After several attempts at getting together to shoot some photos in-studio or on-location, I was finally able to book a shoot with singer/songwriter Kem while he was in DC over the weekend. He was in town, for a tour he was on, with the legendary Charlie Wilson. I contacted him earlier in the week, and he said he'd let me know if time allowed. On Sunday, the morning of the concert, he replied, "If you can meet me at the venue around 4pm, we can try and make it happen."
Needless to say, I dropped what I was doing to pack my camera bag and get ready. I figured we'd be setting up shop in whatever random location we could find within the venue, so I didn't want to carry too much gear. I knew I'd need a minimal setup, which meant one light with a small soft box, a small reflector, and a small, but sturdy light stand.
However, my more compact light stand, as well as my smaller soft boxes and beauty dish were not within reach. I had to use a pretty hefty light stand, and an old umbrella, without a diffuser panel on the front. Yikes! Talk about harsh lighting. I'll have to do some tweaking in Photoshop.
I arrived to the venue, just in time. Kem's team and I scouted locations inside the arena, but we ended up just shooting inside his tour bus, and in his dressing room. While scouting, I thought it would be cool to shoot in the bleachers of the arena, but totally forgot about it, as we were shooting. I honestly didn't remember that until I started typing this blog post. Smh.
We shot a total of 2 looks, before it was time for him to get situated for his performance. I'm so anxious to see which images he and his team select to be edited. I already spotted a few that I like, and I hope we're on the same page. Stay tuned for images from the photo shoot.
Fast forward to showtime. Since I was there already, with the proper access, I figured, "Why not capture some performance shots as well?". So, I did just that. I shot the majority of Kem's set.
There was a moment in the show when Kem gave a fan the opportunity to serenade his woman, on the front row. To everyone's surprise, the guy could actually sing. You can see how much emotion he put into singing that one line. Kem was shocked, and laughed quite a bit. The next guy, not so much. He gets an "E" for effort though.
At the end of his show, Kem asked an arena full of fans to stand to give God some praise. Thousands, stood to their feet to scream and cheer for God almighty. What a powerful moment.
Once he left the stage, Kem met with some fans in a room backstage at the Verizon Center, and after taking pics and some kissing a few Grandmas on the cheek, he discovered a familiar sound coming from a small speaker inside the room. Whoever setup the meet & greet had his "Promise to Love" album playing, as background music.
He approached the speaker, and sat on the edge of a table, and listened, as if he had never heard it before. He entered a zone. He sat there, listening intently. Eyes closed. Naturally, I grabbed my camera, and preserved the moment.