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I arrived in the late afternoon, collected my passes and immediately met up with the wonderful Lauren, who's on tour with the guys. She's such a sweetheart: cheerful, helpful and really talkative. She's one of those people who make you feel welcome instantly.
Michael opened his dressing room for me. It was an absolute pleasure to see him again! After some talks about music, photography and tour life, Michael asked me if we could shoot some backstage portraits. I came unprepared, but together, we were able to come up with some amazing ideas. We just decided to stroll around the different floors of the backstage area, looking for interesting spots to shoot at. And we went for it. Since this shoot was a total surprise, I hadn't brought any lights, so I decided to use whatever ambient light there was available and use it to my advantage.
We started off at Michael's dressing room, shooting some images in front of a mirror and in front of the band's huge wardrobe. So cool to see all the different items these guys have! It looked too cool not to use it for a couple of pictures.
Afterwards, we went down one floor, behind the stage, where I immediately noticed this big lonely flight case. I don't know if the crew had forgotten about this one, but it was really odd to find it there on its own. Never the less, when I pointed it out to Michael, he immediately came up with the idea of making a picture like he was exhausted, an end-of-tour photo, lying on top of the case. I loved the idea and after only five clicks, we had the shot.
I asked Michael if he didn't want to start preparing for the show, because he seemed to be so into our photo session. He said we were fine to shoot some more. Not too far away from our previous set-up, we saw this elevator door. It made me think of Aerosmith's 'Love In An Elevator', which was an ideal link to STEEL PANTHER, but more in a way of 'Lovin' An Elevator'. Since the only light coming in was this tiny elevator light, I cranked up my ISO real good and had Michael pose and look into the light. It only took me a couple of shots to get precisely what I wanted.
After this, we went back to the dressing room. Before we realised, it was thirty minutes to showtime, so I decided to really encourage Michael to get ready. On my way to the venue, I ran into Satchel as well and since he remembered I was a teacher, he quickly grabbed a piece of paper and asked me for some cool Dutch words to say on stage. After teaching him some of our nice vocabulary, I geared up with a second camera and headed for the frontstage, where I was allowed to shoot the full STEEL PANTHER show.
Hope to see the guys again soon. I always have a ball shooting for them. They bring such an awesome and relaxed vibe, both on and off stage. Also thanks to the band's crew and management for their trust in me!