If you've been following me recently, you'll know I was shooting a concert featuring Switchfoot (read post here) and Gungor - an amazing, spectacular, concert. For me, it was even more than that. Both of these bands hold a special place in my heart. 

So on to Gungor. For a long time I struggled to understand what it was that made me tick. I knew I loved music, a fact that I discovered when I actually learned to play it in college simply because I tore a ligament in my ankle and was bound to the couch in my dorm room. I was a Business/Biblical Studies major which meant I never took any art classes, so that was my first real foray into the arts. Then I graduated from college and began my first job.

That job eventually led to a trip to Zambia to be a liaison of sorts between the film makers and my old roommates who started a non-profit bicycle-building company. Something in me sparked during that trip. I was suddenly captivated by the idea of visual storytelling. I used an old camera (having no idea what I was doing) to document what was happening on the trip while we were filming. It was eye opening. I had finally figured out what made me tick: I liked making things. Making something from nothing. Photography and music were the perfect outlets.

Suddenly this band called Gungor comes on the scene. You should know that music can move me in deep and emotional ways, and the song “Beautiful Things” hit me hard. It unpacked so many things spiritually. I understood God as the Creator so much more clearly. I was made in His image. I felt happiest when I was creating, and I now understood the reason for that. It's hard to even explain the feeling I get when something I've created brings someone else joy. It's like that warm, permeating feeling in the deepest parts of your heart.

"You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of the dust. You make beautiful things, You make beautiful things out of us." 

Between the photography and the music of the bands performing, it was an amazing evening. Not to mention I actually got to meet the Gungors. I’m sure I was incoherent and bumbling while talking to them, but they were polite, humble, and down to earth folks that I enjoyed being around. Thanks.

Jon Foreman + Switchfoot

This Halloween I did something a little different. I was shooting a concert hosting Switchfoot and Gungor at Azusa Pacific - and it was unreal. The event center was packed to capacity and everyone was loving it. Both of these bands hold a special place in my heart, but this blog is dedicated to the first.

I've been to a few concerts so I thought I knew what to expect. Band comes up, band plays songs, people shout and sing, band leaves. This concert felt different. I couldn't believe how engaging Jon Foreman was. That guy was out in the crowds, OFF THE STAGE, singing his lungs out. He was taking photos with peoples phones and wearing their hats (wearing them well I should say). The other members of the band were rocking out, bouncing around, and really just keeping the vibe tight. The subs were cranking, the light show was unreal, and the energy was as real as ever. I left with ears ringing, bones shaking, and a giant smile on my face.

To make it more amazing, Switchfoot in general is instant nostalgia for me. I remember moving into my dorm room as a freshman listening constantly to "The Beautiful Letdown" and of course "Learning to Breathe." Later in life, Jon Foreman released his series of seasonal EP's - Fall, Winter, Spring, and Summer. Those albums, most notably "Spring", inspired me to start writing a lot of my own music. None of it was really any good, but hey, it unlocked a new creative facet in my mind and I think I became a better musician for it. So all that to say, thanks.