As we wrap up the last full week of summer break and summer beach portraits, we thought we’d take a look back at a session that was definitely not your average beach shoot.
One rainy Friday morning in May, our own Ryan Manthey joined the throngs of the faithful making the annual pilgrimage to the mecca of music festivals. Held along the breathtakingly beautiful beaches of Gulf Shores, Alabama, Hangout Music Festival cannot be explained; it has to be experienced. And experience it, he did.
Ryan had been to Hangout Music Festival a few years ago, but this time was different. Armed with a pit pass, Ryan tossed some seats from the family minivan Swagger Wagon-style so he’d have a place to crash (he’s hardcore like that), loaded up his favorite film cameras, and headed west for the weekend. He returned with a ton of sweet images of colorful festival-goers and artists like Alabama Shakes, Hippie Sabotage, Big Grams, and X Ambassadors.
At this Really Awesome Beach Shoot, Ryan rubbed elbows with pretty much everyone, partly because it was packed but also because he got to chill in the media tent. He took a few breaks to grab some snacks and listen in on cool artist interviews, then headed back out to catch the next round of shows.
Though you might think a pit pass guarantees you front and center for the best bands, you’re only partially correct. Ryan learned that the pit pass guarantees you the first three songs before you’re escorted out so you don’t block artists’ interactions with their fans, so you better not waste time taking your best shots.
Next year, Ryan plans to shoot a combo of film and digital, just to get some variety. “I always feel like I’m working when I have my digital, because that’s what I use for weddings and portraits,” Ryan said. “But I’d like to see how the different images look, so next year I’ll probably do both.”
Ryan went on to say that the coolest thing about an opportunity like this is the unexpected. Though the people and details with weddings and portraits are different, the framework is the same. Shooting events like Hangout or a Florida State game stir up creative juices and refresh his artistic side. That, in turn, brings fresh inspiration to wedding and portrait work.
Film Processing: The Find Lab