a bunch of mini bikes and drag races and everyone was young and wearing Hawaiian shirts and seemed like they could be from Brooklyn or Austin and less of the hard right senior bikers that seemed to be everywhere. I actually ran into a woman I had photographed in LA many years ago. This was way more my speed. The International Bikini Team girls were back in their Sailor Jerry finest and we took some fun photos as well. It was a blast.

Next on the agenda was the Sailor Jerry tattoo happy hour. The tattoo artist Shaun Kama was hosting a pop up tattoo shop on the Buffalo Chip campgrounds and Sailor Jerry of course had to sponsor it. They also did two events where you could come by and get free Sailor Jerry tattoo flash. I was only in town for one of them, but five people ended up with Sailor Jerry tattoos during the happy hour. I have done so many of these tattoo events with Sailor Jerry and I love doing them because it’s a lot of hanging out with tattoo artists and bullshitting while taking the occasional photo. It’s very low stress and a good time for everyone. 

The happy hour ran late so I actually missed most of the VIP event that Sailor Jerry hosted backstage. I did end up there just in time for the Sailor crew to go up on stage and toss out SJ merch. That was a nightly thing and not the most exciting of photos, but always fun to try and shoot t-shirt cannons. After that Styx and REO Speedwagon played which admittedly aren’t really for me, but the crowd ate it up and I enjoyed the hits. Part of me wanted to stay out late that last night, but I was exhausted after a few days of sleeping in an uncomfortable RV with motorcycles driving by every few minutes so I crashed early and got my only good night sleep of the whole event which made my 13 hour travel day way more chill than I was expecting. 

So that’s it! That’s a wrap on Sturgis. Thanks again to Sailor Jerry having me out. Was really glad to cross that one off my bucket list. I’m also down to just three continental US states that I haven’t traveled to. I got a road trip planned to hit Idaho and Montana and then I will just have North Dakota left. Lastly I should mention, that there a handful of very moderately NSFW photos over here, just because I am still using Flickr to host my galleries and I don’t want to get in trouble with them for posting a bikini model in a thong or whatever nonsense is against their TOS because we live in a country governed by puritans and cowards. Okay, go look at photos now. I gotta get back to enjoying my vacation.

Click here to see all the photos from day three of my Sturgis Buffalo Chip adventure! 

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Styx @ Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Comments (0)

2023 Sturgis Buffalo Chip Part One

For years my favorite client was Sailor Jerry Spiced Rum. We did so many events together and in the early 2010s it felt like I was going to some music festival or tattoo convention for them every other weekend. Times and budgets changed and that stuff slowed down but I was still working with them semi regularly until the pandemic canceled events and then I had my back injury and couldn’t really do any big events. A few months ago I reached back out to them and let them know my back was doing better and was down to work again and it wasn’t long before they reached out with the idea of me going to the infamous Sturgis Bike Week. That’s been on my bucket list for a long time so of course I said yes. 

Sturgis is both a city in South Dakota and a shorthand for the Sturgis Motorcycle Rally which is now in its 83rd year. It is synonymous for absolute chaos as hundreds of thousands of bikers descend on the area for ten days of scenic rides and total mayhem. Sailor Jerry was sponsoring the events at the Buffalo Chip campground who has been hosting thousands of bikers every year since 1981. They offer a place to camp, several bars, a swimming hole and live music every night. I got to spend three days in an RV right behind the amphitheater, mostly taking photos of Sailor Jerry related stuff, but I got to roam a bit too and I got some pretty fun pictures in the process. 

I have over 400 photos to share with you guys so I broke my three days into two halves. I didn’t shoot a ton on day one, so Part One is days one and two and then Part Two is the final day which was honestly my favorite, but mostly because I got to fly in a helicopter which is something I’ve never done before. More on that later… 

I booked my flight super last minute and so it would have been $2000 to fly in on Sunday  and the flight would leave at 6am which means I would have to wake up at 3am and since I usually go to bed around 2 that didn’t seem like an ideal situation. So I looked up flights the day before and they were significantly cheaper, but after getting a hotel and a far too expensive rental car, it was basically break even. But flying in a day early meant I would be well rested and I could check out Mt. Rushmore and Deadwood and some of that kinda stuff. I took the 6am Saturday flight and when I got to my layover they offered me $600 to stay. It was raining in SD and so my sightseeing options were limited so I accepted and spent six hours in the Minneapolis airport. I figured I could nap but I completely failed and by the time I got to my hotel I was absolutely broken. Still, the rain was breaking a little bit and I was only five minutes away from Mt. Rushmore so I went and spent $10 to look at some stone heads for about 5 minutes. Honestly it was far less impressive than the World’s Largest Wooden Bigfoot that happened to be across the street from my hotel. I went back to the hotel, walked around Keystone, SD for a few minutes, got some tacos, hit the pool and finally went to sleep well rested for Sturgis the next day.

The first day at Buffalo Chip was mostly getting settled. We got there a bit late because sadly there was an accident and the road getting in was backed up. Jason from Sailor Jerry picked me up and we did some grocery shopping and waited for the road to clear. Once we got there we had to get passes and deal with a few other things and then we got a tour of the place and checked out the Motorcycle As Art gallery. Buffalo Chip is huge and wasn’t really walkable but we had golf carts and mini bikes to use. Fortunately the stage and the Sailor Jerry sponsored bar was super close to our campsite so I mostly just walked everywhere. I spent an hour or two that day on my own. I walked past “Bikini Beach” where they were having an “air sex” competition which was pretty much like air guitar but for fucking. Apparently they had weird stuff like that all day there, which felt real Gathering of the Juggalos to me, but I was of course working for a corporate client so I just took a couple photos and moved on. That night the country singer Tommy Howell, formerly the actor C. Thomas Howell, performed and he was actually pretty good. I don’t really know why he changed his name though because he talked about how he was in the Outsiders between nearly every song. Finally the night ended with Lynyrd Skynyrd headlining. I mean the night didn’t actually end, there was a strip club afters thing and Bikini Beach and some of the bars were apparently popping, but I was off the clock so I went to bed. If I was covering this as a journalist I certainly would have stayed out a bit, but I had long days and I was happy to take it easy.

Day two we got to go out to Deadwood which I was psyched about because I didn’t get to go on Saturday. We brought with us four members of the International Bikini Team which is apparently a real thing. These girls basically served as promotional models for a bunch of different brands throughout the event so they would be working for Sailor Jerry one day and then Monster Energy the next or something like that. They also competed in a Miss Buffalo Chip contest every night and also bartened and did a bikini bike wash. I just hope they got paid well because those girls were hustling. I would honestly watch a documentary about them. 

Anyway, in Deadwood I mostly just photographed them handing out Sailor Jerry swag to people. Not the most exciting thing but it was fun to watch everyone’s reaction to them. We did a mini photoshoot on the stage they had set up for the Legend’s Ride and then a bunch of people came up and took photos with them since we had accidentally set up a photo booth. After that we got lunch and then made our way back to Buffalo Chip. We had planned on stopping in Sturgis on the way back but we were all exhausted. After a quick nap it was back to photographing bands. Leilani Kilgore opened and then Lita Ford played. I had such a crush on Lita Ford when I was like 14 and honestly she’s still kinda a babe in her 60s. 

The night was headlined by Limp Bizkit. Seriously. While Fred Durst is super goofy and I never liked their music back in the day, I actually really enjoyed their set. The combination of nostalgia mixed with the reactions from the crowd made it a lot of fun. Plus my strongest Limp Bizkit memory is their Woodstock 99 performance so I was just waiting for bikers to just start setting shit on fire. It didn’t happen, probably because the average age of the crowd was 65, but we still had a good time. 

So yeah, that’s the end of Part One. I will be back soon with the final day of the trip. I should also mention that while I didn’t really shoot any super NSFW photos, there are a few that I felt were a little to risque for Flicker so I threw them up on Girls of DBB. That site has thousands of my nude photos from over the years and is totally worth the money, but don’t sign up for it just to see the few NSFW shots from Sturgis because it’s not much. Just wanted to give you a heads up. Now go look at some photos. And thanks again to Sailor Jerry for having me out!

Click here to see all my photos from day one and two of my 2023 Sturgis Buffalo Chip adventure.

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Limp Bizkit @ Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Lynyrd Skynyrd @ Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Sturgis Buffalo Chip

Comments (0)

« Previous PageNext Page »