A part of every music scene which is commonly overlooked is music photographers. Which come to think of it, those punks are pretty tough. They get pushed around by the crowd at a show, risking their equipment and bodies, just so we can all relive the moments of that wonderful night. Whether it be: crowd surfing, finger pointing, screaming, moshing or just quietly singing, music photographers capture the moments everyone else wishes they could. For Philadelphia, one of the most recognizable photographers is Ally Newbold, and why she is so recognizable is simple -she attends a butt-load of shows. And Ally doesn’t restrict herself on what shows either. See, Ally has shot at Philly basements and houses like Michael Jordan, Moonbase Nix and The Golden Tea House, at small venues like The Fire and The Barbary; and occasionally will hit bigger venues like The Church & Union Transfer. Being so versitile has also given Ally the oppurtunity to shoot bands like: The Wonder Years, Transit, Joyce Manor, The Menzingers, The Front Bottoms, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, You Blew It!, Modern Baseball, Balance & Composure, The Story So Far & Man Overboard…you know just to name a few.
Check Her Out!: Facebook, Website, Webstore, Kat Kat Records
Equipment: Canon T2i
Hey Ally, thanks for talking with us!
So everything has a beginning - how did you get into photography? How long have you been shooting?
I always had an interest in photography in middle school. I was accepted as a freshman into the photography program at my high school, which was for upperclassmen only. Our program consisted of a studio and a darkroom, where we only did film work. I had an incredibly talented and knowledgeable professor who provided me with just the right amount of guidance that continually kept me motivated to become better at my hobby. However, it wasn’t until I relocated to Philadelphia, PA that I began to take it truly seriously.
You have shot shows featuring bands like: The Wonder Years, Transit, Balance & Composure, Title Fight, Tigers Jaw, The Front Bottoms and so many more- what has been your favorite show so far? Who are some of your favorite bands to shoot?
All those bands you have mentioned above are incredible to shoot. They’ve all been a lot of fun and I’ve caught some great moments! My favorite show that I’ve ever been to thus far would have to be the 3rd annual Lost Tape Collective Holiday Show. Man Overboard, Seahaven, and Transit are just to name a few of the bands that played. It was a sold out show and I had the opportunity to meet some of the most inspiring people that night. However, I think my favorite bands to shoot would be the bands in the basement scene here in Philly such as Marietta, Nicknames, Modern Baseball, Secret Plot to Destroy the Entire Universe, Grower, and Girl Brains.
Websites like PropertyOfZack and Easycore are continuously hosting your galleries, as well as bands like: Man Overboard, Seahaven, Title Fight, Citizen & Candy Hearts who have all either used your photos for promotion or merch- how does it feel to be getting such positive reactions from all these bands and websites?
I really don’t know if I have the words to express my gratitude towards these sites and bands. Zack Zarrillo has been such a big help to me since I moved here in December constantly supporting me. Man Overboard has definitely been a wonderful experience that I am very grateful for. I’m definitely appreciative of all the positive reactions and I’m excited for what’s to come in the future.
At every show I have ever been to where there is a music photographer, I have always wondered this-how many pictures do you think you take per show?
For me, this really depends on the environment of the show. If the crowd is rowdy and passionate about the band playing, I tend to take more photos hoping I know some familiar faces in the crowd. I really enjoy shooting shows when my friends are in the crowd piling up and singing the songs or if my friends are in the bands playing. I love when my friends are just as passionate about the music they are playing as I am shooting photos of it. It just means so much more to me.
I know you recently moved to Philly, since you arrived how many shows do you think you attend a month? What do you think of the Philly DIY scene?
I try to attend roughly 4-5 shows a week so I would say about 20-25 shows a month. My sole purpose of moving to Philly was to do what I love and I clearly love attending shows. The Philly DIY scene is pretty rad. I feel that everyone I know is in at least one band and it’s sweet. Everyone here is constantly putting forth effort to improve the scene whether it be hosting shows at a house/basement, hosting charity shows, photographing bands, creating documentaries, and so much more. I love being a part of the Philly DIY scene and showing the world what Philly has to offer.
So what is Allison Newbold’s gear of choice? What type of cameras do you use? What editing software? Did it take you a while to find the perfect equipment for your shooting style?
My gear of choice would be all the gear that I currently don’t own. I have a wish list up on amazon and the total price for all the equipment is over $4k. That’s why it is called a “wish-list”, right? The camera I currently shoot with is a Canon T2i which I will soon be upgrading this body. It’s gone through a lot and it’s definitely time for me to upgrade to a full frame camera. I edit with Adobe Lightroom, which makes editing go so smooth and quick. I try to have a fast turnover time; meaning have a full show’s worth of photos done within less than 24 hours.
You recently began doing some work for Man Overboard, covering their holiday show as well as some behind the scenes shots from their recent recording process- What was it like shooting in studio for the new Man Overboard record? What are the guys like?
I had a blast hanging out at the studio with Man Overboard, Will Yip (Studio 4/Engineer), and Steve Klein, (NFG/Producer). Justin is pretty much in charge of everything and he’s constantly on his blackberry working and working and working. I don’t even think he knows what fun is. Nik and Zac are a bunch of goofballs who always know how to have a good time and are constantly making jokes. Wayne is included in that, too. Joe is probably the most polite person that every daughter would love to bring home to her parents. He is the perfect gentleman: holding doors open, apologizing for things he doesn’t need to apologize for, and is very well mannered.
Let’s change pace a little bit- what are your 3 favorite foods?I don’t know if this counts as a food but smoothies are my number one jam followed by French fries and French toast.
What was your first show/concert?
My first concert was the Backstreet Boys Millennium Concert in Fort Lauderdale, FL in the year 2000 that I went to with my childhood best friend and neighbor named Nikki. I still have a t-shirt from this concert.
Who would win in a fight between Nik and Zac of Man Overboard?
Definitely Nik. Nik is very headstrong and determined and I think Nik would kick butt. Nik is also a fast runner so if it goes down hill he can at least run away. Sorry Zac.
What’s the weirdest show you ever shot at?
I don’t recall the weirdest show that I’ve ever photographed but the weirdest show that I’ve attended was at this really tiny venue north of Orlando where a band played in spandex and speedos with face-masks and wigs and played Slayer covers. I enjoyed the Slayer aspect of this but the band continually made eye contact with me and I did not know what to do. I was uncomfortable.
If you could only listen to three records for the rest of forever- what would they be?
Beach House- Teen Dream
Title Fight- Shed
Modern Baseball- Sports
What are you currently jamming? Any 2013 releases you are stoked for?Ally’s Current Jams:
Iron Chic- “Not Like This”
Joyce Manor- “S/T”
Anything else you would like to add?
I would love to thank Bren for having me do this interview! It’s been my favorite interview to date and thanks to anyone who’s checked out my photos. Y’all rule.