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Shifting Focus to a New Depth of Field

Photo by TEI

ThinkTEI Group Photo - Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer - Workshop: Life in the Pit

Are you ever curious as to how someone got their start – such as following their passion, endeavoring as an entrepreneur, prevailing as a rock star, or becoming a visionary for a brand new mission? I know I’m always curious about people and the “whys” behind what they do…this is one of the reasons why I co-founded Tour Press Force (TPF) with my 16-year-old daughter Nahnalah, and why I love interviewing the bands we cover!

It all starts with a point of focus. TPF’s point of focus appeared inside AP Magazine #317 and soon became a tear sheet posted on the wall — picture Jeremy McKinnon, lead vocalist of A Day to Remember standing on shoulders reaching out to crowd surfers during a live concert —awe inspiring! The image motivated our primary photographer, and co-founder Nahnalah_G to exclaim, “I want to take photos like that!” (Thank you, Santa for the X-Mas subscription to AP Magazine…)

PC: Nahnalah_G

Benjamin Biss - As It Is - San Diego, CA Warped Tour 2015

My first response to her exclamation was, “yeah, yeah, yeah,” as I brushed her notion off to a whim. Little did I know what was developing behind an unforeseen lens. Months later, a friend alerted Nahnalah to a photography workshop at Vans Warped Tour. Drum roll - Life in the Pit: Rock Photographer the Experience, A TEI Experience with Lisa Johnson Rock Photographer. (We didn’t even own a professional camera at that moment…)

PC: Nahnalah_G

Levi Benton - Miss May I - Dallas, TX Warped Tour 2015

So I banked on her unrelenting “whim” and decided to invest in a Canon EOS 6D. Today I’d say that was one of my best-ever investments; as a parent, you can’t go wrong when you invest in your kid! Of course, I was still unaware of what had developed behind that unforeseen lens until a few days after that ThinkTEI workshop, in Mesa, Arizona June 23, 2015.

PC: Nahnalah_G

Fronzilla - Attila - Dallas, TX Warped Tour 2015

I was so riveted by what I saw, that I arranged to send her and her friend to the workshops at three additional venues so that they could continue shooting from the pit. That summer she shot four Vans Warped Tour venues. By her final venue that summer in San Diego, she had a second camera and upgraded lenses.

PC: Nahnalah_G

Beau Boken - Bless the Fall - San Diego, CA Warped Tour 2015

She continued to shoot at various music venues in Arizona throughout that summer and on through the following year, when a local photographer approached us about the concept of creating an organization for young adult girls to gain hands-on experience in music industry supportive-roles. That photographer encouraged me too, to pick up a camera and work beside Nahnalah. I ran with the idea of creating the organization, preferring that it be open to all young adults.

PC: Nahnalah_G

Ariel Bloomer - Icon for Hire - San Antonio, TX Warped Tour 2015

We decided to officially kick off Tour Press Force by covering four Vans Warped Tour venues this Summer 2016 (content coming soon!). We enrolled in both of Lisa Johnson’s ThinkTEI workshops in Phoenix. It was a blast shooting from the pit and sharing the experience with my daughter! We were the only enrollees for Lisa’s second workshop, Rock Photographer 101: You Can Be A Photographer. We benefited from an intensive one-on-one session (wish I knew about those shutter settings before we hit the pit!). We can’t thank Lisa enough for her time and the experience – she’s a natural teacher!

PC: Nahnalah_G

Denis Stoff - Asking Alexandria - Mesa, AZ Warped Tour 2015

Yes, I certainly shifted my focus to a whole new depth of field. Of course, my daughter Nahnalah will always be at the center of that field, though the field is wide enough to open and create many hands-on opportunities for other young adults aspiring to pursue their passion within music industry supportive roles.

You’re never too young (or too old) to shift your focus. That shift will lead you into an amazing adventure abounding with new experiences!

PC: Nahnalah_G

The Watchers - Miss May I - Dallas, TX Warped Tour 2015

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