As a young photographer in my early 20’s, I managed to get myself hired right out of school (graduated Rochester Institute of Technology in 2004) to be the tour photographer for the rock and roll powerhouse 3 Doors Down.
At the time I started touring, the band was just coming off of the release of their second multi-platinum #1 album and gearing up for a third. Although, less than a decade ago, it seemed like a lifetime ago because the entire music industry has changed since them. These were the days of big budget tours
with pyro, mutliple million dollar tour busses, huge productions, and packed houses every night…but things have changed things for EVERYONE in the music industry since the early 2000’s.
Being a fairly sheltered young kid from the Northern Virginia suburbs, joining a national tour with a big rock band for months at a time was an incredible eye-opening experience. I learned things on the road that I never would have learned on my own. In addition, the band would give me unprecedented access to capture nearly all aspects of their lives…the ups and the downs. This was a real gift for a young photographer.
Over the years the members of 3 Doors Down have become like family to me and I owe the big jump start in my early career to a #1 rock band that chose to believe in a go-getting young kid in way over his head. This gallery is dedicated to the band that got me started and my first years of touring with them…
It took me literally days to go over 50,000 + tour photos I took of the band in the early days of my career. You can see places where I was learning how to tell a story with a photo, but my technique wasn’t quite refined. Although, in the end, this was the best on the job experience a young photographer could get! This is not to mention the lessons I learned navigating-safely/avoiding the speedbumps and potholes of groupies, bodily injuries, drugs, alcohol, police run-ins, scary border crossings, racing supercars, dropping helicopters, etc… Overall I kept myself out of trouble [for the most part], but I will always treasure the lessons learned and the great memories.
Oh, and how did I manage to get this touring job in the first place? That, my dear, is an entirely different story. I’ll save that one for the book
I shot the imagery for the cover of 3 Doors Down’s new single, which comes out this month for my client Universal Republic Records. I think this is the 2nd or 3rd album/single cover ive done for the band, but always feels like the first time. These guys are like family to me. Look for my new “Personal Series” on my portfolio website called “The Tour Photography”, which is a photo series showcasing my time over the years living on the 3 Doors Down tour busses. It should launch in a week or so. It takes a long time to go through over 50,000 digital files. WHEW!