A Shocking Memory with DJ NGHTMRE
I was completely shocked.  I had just turned 18 years old - still in high school (2015). Shocked at what was sitting in my email inbox at lunch.  Today, still shocked to know I was even on top of my email now that I'm looking back. I had received an email from Tyler Marenyi, AKA NGHTMRE's manager, asking if I'd be able to shoot photos at his show that same evening- their photog wouldn't be able to make it up to MKE from Chicago.  The answer is yes. What time do I need to be there? Hours before the show, I find myself in a nearby Walgreens parking lot running through what lenses I want to use when and where. I've shot photos at this venue before, and I knew it would get pretty hot and steamy inside. I also knew never to assume what kind of production setup would reside on stage. Unfortunately, the production was quite intrusive and illuminated by projector screens, eliminating my ability to use flash. But that's beside the point.  I felt as ready as I could (and uncontrollably excited). It was more than just a show for me. It was an opportunity.  It gave me the same sense of opportunity I had felt before starting photography- I knew this was a gig that could potentially catapult me into the music industry the way I had always desired. 
And while it didn't project me to photography stardom or inject me within the inner guts of the music industry- it offers me a theoretical pat on the back today. I look at the photo of myself on the left, and I see a young man chasing a dream by utilizing the absolute most bare minimum of cameras to advance in an industry he so badly wants to be a part of. I was essentially a joke in a professional sense - but absolutely not, as well.  While I think I look pretty goofy in the photo, many probably have not seen NGHTMRE perform at a venue this small... I pat myself on the back because I know how hard I had been working leading up to this moment, and I never stopped after either. I see a hardworking (very sweaty) guy getting the chance to photograph an artist (I am a fan up) up close who has (now) amassed over hundreds of millions of streams on Spotify, performed at countless music festivals, and headlined many of his own tours. If there's one thing I want to take away from this post, is that I hope I continue to 'shock' myself for the rest of my life.
8.2.21