EXPOSURES captures the moods and experiences of fans and artists, both onstage and off.
Header photo by: Kate Killet
We introduced EXPOSURES this year as a way to spice up concert photography and go beyond your standard band-onstage photo to capture what being an artist or a fan at a festival or show is actually like. Of course, that includes bands onstage, but also fans killing time in the sun between acts, artists in awe watching their friends' bands, musicians lugging their gear and buying food for their pets, and those rare hands-in-the-air moments of total transcendence. It quickly became one of our most popular features.
Full credit to the talented photographers, who sweet-talked their way into the moments you don't often get to see on film and made the most of those moments. So we asked each of our photographers to pick their favourite shot and give us the background on how they got it.
The Field Trip Stick (Photographer: Jacob Morris)
Jacob Morris: Every good music festival needs a few memorable oddities. For Field Trip, one of those things was a dancing stick. It's this type of thing that gives a festival personality, especially when so many festivals are trotting out near-identical lineups, so over the weekend I would shoot it every time it popped up out of the crowd.
Spoon's NXNE "Secret Set" (Photographer: Colin Medley)
Colin Medley: I don't particularly like being in packed bars at 2am, but when I heard Spoon were doing a secret show at the Horseshoe, I knew I'd probably bite the bullet and try to get in. Call it "fear of missing out," but once I got in line to get in, I realized I was actually super excited. It had been years since I'd last seen Spoon play, and with a new record to preview, I felt like this was one show I probably shouldn't miss. Of course, Spoon usually plays much bigger venues, so being that close to them with no security barriers (just a wall of photographers) getting in the way is definitely something I'll remember for a while.
The Light of Perfect Pussy's Meredith Graves at Pitchfork Festival (Photographer Kate Killet)
Kate Killet: Meredith Graves is like the sun. Her warm energy shines on you like a beam of light. On stage with Perfect Pussy she screams with such passion, to a point that her light is so bright it could catch fire. And it does. I caught her smiling backstage, soaking in the sun and enjoying the moment.
Alvvays On a Rare Breather at Wolfe Island (Photographer: Colin Medley)
Colin Medley: Alvvays blew up pretty big in 2014, resulting in them being away a whole bunch on tour. Now, whenever we cross paths, it's extra special. We were just chilling, watching Cousins, playing some chess, catching up. I think some of them got massages (another Wolfe Island Music Festival perk).
Ought Emerge at FME (Photographer: Colin Medley)
Colin Medley: At the start of 2014, I did not know Ought. None of my friends knew Ought. I think maybe only people in Montreal (or keen readers of Weird Canada) knew Ought. One year later I definitely do know Ought. I saw them play more times this year (in more provinces) than any other band. Their records have rarely left my turntable. I know all the words to their songs and am not embarrassed to yell them out and dance at their concerts. They are a rare band that checks off all the boxes for me. I can't wait to see where they go from here!
Mac DeMarco Getting Grillz (Photographer: Laura-Lynn Petrick)
Laura-Lynn Petrick: This was the day of the Polaris Prize. We were chilling at the spa in the Eaton Chelsea, having a hot tub, swimming, you know doing some pool laps and racing, really enjoying the rooftop pool. This fella came up to the pool, with a tub of what looked like thick neon paint and some dental tools. I then was told, he (Jonathan) was from Toronto Grillz, here to take a dental mould of Mac's teeth to make Mac personalized gold grills.
So there they are, at the side of the pool, doing some dentistry, Jonathan prepares his molding for Mac's mouth, uses the pink paste and seals the dental mould. The pool attendant was a bit confused as to what was going on; it looked kinda bizarre. They pulled it off fast, pretty funny to witness. Mac's grillz say his initials "M-D" on his two front teeth. I saw the grillz last month, they were so shiny and legit. Rapper style. Mac looked pretty tough.
The Blur of Lydia Ainsworth after 8 CMJ Shows (Photographer: Kate Killet)
Kate Killet: Lydia Ainsworth had just played her eighth and final show in New York during CMJ. We ran into each other leaving Babycastles and happened to be walking the same way. We started talking about the local stand-up comedy scene and ended up gushing over our love for Jenny Slate and Gabe Liedman (Go see Obvious Child and watch Bestie X Bestie). Took this at Union Square as she said bye and crossed the street to hop on the subway, keyboard in hand.
Sharing Chocolate with Tobias Jesso Jr. at Pitchfork Paris (Photographer: Kate Killet)
Kate Killet: This Vancouver dude played his first live set here. I was so excited. Tobias Jesso Jr. is a sweet baby angel made from the ocean and mountains, who makes Elton John-esque piano songs about true love that make you cry. We met wandering around the venue. I told him I was so excited to see his set and he didn’t even correct me. Turns out he had already played. Like a dumb dumb I had gotten the time wrong and totally missed it (I’ll never forgive myself). Throughout the day we would continue to run into each other. I grabbed this one backstage before eating all of the chocolate bars in his hand. Sharing is caring. Thanks Tobias.
Einar Örn, Tour Guide to Iceland Airwaves (Photographer: Kate Killet)
Kate Killet: Iceland is cool. Einar Örn is one of the reasons why. I went to check out Greenhouse Studios as a part of a press trip, where Einar Örn showed us around and chatted. He talked with us about Reykjavík’s music scene, his time in the Sugarcubes (he and Björk were band mates- no big deal), Bad Taste Records (label he co-founded) and his political party The Best Party (between 2010 and 2014 he served as a member of the Reykjavík City Council). He’s also got an electronic beat music project called Ghostigital, which I saw live. It was one of the most strange/awesome performances I saw. Fucking cool dude.