Cake
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    • In September of 2018, just barely two years ago, I took the plunge into being a full time event photographer. During the day I photographed family life celebrations and documented large tech company events across the Bay Area as my bread and butter, but by night, my true passion was concert photography.

    • There was no greater feeling than being on a stage and getting lost in the music while experiencing it through my camera. To be completely honest, the size of the crowd made no difference to me, because once I was in my zone, everyone except me and the person performing would disappear. Time seemed slower, senses seemed heightened, and above all else, I’ve never felt more confident than standing, right there, in my purpose. No words or any other thing in my life can match that feeling.

    • Things seemed to grow quickly and I was extremely lucky to work with the extraordinary minds that those sleepless nights lead me to. Above all else, I found myself a community of people where I felt I was truly at home. I knew that on any given night, I could find likeminded-music lovers, not only from the Bay, but from across the world. It wasn’t just music, it was family, and for some, therapy. The future seemed so incredibly bright and the fire in everyone’s hearts was burning very brightly.

    • February of 2020 came, March completely lined up to be my most successful month since going freelance full time and suddenly I started hearing word of a sickness spreading quickly. Within a week, I had 10 cancelations for the month of March, which was a very unusual number. At this point, Covid-19 hadn’t hit San Francisco, but it was very clear to me something big was coming. 

      Once Covid hit and the lockdowns began, all the research I did indicated it could be a year or more before events could start being safe again and my heart sank. Not only was music something that felt like a core part of my being, but photographing events and socializing on a mass scale everyday single day, I didn’t know who I was without that, and I wasn’t the only one going through that. The entire events industry was at a loss. 

      "It feels like the idea of who I was is standing outside my window, telling me she's still there, while the person trapped indoors searches for identity and morns who I thought made me, me.

    • As a previously- arguably- workaholic photographer. Suddenly being inside, and not having the crutch of staying busy 24/7 was a huge adjustment. I think it forced me to sit and focus on the things I had been neglecting and there were quite a few of those things. I used little self-portrait projects to keep myself busy, some days were beautiful, and some days were some of the hardest I’ve ever had. Across the board, most people I know will say the same.

      "Balancing: restlessness, peacefulness, and fear."

    • Alas, this didn’t stop creatives from being creative. It has been incredible to watch the events industry adapt to live streams, or get creative in outdoor spaces: Drive-ins, private 6-foot boxes, you name it.  Artists performing to empty stages with professional gear making sure they stream in the best quality possible. 6 feet distance, mask, whatever it takes.


      The events industry is in a massive evolution and we are all still trying to find our footing as things begin to open up. How do we do it safely? What is the best way to move forward?


      When will shows come back in mass? We don't know. Will it ever be normal again? That is also uncertain, as most every day is through this time.
      But It’s a time I am feeling so incredibly lucky to continue to document. 

      What this shows me is that music and connection is something so needed by the human race that we will do anything to share it with one another and connect, even if it’s not in person. 

    • Hi Sarah! ❤️ I've wondered how your photography is going, so thanks for the update. I know a lot of photographers whose business was devastated, at least temporarily. Meghan was paying for studio space when suddenly all her mini sessions got cancelled and she was at zero income while paying for the studio. Fortunately for her, outdoor photography has staged a partial comeback so she can do her sessions on beaches, yada.

      Poor Andy Williams had a booming photography tour business going until it wasn't, and I don't know when that will ever come back.

      Grieving and adaptation is the perfect description.

    • Ahhh yes. It's been a roller coaster of bookings and cancelations. Pre-covid I was supposed to go on my very first tour, which was one of my main goals when going full time photo. The tour was canceled just the week before for obvious reasons.

      I've learned a lot about myself through this time. To be honest, even though it's been hard, I'm actually in a better place mentally than I've been in a really long time because I've finally had the time to process and focus on my mental health.

      There are so many what-ifs that run through my head, but at the end of the day, I know I will be in a stronger place once this is all over (whenever that may be).

    • Definitely. I think this is a universal time for the world to learn "life isn't fair" - I think for some, this is the worst loss they've ever had. The biggest thing is that we are all in this together.

    • As another concert photographer this definitely hit home with me. At first I dove into my last gig and over delivering would be an understatement but it was a good escape. Since then I've kinda reverted back to my art school days which is more just trying to find interesting compositions in the ordinary things around me.

      I don't want to just blurt out my whole story since this is your thread but if you're ok with it what you've written has made me reflect a lot about this past year.