17 Moments of 2017

Every year I create a list of my favorite images from that year. I wanted to switch things up a bit for 2017. This was a really emotional year for me. I grew a lot as a creative and as a person. I decided to reflect more on actual moments and times of my life rather than specific photos so I could try and put you guys in my shoes for these moments. Here we go!

17

The Day After I Moved to Los Angeles (January 10th)
Los Angeles, California

First of all I was in disbelief I had moved to Los Angeles. I ended up at the MDDN offices and was met with a lot of friendly faces that later became really important people in this journey. I was still in the mindset that I couldn't shoot because it was still very difficult at this time but I ended up shooting some portraits with Deryck Whibley of Sum 41 with my little Fujifilm XT1 that day because he was in the office doing an interview with Awsten (Waterparks) and a shoot with Grizzlee Martin. I later went to photograph Dirty Heads and Sublime with Rome rehearsals. I remember being really tired this day but really emotional. I shot with my left hand and from then on I kept teaching myself how to adjust to shooting. It was an overwhelming sense that I had made the right decision to move and I finally felt hopeful about my health. Hopeful about my life. Where I was . The future. I knew I could do this. 

 Pictured: Grizzlee Martin, Me and my lil brace, and the amazing Allie Snow!

Pictured: Grizzlee Martin, Me and my lil brace, and the amazing Allie Snow!

 Deryck Whibley shot at MDDN in Burbank

Deryck Whibley shot at MDDN in Burbank

16

The Used "Over and Over Again" Music Video
Los Angeles, California

The Used was another one of my favorite bands when I was younger. Getting to document them create and conceptualize this video was incredible. Also watching Lisa Mann direct was just unbelievable. She is amazing and I've looked up to her work with years since her early work with them!

15

iHeart Radio Music Festival
Las Vegas, Nevada

Getting to go to vegas and photograph IHMF for iHeart Radio was an experience that I won't ever forget. It was such an honor getting to photograph such huge names (Lorde, Miley Cyrus, Pink, 30 Seconds To Mars, COLDPLAY). Here are a few of my favorite shots from the weekend!

14

High and Low Festival
San Bernardino, California

Bad Suns is definitely my favorite band to play while shooting and is always a fun time to photograph. I got to work with them a lot this year and I am really grateful for that! Death Cab for Cutie is my favorite band of all time. I have seen them several times but have never been approved to photograph them and I finally got to this day. I loved this festival and the line-up ruled!

13

The Day I Met FITNESS
Los Angeles, CA

Sappy moment! I showed up to a FITNESS rehearsal in Los Angeles and had no idea what to expect. All I knew was that Kenny used to be in Awolnation and Max sang in Eve 6 and "Here's To The Night" was a jam when I was younger. These two weird ass amazing spirited people ended up being a huge light in my life this year and I am so eternally grateful for their love and their talent. FITNESS is a family and I now have a F tattoo on my body (hahaha). They were also the first band to let me direct a video for them which is coming out early 2018 so keep an eye out! I love FITNESS. 

12

Yellowcard's Final Show
Anaheim, California

It was a really sad day but it was a really great day. It was an honor to photograph Yellowcard's last show for them and to be apart of the final merch process. It was really special to be the one there to cover their final day as a band and to capture these moments. We also decided to do prints FROM a pre-show portrait we shot during soundcheck so I had to run to walgreens and I watched 100 prints be printed with so much anxiety. At the end of the night the band had sold all of the autographed prints and it felt really special. Here are a few never before seen moments from that day.

11

Photographing Paramore
Los Angeles, California

Best band ever. After Laughter was everything I ever needed to hear. Also dancing to Rose Colored Boy. No further explanation needed. Shot for Alternative Press. So grateful for each time I am able to photograph this incredible band.

 

10

Working with DREAMCAR
California

I was very fortunate this year to be able to document Dreamcar several times from KROQ, to a show in San Francisco and more. KROQ was definitely my favorite because it was the debut of their first single "Kill For Candy". We had to be there at 6AM and I just remember the energy being so high and exciting. Vibrant. Went with Tom and Adrian to buy their new record in Long Beach the morning it was released. I feel so thankful for that. These guys are all incredible musicians and getting to document this part of their career's really meant a lot to me. Like most of you reading this I was hugely inspired by No Doubt and I am a fan of AFI. Just such an amazing and talented group of men. So much love! 

9

Keep A Breast Portraits
San Diego, California

Shot a ton of portraits for Keep A Breast for their "Check Your Selfie" campaign at the San Diego stop of Vans Warped Tour this year! Was the best day ever because I just had a cute pink tent and a pink backdrop and I hung out there all day snapping pictures of all of my friends. Definitely felt really amazing at the end of the day knowing so many people cared about such an important cause! Please check out KEEP A BREAST here.

8

Rise Against Small Shows
Chicago, Illinois + Brooklyn, NY + Los Angeles, CA

I got to tag along with Rise Against to document their first three shows back when they announced their new record, WOLVES. They played House of Vans in Chicago + Brooklyn and the Troubadour in Los Angeles. After living in Chicago for so many years, Rise Against became a band I really loved to getting to work with them was just incredible! Definitely the most kind band ever and the most fun to photograph.

7

R.O.S.E. Confessional Filming with Jessie J
Placerita Canyon, California

This day was incredible. We drove out to the mountains and wandered around for a few hours filming the most beautiful content (I did only stills). There was a thunderstorm in the distance as well as wildfires. We were only a few miles out of Los Angeles but it felt like a lifetime because it was so quiet and peaceful.

6

True Humboldt x PROHBTD Cannabis Farm Documentation
Humboldt County, California

I didnt really discuss this much when it happened but this was probably one of the coolest experiences of my entire life. I can't really discuss it much until the project is finished but PROHBTD hired me to go up north and document organic cannabis farms in Humboldt county. We drove all around the county and saw some of the most beautiful sights and more cannabis than you can ever imagine. It was an incredible experience and I learned so much about cannabis farming and the culture. We watched the eclipse on a organic cannabis farm with a ton of incredibly diverse people. I will never forget this experience. More to come!

5

"Think About That" Video Shoot
Los Angeles, California

By some crazy outcome of the universe, I ended up meeting Jess and getting asked to shoot behind the scenes of her first video for her new record, "Think About That". Jess ended up asking to use one of my images for the single art and that was just unbelievable to me! This was the first day we worked together and one of the most important days of my life. Here are some of my favorite stills from that day + the single artwork. 

4

A Week With Bring Me The Horizon / American Nightmare Tour

Since the fall of 2015 I have spent the majority of my touring life on the road with Bring Me. They did a full US tour with Beartooth and Underoath this year and my health was still not in the best place. Unfortunately I had to make he heart breaking decision to pull out of the tour last minute but I still joined the guys for a week to capture some content as well as LA and the final show is Las Vegas. I love these guys and their team. Over the years they have been nothing short of incredible to me and I am so grateful for their support and love. Here are my favorite images from the tour! Here are some mostly candid and behind the scenes shots to give you guys more a glimpse.

My FAVORITE moment of this week was the first day of tour in Orlando. We were at some strange amusement park and they had helicopter rides for $20 a person and Matt, Tom (band's trainer) and I decided to take it for a spin and we lived.

Another memorable moment for me was in Los Angeles. Their manager pointed out that he saw people on the top of the parking garage so obviously I was going to go for it (hehe). I remember sprinting over there during "Can You Feel My Heart" and I had a pack in so I could hear the show. It was hilarious because the elevator was definitely the slowest elevator in the entire world so instead of waiting any longer I sprinted up six stories of stairs and was so out of breath. When I got up there, there was about 100 kids watching but everyone was so kind and moved to let me shoot. Somebody even offered to hold me if I stop on top of the ledge in which I responded, "No. Fucking. Way." Regardless, I got the shot and it's one of my favorite shots of Bring Me I've taken over the years! 

3

Photographing / Creating The Dangerous Summer's Album Artwork Concept
Los Angeles, California

As a teen, The Dangerous Summer was one of my favorite bands. I met AJ this year and we instantly became friends. When I heard he was writing a record I knew I wanted to be involved somehow with artwork conceptualization. The whole concept came about when AJ explained to me where he was in his life and just from getting to know him. He gave me full control which meant the world to me. I wanted it to feel like the past was dead and be a representation of moving on and letting go. We photographed our friend Steph at her apartment pool and just went for it. Overall it turned out even better than I could have imagined. I am so proud of this. Thank you AJ, Steph and Hopeless!

2

House Of Vans Grand Opening
Chicago, Illinois

Vans has been incredibly kind to me over the course of my career (Thank you, Amanda). I couldn't believe it when they hit me up about showcasing my photos at the brand new House of Vans in Chicago. My home! I sent over a ton of hi-res images and had no idea what to expect. I arrived to see an entire wall of my images and started crying my eyes out. It was the first time I had ever seen my photos on display. Let alone have a six foot tall photo of Erykah Badu!? Future Islands played that night along with a ton of other amazing artists. It was definitely a career milestone for me and a night I won't ever forget. Thank you, Vans.

1

Jessie J Tour
North America, Mexico, Canada, UK + Europe

Wow, I am not sure where to begin here or what to say. This tour was a really eye opening experience. It was definitely the most physically demanding and exhausting because of all of the fly dates and travel. I have never done a tour like that. We had flights get cancelled, delayed, everything under the sun. But at the end of it all it felt like a true family affair and we had the most incredible team of people behind the entire operation. The most incredible month of my life. My first time on a private jet. We had two days in cancun mexico at a beautiful resort. I went back to England which was a huge fear of mine to face. There was so many lessons and realizations I had on this tour. It made me brave again and it made me willing again to do what I love again. It made me trust again after everything I faced last year. Jess and her team really took care of me. I am so eternally grateful for this opportunity and to have spent so much time in the company of such hard working and passionate people. Here are some of my favorite images.

I would love to thank all of the above people and their amazing teams for this year. Thank you to everyone following along on this journey. Thank you to everyone who lets me put my camera in their face. I will never take what I do for granted. Here's to 2018. I am very optimistic that it will be a beautiful year. 

Thanks for reading,

- AO