Faux-Chella: My Perfect Country Music Festival

Country Heartbeat Day1 Fixed

With Coachella just around the corner, TickPick and I have teamed up to present with Country Heartbeat readers my ideal country music festival! I have so many favorites that they had to divide the festival between two days! If you’ve been following this blog for a while now, it’s pretty obvious who my favorite country artists are. Whenever someone asks who my favorite artist is, I ask them if I can give them a top-5 or top-10 list instead, because it’s entirely way too hard to narrow down. I then proceed to list the above 10 artists, and a few others… depending on whose show I may have seen recently and re-fell in love with.

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An Open Letter to Meet & Greet Photographers

Dear Meet & Greet Photographer,

I write to you as a photographer myself. Not only do I know how to take a good quality photo, but it is very important to me. Often times I find myself angry at you for being so clueless and lacking concern for the photos you are taking. Some of you clearly just don’t care… (In that case, move over, I would like your job!)

I work for a radio station and often find myself taking meet and greet photos at shows, and you know what I do? I LOOK at every single image after I take it. Why? To make sure that no ones eyes are closed, no one is looking in an odd direction, it’s clear in focus, properly lit, etc. It takes an extra second for a quick glance, and if an issue is spotted, guess what? I correct it!

What angers me the most, is that now artists are charging a lot of money for VIP experiences before their shows and fans choose to pay for this mainly because they want a nice photo souvenir. As a paying customer, especially when some of these super-fans pay $100-$200 for this experience, I would hope to hell that you at least know what you are doing behind a camera and how to use one properly. For instance, in low lighting settings, USE A FLASH. No one wants a dark, shadowy, grainy image after paying $200.

Artists, please make sure that you have someone who knows how a camera functions running these Meet & Greets. So many times I see photos posted where the fan has their eyes closed. Do you know how simple it would have been to check the photo you just took and then ask for a second one to correct the problem? Oh maybe 3 seconds of your time and it would mean the world to a fan who would be otherwise devastated because they’ve been waiting 5 years to meet their favorite artist and finally get a photo with them… only to discover their eyes are closed.

I’ve always felt passionate about this, and recently it has happened to me (as well as every other person who was photographed that day). I would like to share with you my once-in-a-lifetime photo opportunity with both Thomas Rhett and Brett Eldredge. Do you see how I am in Thomas’ shadow? This is due to a poorly lit venue and lack of flash. Low lighting? Turn on the darn flash, people.

TR and BE BangorThankfully, as a photographer, I am also savvy at editing and was able to make it look a LITTLE bit better, but there is really no excuse for this. Here are a few other examples…

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