Issue #1 August 2015
What is Polarize and why did I name this mag this? Po.lar.ize: divide or cause to divide into two sharply contrasting groups or sets of opinions or beliefs. I am the divide in between the fans and the artists in between the stage. My camera is the divide between the artists/fans and me. The divide between who I am and the music I enjoy. I am capturing the beliefs of the artists and fans. Well this all makes sense in my mind, Welcome to Polarize: A Photo Zine. Welcome to my thoughts, my eye through the lens.
All words and photos belong to Emily Kovacic. These are her opinions on what she experiences and are not meant to be misinterpreted in any other way.
Inquires: firstname.lastname@example.org www.emilykovacicphotography.com Instagram: @emilykovacic Twitter: @emilykphotos Facebook Page: Emily Kovacic Photography 3 - Polarize Magazine
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I don’t know how I got into this scene, wait that’s a lie I totally do. Looking back at the past few years I’m thankful that it got me exposed to this scene. My first Warped Tour was in 2013. I didn’t know all but one band. I didn’t listen to any screamo type music, I once even thought All Time Low was too hard of music to listen to. (Says the girl who still actively listens to the Jonas Brothers) So how did I get exposed into the scene of Warped, my ex-boyfriend. While I was with him I hated the music he forced me to listen to. Then experiencing Warped was kind of crazy to me. Then the months followed after the break up where I found myself listening to A Day to Remember and Pierce the Veil, which was a big deal for me. I thought “How do you understand what they’re saying when the scream? How do people like this?” and then I listened more, read up on the bands, and did my research. Now I’m in love with bands like A Day to Remember, Of Mice and Men, Beartooth, Pierce the Veil, Issues etc. You see music and photography go hand in hand for me. I didn’t find photography until music. I was the kid whose parents took her to a lot of concerts throughout my life. My first show was Terry Clark at the Fayette County Fair in 2001, I was six-years-old. The years followed with me attending more shows. The notable ones that I remember are: Tim McGraw and Faith Hill, Hilary Duff, Jesse McCartney, Kelly Clarkson, Justin Timberlake and Christina Aguilera. Growing up, I became quite obsessed if I do say with getting the best shots at shows with really terrible PAS. I came to the point in my life where I didn’t know what exactly I wanted to do. It was before my sophomore year of high school that my mom suggested it was something I should pursue since I was so passionate about it and since then it just clicked. I wasn’t good but practice makes perfect. I kept at the PAS concert photography. Decided to go to college for photography, it just made sense to me. I wanted to be a music photographer, and I still do but I have I better perspective on it. I learned how people got close to take photos and what I needed to do to get there. I was sending PAS photos to publications and getting denied or no response. Which made me feel terrible. I knew that I needed to get one photo pass to prove that I could do this and I was extremely determined. It took me till May of 2014 to get a photo pass, just because the publication gave me a chance even though I was on the staff as a writer only and I shot that show and had no clue what I was doing and those pictures will never be talked about again. I made my own online publication, E Minor Media, and within a month and a half I then shot Warped Tour and doors opened for me. I was able to get in other publications as a photographer. I was giving myself chances to cover music that I never imagined of listening to let alone shooting the acts. Now back to those bands I researched. The Warped Tour like bands are a whole different level then the mainstream things I was used to. They wrote their lyrics they made their albums with whatever they could. They played shows in weather that I didn’t even want to stand in let alone jump around on stage and perform. They were building relationships with photographers and taking them out on the road, and letting them in their studios. It drew me in more to the scene. I was listening to Pierce the Veil, A Day to Remember, and Of Mice and Men. I was finding artists that were touring with these bands and listening to them. The domino effect started that way and now I’m into too many different types of artists to count. I got into the scene in kind of a strange way but I like this scene and the people who are involved in it, they’re all dedicated. It’s not the mainstream scene, these bands aren’t making songs just to have a new song out, and they’re making them for the fans.
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All Time Low
T h e
F u t u r e
H e a r t s
T o u r
Hands down my favorite band to listen to and perform live. Getting approved to shoot them, what even. It was gloomy and kind of rain but I didn’t care. I was shooting a band I’ve loved since approximately 2010. State Champs, Tonight Alive, and Issues were also apart of the line up. This was the first show that I shot with my new lens, 14mm. State Champs were cool, not particularly into them but I knew most of their songs cause my roommate played them obsessively around me. They’re good and all, it’s just me, I’m not that pop punk.
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It was my second time shooting Tonight Alive and I always love their energy and Jenna’s stage presence, she really gets the crowd going. I got one of my favorite double exposures during their set. Issues’ needs an award for their Pokémon themed gear. The pop of color was really nice and added to my photos since I make them blue toned in post. I also got what I consider my first really good jump shot of Michael.
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Then All Time Low, their lighting was so good. Their energy was so good exposure that includes all the band members which is probably rare when I w well as the weird angles I take to my advantage. It was really surreal get jamming. Jack took a girlâ€™s shiny silver hoodie in the middle of their set and I t it. He also jumped in the crowd on a floaty pizza, which I also was at a disadvan
everything was just good! I’m in love with the one shot of Alex. I took a double was that close to the stage. My wide-angle lens really shined here and I used it as tting to shoot them and I totally came out of the photo pit in awe, then I started totally wish I would’ve got him wearing it but I didn’t have the advantage to get ntage to. You never know what this band is going to do and just had to be at the right spot in the right time to get those kind of shots, or be Adam.
Many women in this industry haven’t been taken seriously lately. It’s all of the music industry really, but I’d like to speak up about women music photographers. I’m a photographer. I’m an artist. I’m a fan of music and artists, but I am not a fangirl. I take photos of artists that I listen to, but not because I’m just trying to get in the photo pit to be close to them. The problem is that not many in this industry are taking women music photographers seriously, and that needs to change. It’s apart of the whole men versus women thing that’s going on. There are many women photographers that take this job seriously. There are also the fangirls with smartphones for cameras that get into the photo pit somehow. There’s a difference. The only reason I’m trying to gain access is to get shots to get the photos and create art. I’m in work mode. I act professionally. Ask my friends who go to shows with me, I’m very professional and won’t have fun till I’m done shooting all the artists. I’m a 20-year-old girl in the photo pit with a bunch of men. Men that are shooting for the papers and don’t care as long so they get an okay shot. Men who do it as a hobby and get the same shots over and over of different artists. Of course this isn’t all men, but it’s a majority of what I’ve been in the photo pit with. I want to tour with a band. No, not to “sleep with them” or “stalk” them. I want to tour with a band to capture moments for them to let me create the photos I want to document. I’ve been asked by a male photographer in the photo pit at a show mind you, if I want to take this as a serious job and not just a hobby. Of course I answered that I was taking this seriously. His answer was pretty much summed up in “wow good luck to you.” It’s time to actually take women seriously in this industry. Not just the female photographers but all females who work in this music industry. We have the talent to work for you and our gender should not have any influence on whether we get hired or not. I am really sick of seeing how some females in this industry have been treated by the men and it needs to stop. It should NEVER make a difference because of a person’s gender. Their work should always outway that. Women music photographers aren’t just some fangirls trying to get close to the artists in the photo pit.
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The Before: I’ve carefully made a list of whom I want to shoot. My camera bag is packed and the nerves are hitting. Not as bad as last year but this is kind of a big deal to be shooting. I feel pressured because of all the doors this opened for me last year. I need to get good shots that are in the realm of what I want to do and the ideas in my head. The down side is that it’s supposed to rain and possibly storm. Thanks Mother Nature, I just want to shoot some bands. I don’t know if I’m more worried about that or what. I’m probably also not going to get any sleep and I’m freaking out. There’s so many more people that I know this year and I’ll be fine but I just am worried, per usual. I’m worried about getting there in time getting the set times, getting my pass etc.
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First of all, I’m sore and out of shape, Warped kicked my butt. Secondly, that was so fun despite all the rain. By time I got there and walked half way around the venue to get to the main gate and got in with my pass it was about noon. I missed Juliet Simms set, which I was sad about. I bought the 2-dollar set time paper and made a schedule on my phone. First up was Bebe Rexha. She was pretty fun to shoot until it started raining and I didn’t get out of the pit in time and got soaked. It was cool to see who stayed of the crowd and who ran because of the rain. By this time I had my poncho on and a plastic bag that I cut a hole in to put my camera in to shoot Beautiful Bodies. I’m still laughing at the fact that the photos I took went from it being rainy to sunny to rain again. I also got a cool crowd shot during this set, many left because of the rain though, which sucks because the singer and guitarist were literally getting in the crowd and interacting with them. Of course they did this after the first 3 songs though and I was at the other stage hiding from the rain. Still in my poncho I waited to shoot Mod Sun. I was also freaking out about the rain and if it was going to mess up who I wanted to shoot. Mod Sun had their own photographer on stage and I found one photo of me in my poncho get up, my poncho looked like a shower curtain and was huge, this is why I didn’t want to be photographed in it, but it was bound to happen. Let me tell you this, Mod Sun…check him out! Seriously he was so energetic and fun to shoot minus the fact he hit me hard with the mic cord and it got stuck on me and security had to help get it off of me. Photo pit fun! The guy was crazy good! These were the only artists I shot on the outside stages. Warped had the main stages in the amphitheater which was smart. I actually ended up spending the rest of my day in there shooting. I got to the amphitheater and caught the end of New Years Day set. Second time seeing them live and they’re great as well. Next on my list to shoot was Miss May I. It was so insane and chaotic. I loved every minute of it. My day was pretty much shoot a band on one side of the stage sit and watch the rest of their set and then shoot the next band. I didn’t plan for this but I’m not complaining! Silverstein was next and wasn’t the best experience for me to shoot, I just wasn’t feeling it, but I did get two cool double exposures. I was really excited to shoot PVRIS again because I didn’t think I would get to. Unfortunately the pit was packed with photographers and I couldn’t move as much as I wanted to, so I only got one shot that I like. a Next I finally got to shoot Black Veil Brides. I’ve been trying to shoot them since November I believe. I’ve seen other photographers’ photos of them and they always looked like an interesting shoot, and they didn’t disappoint. They had smoke with colored lights flashing underneath some of their stands (is that what they’re called?). I’m going to require more bands to have smoke on Warped because I got cool shots from it and I knew I could play with the colors more in post. Next was Memphis May Fire, which was exciting for me because they’ve been on my list of bands I must shoot. There wasn’t many photographers in the pit for this which I thought was strange, pretty sure Riff Raff or someone else was playing at another stage across the venue and that’s where everyone else was, or no one wanted to shoot Memphis May Fire, I don’t know. Anyway, I was kind of annoyed that the main stage is high and I couldn’t get the angles I wanted at this point since I had been shooting most of the day there. I like the lights above the stage so I tried to make those work in my shots. I got a double exposure with the lights involved during their set; the lights have a dreamy pastel feel to them.
Next came my dilemma, which deserves it’s own paragraph. Pierce the Veil was on at 5:45, Beartooth at a stage across the venue at 5:30 and The Amity Affliction at the same stage as Beartooth at 6:10 and Blessthefall at 6:15. My original plan was to shoot one song of Pierce the Veil which happened to be their new song then run to catch Beartooth’s set because I love them, then run back for Blessthefall and then run back to catch The Amity Affliction’s set because I was dying to see them live. Well this didn’t happen at all, and logically I don’t know what I was thinking. The rain made the hill that I had to cross muddy and I had slipped once on it with camera in hand which was terrifying but I saved myself. I also got drenched walking out of the photo pit twice inside the amphitheater because the rain was that bad. I decided to see what happened. Well, Pierce the Veil went on late, photographers weren’t allowed in the pit until after the streamers and smoke they blew into the crowd were gone, so there went me seeing Beartooth. Then shooting Pierce the Veil got worst. Every photographer had to be in that pit and every crowd member had to crowd surf, or at least that’s what it seemed like. Security kicked us out after the second song because it wasn’t safe with all of the crowd surfers. So I shot for a song and a half, which sucked because Pierce the Veil is so energetic, live. I wanted to get a good shot of Jaime, which didn’t happen. I did end up getting a cool shot of their drummer Mike, I literally just put my camera in the air and attempted it. (Side note: Don’t ever put your camera in the air in the photo pit, I only did it because I was up against the wall of the stage and couldn’t see over without leaning into the photographers behind me camera.) I got a smiley picture of Vic that I liked but it was too plain so I messed with it and made it a weird green double exposure thing. I was mad that I got kicked out soon, well every photographer was but I stayed and watched their set because let’s face it Pierce the Veil is good and puts on a damn good show. I got my favorite crowd shot of the day while watching the set. Two girls in front of me were talking and you could see the crowd in front of them from the angle we were standing on the side and I just love it. They also let out more confetti at the end and I ended up getting that shot. The venue probably hated them because the confetti got stuck on everything that was wet from the rain, including the side of the stage outside. I realized I wasn’t going to make Beartooth’s set and it was raining so there was no way I was going to make it there and back without falling down the muddy hill. I shot Beartooth last year at Warped so I was kind of okay not shooting them this year. I decided to also miss The Amity Affliction and just shoot Blessthefall. Very sad about missing Beartooth and The Amity Afflicition and if you know me you’ll never hear the end of it, so I hope both come back to Pittsburgh soon! Blessthefall became my last shoot of the day. I was sad knowing that this was it for the year but all good things must come to an end. Security wouldn’t let us in the pit because all the crowd surfers were still coming out from Pierce the Veil, or I actually don’t know how that many people got in the pit but it was insane. My fellow photographers and I got let in to shoot Blessthefall in the middle of their first song. Beau was insane running around stage. My best shot of that set is when they all jumped and I actually got the shot. I wish I were higher though so that you couldn’t see the stupid speakers. Beau also got in the crowd and I love the shot I got of that with everyone’s reactions to him head banging in the crowd. It was the end of the third song and I knew this was it for me for Warped 2015. It was time to go home.
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As I was walking out to get picked up it was starting to rain again, but then the sun came out and there appeared a rainbow in front of me. I just can’t explain how that moment felt, it meant something to me that I shot all day and now here’s this rainbow. It was a cool ending. It also made me mad because I was outside the venue and there went a photo opportunity for that while still inside Warped and of course the sun comes out when I’m leaving. Shooting Warped Tour is one of the most intense, craziest days ever. It was my second year shooting it and I felt better about it because I had a purpose to what shots I wanted. I’m going to go with that I got those shots. There are a couple moments I missed, there are bands I missed shooting, but it’s okay. I’m so blessed to be able to shoot Warped, because I definitely didn’t think it would happen again this year. It probably sounds crazy but I’m relieved that shooting it is over for the year. I put a lot of pressure on myself to get shots that I literally make myself sick on the hour and a half ride to get to the venue. It’s all worth it though. One summer I truly hope I’m fortunate enough to get to be on the tour the whole summer shooting. Yes, it’s stressful but I know that I would have the best time. I would still be under pressure but it wouldn’t be as bad knowing that I have more then one day to get accomplished all that my over achiever self has set to do. I shot 10 bands this year, which isn’t bad. There’s so many acts that I wish I could shoot in the day but it isn’t possible. I also want to say to any kid out there who wants to shoot Warped, put your mind to it and it will happen. I was determined to shoot it and it’s absolutely mind blowing to me that I’ve shot it twice now. It’s an experience unlike any other and every live music photographer should shoot it at least once in his or her lives.
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map with wrist band and ticket
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Nevada Color is a band from Pittsburgh, PA that I’ve had the wonderful opportunity to watch them broaden their opportunites over the past couple months. I first photographed them in March 2015 when the opened at Stage AE for Cold War Kids. Which was a big deal for them and got them recognition. Then they played a show at my university which majority of the band attended and I interviewed them. Then they opened for Bad Suns at Altar Bar in May, which I took promo photos and shot the show. Then the played this thing called a Rooftop Shindig and I went all over that stage area trying to get shots. The last opportunity that I was invited to shoot them at was Picklesburgh. Every time this band plays I’m impressed which is why I always come back to shoot for them when they ask, they’ve also given me some unusual shooting opportunities. The band is Quinn Wirth - vocals, Max Kovalchuk - Guitar, Chris Cichra - Bass, Adam Valen Guitar, and Jeremy Westhead - Drums. It started when I had the chance to sit down with the band in April. After coming off of opening for Cold War Kids weeks prior Nevada Color was not only a local band that I had started hearing more about, but also four of the members attended the same university I’m currently at. They played an event at my university and I had reached out asking for an interview and shoot, which they accepted. Unfortunately that day the shoot couldn’t happen and it was raining anyway, so it was probably for the best. I did get to interview them and talk about their musical influences, which include: Vampire Weekend, Arctic Monkey’s, The Killers, and other artists that each individual member likes. They also discussed how their music has grown through how much they are practicing and how it’s becoming a much more serious thing.
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“We’ve also grown like our its starting to become a more serious th signed a record deal we got a manager we’ve been working with so from Nashville a couple days ago we were working with some produ the fun of it cause that’s what its all about we think but its nice to your team and build your team and we started doing that and now starting to become a much more serious thing its somet
hing ah you know especially with the last few months like we just ome producers in Nashville, me and the singer Quinn just got back ucers down there. just really making it more you know still keeping try and reach a bigger audience the only way to do that is to grow other people are invested outside of just the 5 of us. I think now it’s thing that we’re hopefully going to do for our careers.”
“What has been the highlight of your career so far?” “A couple weeks ago I think, we’ve had a few really cool highlights but yeah I think we played with Cold War Kids at Stage AE it was like a really big show for us. There were about 1,000 kids there.” - Max “It’s also a pretty rare opportunity for uh like local bands from the Pittsburgh area getting the chance to like perform on that stage so…”-Adam “Majority of us have worked over there and done a bunch of stuff we made good contacts there. Yeah they just asked us, we emailed them and they asked us to open up and it just kinda all worked out um yeah that was great playing on that size stage for that many people.” - Max “Its just great playing for bands that you actually like listen to like when we opened for Tokyo Police Club that wasn’t like the biggest show in the world. But just like that’s a band that like I listen to all the time and take a lot of influence from so opening for bands like that and just like getting to meet them is cool thing. But I mean like also like getting our manager.” – Chris “Right a great manager Rishon Blumberg um he owns Brick Wall Management he manages Vanessa Carlton, William Fitzsimmons, and he use to manage John Mayer when he was first coming up he managed him for a good portion of his career.” - Max
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The Rooftop Shindig is a cool thing that I didn’t know Pittsburgh had. It was on the top of a parking garage in the middle of the city. Nevada Color was set to play at 8pm meaning their set would end around sunset, very cool photo op. I planed to use my 14mm because let’s face it, I’m in love with it. There were lots of other photographers, which meant I was staying far away from where ever they were all grouped and standing. The stage was a parking lot and the only thing that stopped people from going up further was the band. I stayed side stage to the back hoping to get some cool stuff that way. I was also eyeing up the idea of going behind Jeremy, the drummer, to get one of those cool drummer shots. Wasn’t so sure that I could until another guy went back there and I was like okay I’m going for it. Worst I can do is get hit while he’s drumming. I got some side shots was okay with it, was not okay with the amount of other photographers in my shots but didn’t care cause I wanted that drum shot. I only went back there 3 maybe 4 times and only when no photographers were pointing that way with their lenses. I’m sure I’m in many fan photos though. I didn’t get exactly what I wanted but it’s okay for now. I learned that my double exposures weren’t working too well so I just capturing what I could. It wasn’t my best night shooting. I don’t always come out happy with all of my shots and this was defintely one of those nights. 31 - Polarize Magazine
I was really concerned that I was going to miss this set. I got stuck in traffic even though I had given myself two hours before Nevada Color’s set started. Let’s just say I was an absolute mess when it was 6 and they were going on at 6:30 and I wasn’t in the city yet. By some mirable I got there with enough time to shoot some of thier set. Let’s also add the fact that it was 95 degrees out and this was on a bridge. I may or may not have ran 3 blocks from the parking garage and down the entire bridge to the stage...yeah I totally did that and sweat was dripping down my back. I am one out of shape photographer. As I was running down the bridge another photo friend was running late as well so we ran down the bridge together and that made me feel better. I got in the crowd and started shooting. I somehow took my camera out admist the run to get to the stage. I first started with my 24-105mm which is what my kit lens is and it worked but of course I ended up pulling out the 14mm, what a surprise, not! I wasn’t so sure if I needed a pass to get on the stage but towards the last 4 songs I figured why not try and get up there. Once I did my other photo friend was there and gave me her pass so that I wouldn’t get in trouble, thank goodness! It was the hotest show I’ve shot in awhile, I was disgustingly sweaty as well as eveyone else. These are some of my favorite shots of the band. The weather was sunny and there was a crowd and it was just a great atmosphere. I can’t thank these guys enough for inviting me out to shoot all of these different events. Very excited to see where they head! Seriously go check them out! 34 - Polarize Magazine
Facebook: Nevada Color Twitter: @NevadaColor Instagram: @NevadaColorMusic 35 - Polarize Magazine
Things That You Should Check Out *Tear in My Heart - twenty one pilots
“You fell asleep in my car, but that’s okay I’ll just avoid the holes so you sleep fine. I’m driving here I sit cursing my government for not using my taxes to fill more holes with cement.” This band is so good.
Listen to “Hold Me Down” and “New Americana” to prepare for her album Badlands that releases on August 28th. She was also named Spotify’s “Top 25 Under 25” list.
*Bring Me the Horizon - That’s the Spirit
Defintely a new refreshing approach. Listen to the two singles “Happy Song” and “Throne.” Their new album drops on September 11th. They are also going on a USA fall tour with Issues and PVRIS, it’s a great line up. Those shows are going to be sick.
Because they’re so good and need to come to the states more, so go listen to them. *Tours: Bring Me the Horizon Fall Tour Halsey Badlands Tour Installment One twenty one pilots Blurryface Tour 2015 The AP Tour Featuring Mayday Parade The Maine Presents Amercian Candy and Free For All Tour 37 - Polarize Magazine
Polarize Magazine - www.eminormedia.net
All Time Low, Nevada Color, Vans Warped Tour 2015. Quarterly published.