J Mascis (Dinosaur Jr) Rig Tour with Total Guitar Magazine
There are things in your life that you never think would happen, and this is one of those moments. When I was young, I was a guitar player and in my fair share of different bands. Dinosaur Jr, and particularly J Mascis, was my main inspiration for my guitar playing. Besides being my absolute favourite band, J’s guitar playing was out of this world and was what pushed me to become a better guitar player. At that time, I did actually want to be a photographer. I didn’t think music was something I would ever do as a job (and I was correct), but I did want to become a photographer. That dream though went massively on the back burner when I decided to join the US Air Force…and if you had told me back then that one day I would be taking portraits of my idol, I would have told you you were insane.
Fast forward 20 or so years and there I was at the O2 Forum in Kentish Town watching Dinosaur Jr soundcheck. I was setting up my lights, waiting for soundcheck to finish so that I could have my 5 minutes with J to take a few portraits of him when they were done. When I am on a shoot, nothing else enters my brain besides my objective to photograph what I want to photograph. Who it is, doesn’t matter, and even though I was getting to take editorial portraits of J Mascis, at the time it was just another portrait shoot.
Before the shoot though, that’s another story. I was taking everything in as I watched Dinosaur Jr soundcheck. This was something I never would have thought would happen, and it was amazing. I had scoped out a few different locations I wanted to try and use for the portraits and when J was ready I talked with him about the different options. Having only 5 minutes though, we opted to just photograph J in front of his massive wall of Marshall full stacks. It was quick, it was easy, and it was over before I knew it!
Once I was done doing the portraits of J, I had a lot more time to photograph the different gear that he has with him… and it’s a lot of gear! This was for a Rig Tour feature in Total Guitar, so photos of the gear is essential for the article. I think I photographed 5 different guitars and then a MASSIVE pedal board. I grabbed my selfie with J and the shoot was over… but one that has to be the highlight of my career as a photographer.
The Tear Sheets:
Below are the tear sheets from Total Guitar.
I didn’t take a lot of photos (I only had 5 minutes), but here are some of my favourites from my shoot with J Mascis.
It was short, but it was oh so sweet! Getting to photograph my idol was amazing, but again, at the time I was just taking portraits of another person. Afterwards though, I was definitely gleeful! 😀
I only had 5 minutes to get my portraits, and I had to work extremely quick in a very limited space. But, the magazine loved the shots in front of the amps, and all the gear shots turned out amazing as well. All in all a great shoot!
As always, I try to get a selfie with whoever it is that I am photographing. I HAD to get one with J, and here it is.