Friday, March 27, 2009

Something To Rave About

Like a musician looking for a place to play, I'm always looking for challenging places to photograph. I have a personal exercise that I go through that I call: Find the Picture. I go to places that I'm unfamiliar with and — find the picture. Pretty easy eh? Not so fast. It's easy to find and compose images in broad daylight. I often go out at night and will only take one camera and one lens. Most nights, I don't take a flash — or a tripod. Find the picture. Deal with exposure issues. Keep moving and find the next picture.

A couple of weeks ago I had a job that was two-days long. While en route on the first day I received a phone call telling me about a rave that night. It was in an abandoned warehouse by the airport. I would be allowed to take my camera and photograph. I was curious.

I shot all day, took my assistant home, ate dinner and geared up for "Bubble Bobble," a foam party.

At first I was a little shocked. Teenage girls wearing items that I couldn't tell whether it was a bathing suit or underwear. And then the foam started pouring from the ceiling!

The body heat of twenty-five hundred dancing teens made me realize why it was a foam party and why the girls were dressed in a manner that would upset their fathers.

I learned a lot from this excursion. I can shoot and master any situation (I already knew that from years of working in the news industry). I love the diversity of life. I love and miss my teen years. I think that every teen should be forced to go to a rave at least once a week.

I seriously think the all-night dancing is great exercise. There were no tables or chairs. Your choice was to dance or go home.

I know, someone might complain that there are drugs at a rave. I never saw any. This doesn't mean there weren't any. But seriously, it's my understanding that kids can get drugs at school — and besides, I hate to say this but many, many people have twisted up a fatty in their time (this isn't the scope of this blog, I'm just commenting) (and in case you've forgotten, the purpose of this blog is fun, creative photography).

I love teenage angst (especially when it's directed in the right direction). The rave was a perfect place for kids of all ages to burn up some energy and fully express themselves.

Another great thing I noticed was that while the HOT teenage girls were showing a LOT of skin, they were keeping all of their lady parts covered. And the boys seemed respectful. I only saw one grope all night and I think they were a couple.

As I photographed, I noticed that most of the kids had really nice teeth. Clearly they came from homes with great parents who cared for their kids. I felt the rave was a way for the kids to step out of their perfect lives and experience a side of life they couldn't get at home. I felt the rave experience would eventually help the kids figure out who they were and what they wanted out of life.

With you or without you, life is going to happen. On this night, I was just an observer.

If you like what you've seen here, leave me a comment. If you didn't like what I posted, let me know. I'm always interested in other viewpoints (just be polite).

Do me a favor. If you havn't already, go look at my portfolio. I'd like to come to your office and show you the print version (it's beautiful). Also, it would be really cool if you could tell someone else about this blog and my work. Help spread the word.


  1. Nice pix! Perhaps we'll see you one of our show's! Let me know if you work with the Bubble-Bobble guys, I'd like to do an event with them. Perhaps you can forward me over their contact info.


  2. Great photos. Love the last one with the girl swinging the lights. Very cool.

  3. AWESOME photos, you are great at what you do. And you have a good perspective on rave culture.. I have only been to one but it's over all a very fun experience, and from what I saw. You're right.. Pretty girls, being comfortable, yet not much groping or grossness.

  4. GREAT pics! It'd be great to have you at some of our events, we generally have quite a bit more foam!

  5. Ran across your blog searching for some rave pics for a project. You took some amazing pix!

  6. Right on you did a great job presenting the current rave scene. Im a raver and Im glad that you caught the positive and progressive vibe.
    P eace
    L ove
    U nity
    R espect
    R esponsibility