July 08, 2009
Ann Arbor Summer Festival 2009
Breathless! That’s me after shooting 16 days (out of 24) at the Festival.
This is the first Festival out of the past three I’ve shot where there wasn’t a performance in the sky above Ingalls Mall. I don’t mind admitting that performers such as Strange Fruit and Heliosphere can make it a smidge easier for me to take dazzling photographs (almost to the point where it feels like cheating). This year, without the distraction of people flying in the air, I was delighted to discover the many awe-inspiring moments on the ground. I guess you can say this year’s Festival brought me back to earth.
Hardly! Rather, several musical acts had me flying… over the moon — including Nomo, Hullabaloo, Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings, and My Dear Disco! Circo Comedia charmed my socks off. Body Masterpiece accomplished the impossible: making kids even cuter!
It’s a big honor to be a part of this Festival in such an integral and celebrated manner. I couldn’t be prouder to see my images displayed in the Festival program and website, helping to convey this magical and unique community event. Not to mention printed large-scale and hung on the wall of the Power Center lobby. I can’t thank Robb Woulfe enough for inviting me to be involved with the Festival at this level. I also want to thank him for his contribution to our community: Robb’s artistic leadership, enthusiasm, professionalism, and good humor have made the Summer Festival an event we can’t help but embrace and enjoy. His staff and all the Festival supporters truly have done a spectacular job this year inspiring and uplifting us AND making us groove. Now we just have to keep it going!
Seriously, we do!
One last thank you: to my husband Rich (aka Rico). There’s no way I can shoot two festival evenings out of every three (on top of my regular studio work) without his support. The extra-innings parenting is one big way he makes this possible, but he’s also working overtime to bolster my energy and confidence. Plus, so often with photography the decisive moment is spotted during the grueling culling/editing process. Out of the several hundred shots I take of Sharon Jones, which is going to be “the one”? When my eyes hurt, or I’ve simply lost objectivity, I can depend on Rich to make these choices. He’s got an impeccable eye, and brings a much needed fresh perspective. I think he does an amazing job. Wouldn’t you agree?
This and the triptych above: Late-night dancing to Orquestra Sensacional
— good shots made great with a little help from my friends. (You know who you are.)
This is the first year I got to shoot Mainstage acts: Los Lobos
at the Power Center. Seems that all of Ann Arbor’s cool kids (over 40) were in attendance. (You know who you are.)
Gratuitous blogger’s-art-in-the-lobby shot.
The lovely Pink Martini performed at Hill Auditorium — this was taken from the front of the mezzanine.
I’m a new fan — nay, addict — of Hullabaloo. I especially loved the energy of their bass player, who has inspired me to learn to play bass (in all my copious free time).
Tango lessons. (The dance instructor is the one sporting the treacherous footwear — and I’m not talking about the flip-flops!)
Chic hats? Check. Pink sno-cones and cotton candy? Check. Adorable girls? And how!
I had to crop this one super-close: Sharon Jones has soul to spare! The Dap-Kings were keepin’ the groove sick and tight. This was far and away Rico’s and my favorite Mainstage act. Get your soul-fix here
I was grateful for the chance to briefly photograph Diana Krall
at Hill Auditorium. This was taken from the back of the house during the first song with a 135mm lens.
Mission accomplished: Got all seven members of My Dear Disco
and at least several hundred of their best fans in a full-out, rockin’ shot. It wasn’t easy. The fans were quite cooperative, but a certain band member kept doing his patented “duck and cover” move (he knows who he is — nah, I’m gonna rat you out, Tyler).
Someone who should know told me that My Dear Disco brought in the biggest TOP
crowd since 2004.
at the Power Center. My vantage point is perhaps not the best to fully appreciate what this duo did. One of them is wearing roller skates (more specifically, one inline skate and one “traditional” roller skate). The ladder is rickety (at best) — although to call it “rickety” is to pay it a rather undeserved compliment. In point of fact, it was busting apart at critical junctures, which made it completely — utterly and hilariously — unsound. In the photo on the right, the dude’s balanced atop a board that’s rolling freely atop a cylinder that’s rolling freely atop a (literal) house of cards. And several of the consituent cards had just been — accidentally, I’m sure — knocked over. Trust me, it’s a miracle these guys aren’t in traction.
A lot of people fell in love with MC Frontalot
at this performance. I may have been one of them. Check out the Bic pen and Petzl headlamp — inspired!
Rico suggested I shoot George Bedard with a slow shutter to capture the energy of his playing.
Duffy King, who was playing with Bugs Beddow. I’m just beginning to get an inkling of a notion of the tremendous talent we’re lucky to have in our small corner of the world.
Bugs Beddow Band
knew how to coax the Festival crowd into the perfect photo-op formation.
Want more Festival pics? Check out the slideshow at the Ann Arbor Summer Festival homepage.