South Side $uicide

Got invited out to shoot a $uicideboy$ show a few weeks back. Been a minute since I've photographed a concert, especially with decent equipment. Had an absolute blast, the energy was insane and it was nice shooting locally right here at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. Here are some of my favorite images from the show! 

- Drew 

Chasing the Northern Lights

Over the past few days I've been up in Edmonton for the latest DeepStacks Poker tournament at Casino Yellowhead. Coming into this trip I didn't expect to leave the casino much on this trip but to my surprise we have been gifted with a few very clear nights, allowing us an opportunity to check out the Northern Lights. It's always been a bucket list thing for me to photograph them and see them in person, and aside from flying by them once last year, I've never been fortunate enough to see them. That all changed the past few nights.

The first night we just kind of decided last minute as the tournament was wrapping to drive north and see what we could find. No-one had a tripod, so we resorted to using our lens caps, cell phones, and camera bags to rig up some sort of stand for the cameras. We ran into a bit of fog and a lot of cars, so we all agreed to try again last night. Much more successful. Here is a look at some of my favorite images from an experience I will not forget! 

 

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Visiting Vilamoura

Another amazing trip is in the books and I can officially check Portugal off my list. It was one of those trips you have a hard time putting into words, but you are eternally grateful for the opportunity when its all said and done. I thought I was going to have a hard time topping Amsterdam, but Portugal certainly did not dissapoint. 

I was suppose to be flying out to Florida for an event in Ft. Meyers, but due to Hurricane Irma the event has been postponed. Here is a look at some of my favorite images from my trip! 

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An Afternoon in Malibu

Earlier this year I took a trip with my friend Anna (https://www.instagram.com/annalouisemorse/) to Malibu to test out some of my new lenses. Despite a couple months passing, I finally got around to editing these photos. Haven't been posting much due to some new projects that have occupied my time. Excited to be heading back east next week and shooting in NYC! 

Now Playing: Slowdive - Sugar For the Pill

The Grind Continues

Crazy the WSOP Main Event is just a few weeks away. Not much to say, been working a ton and shooting even more. Here is a collection of some of my favorite photos I've shot over the last week or so since returning to Florida. 

As always please head over to pokerphotoarchive.com to view the entire team's work from this years WSOP! You can purchase all the images there with a few clicks of the mouse. Support us! 

Now Playing: Warren G - Regulate ft. Nate Dogg 

To Florida and Back

I can't believe we have already hit the halfway mark of the summer. I woke up to an email yesterday regarding the first half of the WSOP and what to expect over the course of the next few weeks. Wild. 

The entire year seems to be moving at light speed and while majority of my time is spent on the road, I have to say I am excited to have 2 months with no travel plans ahead of me. I just got back from my trip to Tampa for the WTPDeepStacks Main at the new Seminole Hard Rock Tampa poker room. The room is amazing and as always Tommy takes care of us. The whole SHRT crew is phenomenal and it's a stop I refuse to miss. As always here is a collection of my favorite photos from the tournament. Hoping to shoot some non-poker related stuff in the coming weeks, so we will see how it goes! 

Now Playing: Hold You Down - The Alchemist ft Prodigy    (rip prodigy)

Summer Camp is Back in Session

The first week of the World Series of Poker is officially in the books! I've moved all my shit into my new apartment, and its all starting to feel like home. As always it's a blast to be back in the Rio, shooting the biggest events of the year and seeing everyone. Everyone jokes that this is our summer camp, but it's honestly such an honest representation of how we spend our time every single year. The first week has gone smoothly, back with the same great team of photographers as last year. Here is a collection of my favorite images I've shot over the course of the past week or so. 

*** Please do not screenshot these images. Every image we shoot at the WSOP can be found, downloaded, and purchased for use at pokerphotoarchive.com. Support us so we can continue to provide you with these images year after year! 

*** Please do not screenshot these images. Every image we shoot at the WSOP can be found, downloaded, and purchased for use at pokerphotoarchive.com. Support us so we can continue to provide you with these images year after year! 

Never Settle

The Hype is Real

The past six weeks have come and gone so fast my head is still spinning. That was probably one longest stretches of non-stop travel i've had in my life. Not complaining because i'm very fortunate to be in the position I'm in, but fuck was that draining. Following Edmonton we headed to Thunder Valley up by Sacramento. Tournament ran smoothly, Ben Erwin is one of the best dudes, and always takes care of us. 

Thunder Valley is another room that is beautiful, but the lighting is always dark and super yellow. When I was there last year with my D700 it was a struggle, but thankfully shooting on higher ISOs is so easy with newer model cameras it wasn't bad at all. Actually had the pleasure of checking out Folsom State Prison as well which was cool. We were limited to the museum, but it's literally right next door from the prison itself. 

After Sacramento it was back to LA for a quick 36 hours and then off to Maryland Live! The little stints in LA in between trips feels like a layover more than it does a break. Enough time to hit the gym, do laundry, and eat. 

This was my first trip to Maryland Live and I was kind of excited, but more than anything I was burnt out. Upon arriving to the casino it was interesting to see that its attached to a giant strip mall. The event itself ran pretty smoothly and was a blast seeing a bunch of the East Coast homies that I usually don't see. 

The only real hiccup with Maryland Live was the winners photo. While I usually stick the winner in the 5 seat, and shoot from behind the dealers box, the space was super limited surrounding the final table. Add in a dozen empty table with empty chairs behind and I was left with one option. Get low, shoot up, and keep the lens wide open. I actually liked the winners photo but there was one problem...

....it looked like someone ate 3 bags of doritos and then handled the trophy. There were finger prints all over the damn thing. Fortunately I am fairly proficient in photoshop, so after some quick masking and blur, we were left with a better looking trophy. 

For now I'm back in LA. I turned 28 yesterday which is insane because I didn't think I was making it to see 25, haha. I picked up some new glass as a present to myself and could not be more excited to shoot with it. New camera, new glass...I'm starting to feel like a little kid again and itching to shoot.
I am off to Amsterdam on Tuesday for two weeks to shoot the WPTDS event along with the WPT Main Tour stop. Probably going to disconnect for  a few days out there but will try to get some photos up from the first leg of the trip! 

This Place Sucks to Shoot

I feel like I just blinked and it went from January to April. Crazy how fast this year is already moving, but such is life. We just wrapped our DSPT Edmonton event up at Casino Yellowhead. One of my favorite stops when it comes to tournament staffs, but one of my least favorite venues to shoot in.  

The staff at Edmonton staff is like family for us. They are also some of the hardest partying people I've ever encountered in my life, but that seems to be a trend with everyone in the Alberta area. 

The event went well, three starting days is always a drag but the turnout was decent and there were no hiccups during the event. However, the room is one of the most miserable places to shoot on our tour. They set up these big rectangular poker tables in their cabaret area, which making it very difficult to navigate around and often blocking out desired angles. The room also consists of dark red walls and black ceilings.

The lighting is so inconsistent on each table, with majority of the outer tables having little to no light. It forces you to be more creative shooting, but also is a huge pain in the ass. Ive used lighting before to try and brighten things up, but without the ability to bounce the flashes I'm left with harsh shadows and mediocre photos. More often than not I'm stuck shooting on 1600 iso, at 2.8 while I suck in my gut and try to stay steady at 1/50th on the shutter. 

Luckily for me, the final table is small enough where I can set up two strobes on light stands, and blast them through a beauty dish onto the final table. It's easy to get super flat lighting this way, but when you shoot from unique angles it actually makes for some cool photos. 

Two light setup for the final table 

Two light setup for the final table 

The final table itself was one of our fastest ever. It clocked in at just under 3 hours of play and I was really happy to see Paul Brar win. He came by the afterparty and bought everyone shots, so I like even better now :). 

As for now it's back to LA for 48 hours and off to Sacramento for our next stop. Thunder Valley is another stop that presents it's own challenges. It's another dark room, pillars blocking the ability to bounce lights and cover multiple tables. Oh well, time to get those creative juices flowing again. I'm going to try pick up a new lens this week, so I'm going to try and get out to explore the Sacramento area. 

The Biggest Little City in the World

Play wrapped up early last week for the WPTDS Reno Main Event. Reno is always a fun stop mainly due to the 24-hour arcade which is conveniently located right next to the tournament area.

The tournament room in Reno provides cool atmosphere as the huge windows provide a clear view of the mountains off in the distance. It can be hard to neutralize the white balance, as the natural light from the windows gives off a much cooler feel than the ceiling lights. The event itself ran smoothly as we close out the first back to back to back stretch of our season.

Here's a few of my favorite images from the tournament: 

For now its LA for a the rest of this week and then headed back to Canada for the DSPT Edmonton stop

Stateside

I know I say it every time I leave, but Calgary is one underrated city. The people that support us in the Alberta area are truly one of a kind. The staff at Grey Eagle is first class, the food is good, and there's always an afterparty. The tournament itself was good, solid turnout, and I got to sneak in a night of shooting MMA. 

The venue at Grey Eagle is a giant event center and always provides an unique due to their lighting. The area itself is dark, as they turn down the house lights and use overhead spot lights. It gives off a super dramatic vibe but I love it for shooting.

Going to be relaxing with the 72 hours I have back here in LA, so here is a collection of my favorite photos from the event. 

It's a Hard Knocks Life

Well, I can certainly check one more item off my bucket list. Shooting any sort of combat sport whether it be boxing or MMA has been very high up on my lists of interests for a few years now. Growing up shooting skating and snowboarding, I felt I was always pretty good when it comes to things that require anticipation and timing. MMA was no different and despite a few hiccups early on in the night, I could easily see myself sitting cage side again shooting. 

So we are up in Calgary for the DeepStacks poker tour event, and I noticed yesterday on twitter that a local poker pro, Terrence Chan, was going to be fighting in a PPV event just 15 minutes down the road. When we are on these stops we always highlight things to do outside of the casino for players to experience while in town for the tournaments. Jeanine reached out to the Hard Knocks Fighting staff and within minutes we had all access media passes. Score! 

First Impression
 

Walking into the venue I will say I was impressed at the size of the building, as well as the production of the fight. While a part of me was anticipating walking into a high school gym to see a couple guys fight to make rent money, this was nothing of the sort. The undercards had already started so we grabbed our passes and headed towards the octagon. I dropped my bags and quickly nestled my way next to the blue corner and started shooting away like I had any idea what I was doing. After a few adjustments I started to settle in and finally get in the groove.

 

The Problems Begin

Within minutes of the second fight starting I noticed a guy in a suit heading straight for me and I knew were about to be confronted. Sure enough I explain who I'm with, how we have been approved, and show him my credentials but he tells us to kick rocks and that we are not authorized to be in the area surrounding the octagon. Rather than creating a scene we quietly grab our things and exit the area. I decide to start shooting from outside the media area because why waste the opportunity? So the one fight ends, the guy is a bloody mess walking around the octagon and I set myself up to get ready to shoot the following fight. Sure enough as soon as that fight starts the place blows a fuse and the lights go out. Absurd. Never seen anything like that in my life. The ref separates the two fighters and they head to their respective corners, as the tech guys scramble trying to fix the issue. It appears they succeed but it lasts a mere 30 seconds and the lights go out again. They elect to rule the match a no contest and end the prelim card on a very unfortunate note. The rest of the night would continue with just the house lighting in the area, leaving much to be desired as far as shooting conditions go. 

Warming Up

As an avid fight fan in general, the mental process leading up to a fight has always fascinated me. Those moments in the locker room before the fighter heads into the octagon to put his life on the line always appear so tense. We were fortunate enough to make our way into Terrence's locker room before his fight. It's such an intimate moment seeing a fighter and his team mentally prepare for the war thats about to take place. It was a humbling experience and one I will not soon forget. 

It's Time

We left the locker room about 5 minutes before Terrence was expected to walk to the octagon, trying to prevent any hiccups involving us getting back into the restricted area. Sure enough we were asked to leave again, but after finding the appropriate people to talk to we were granted access. Not the most organized event i've ever attended, but hey I was where I needed to be. As for the fight itself, Terrence unfortunately was TKO'd in the second round when the referee stopped the bout. Immediately after getting back on his feet, Terrence approached his opponent to congratulate him on a great fight as the two embraced at the center of the octagon. While the fight didn't exactly go to plan, Terrence carried the defeat with complete class, as he was extremely humble throughout the entire process. 

A big thank you goes out to both Terrence and the Hard Knocks Fighting team for having us. As for me, it's back to the grind as Day 1B of our main event kicks off in a few hours!

The City of Brotherly Love

Stop two of the tour has officially come to a close as of 5:30am EST on Tuesday morning. To say the days were tedious would certainly be an understatement, but it comes with the territory. I was lucky enough to arrive in the city a few days early to visit my sisters, who both reside in Philadelphia. 

As for the tournament, Parx Casino is one of my favorite properties to play at, but one of my least favorite places to shoot. Between the dim lights, and dark red walls, the options for shooting natural light are essentially non-existent, even with how well modern day cameras shoot in low light. I shot about 5 photos on 160 ISO, using my 70-200 2.8, and they looked atrocious. Luckily it wasn't my first time shooting in this room, so I planned ahead of time to bring some lighting with me. The room itself is big, with large columns throughout the poker room, making it difficult to bounce the lighting as I usually would. After some trouble shooting, I opted to blast one light off the ceiling and move it accordingly. Definitely some extra work, but if it was easy everyone would be doing it. 

Aside from the long days the tournament itself was great. I was fortunate enough to watch three of my buddies all make the final table and finish in the top four, earning over $100,000 each! 

 

This was one of the first images I shot, no lighting. While it may look decent at a small size below you will see how its soft and grainy. Also shooting on a lower shutter speed (down to 1/60th) there is a fair amount of blur anytime the players move. 

So to the lighting we go! Below are some of my favorite images from the event. Majority were shot using one strobe, but occasionally I'd turn on the second and try to shoot a little outside of the box! 

Overall I'm pretty happy with how everything turned out! For now I'm back in LA, hanging out for the week. Looking forward to watching UFC 209 this weekend, as well as the Thurman Garcia fight, and then its off the Jacksonville on Thursday for WPTDS Jax at bestbet! 

Season 4 Kicks Off!

Well time certainly does fly. It seems that it was just a few weeks ago that I was beginning my journey with WPTDeepStacks. Fast forward nearly 2 and 1/2 years and we have officially kicked off Season 4. The first stop of the year was at Seminole Hard Rock Casino in Hollywood, FL last week. The event drew a massive turn out of over 1,500 players and as always, was run to perfection by Tony and the entire SHRP staff.

Events like as big as generally are my favorite, as I get to see a ton of familiar faces in the field before we all head out our separate ways for the year.

 Here is a collection of some of my favorite images from the trip. Next up I get to head back to one of my favorite cities in the world, Philadelphia!!