SXSW: Some Photos

If you’ve been reading here for a while, then you know that I’m into photography. I have so much to learn and a long way to go before I could ever even begin to think of myself as a “professional”, and that has never been more apparent to me than in the past five days when I volunteered as a photographer for SXSW.

Back in January, I saw an ad on Craigslist seeking volunteer photographers for SXSW. Immediately I was intrigued. I didn’t even know that such a thing existed. I replied to the ad, but didn’t hear anything back right away. So the next day I did a little more searching and found their website and application. I was a day late. Damn. But I decided to try anyway. The application required a portfolio, which of course I didn’t have. So I searched around and found a free website to collect some of my photos. I went through thousands of my photos, trying to pick out a few good ones to submit. Finally, two days after the application deadline, I submitted my completed application with very little hope of hearing anything back. That was on a Thursday, and I didn’t check my junk email again until the following Monday.

On that Monday, I found a message that I had been accepted, and I was ecstatic. Like jumping up and down in my living room, ecstatic! Yes, all for a volunteer (read: unpaid) gig. Well, I wasn’t in it for the money. I just wanted the amazing opportunity to expand my portfolio, network with other photographers, and hopefully see a few panels and films that I was interested in. You see, we didn’t get paid, but we did get a free badge to attend events, which retails well over $1000.

Moving along.

I chose to photograph the interactive and film portion of the festival. I know. I can hear what you’re thinking. “Whaaat?! Why?! That’s so lame! Music is where it’s at!”

First off, it was totally the opposite of lame. Secondly, I’ve never photographed any concerts, so I didn’t want to deal with the pressure of an unknown situation on my first attempt at this. As it turns out, I have a badge for the music portion, which will go on until Saturday, so I still have the opportunity to shoot plenty of shows if I want, without the pressure of being assigned to anything. So it all turned out in my favor.

I was truly blown away by everything and had the most amazing time! This post is meant to highlight a few of my favorite events with some photos, but my next post will be about the experience itself. In short, it was one of the coolest things I’ve ever been a part of. But I’ll expand on that next time. For now, here are a few of my favorite images from a few of my favorite events.

First, a Q & A with the cast of Much Ado About Nothing:


I didn’t actually get to attend the screening as I was on assignment somewhere else. In fact, I just zipped in here for a few minutes to snap a few pictures before rushing off to my next assignment. My camera has a badge on it as well, and anytime someone saw it, they ushered me straight to the front. Awesome.


That’s Nathan Fillion speaking. I’ve been a fan since one of my all-time favorite moves, Waitress.




Next up, I attended the screening of Some Girl(s). Once again, I wasn’t on assignment, this was just something I wanted to do on my own. So you can see that even though I wasn’t paid, I still got a lot of benefits.

I did still have to stand in line,

queue card

but I found that standing in line to things was when I did some really fun networking. I’ll share more about that in my next post.

I really wanted to see this movie because it stars Adam Brody and I think he’s adorable. He introduced the film,


and then joined part of the cast and crew afterward for a little Q & A with the audience.




I was a huge nerd and got a picture with him afterwards. That’s probably not cool in photographer land, but I didn’t care!


And my crazy eyes? That’s what happens when you are trying hard to keep your eyes open during a flash! Terrible picture of me, but oh well.

The next day, I attended part of a lecture by Rachel Maddow.


Once again, I was able to get right up to the front.



I even got a free copy of her book afterward!



And lastly, one of my absolute favorite things I did was attend a screening of Don Jon,


which was written and directed by Joseph Gordon-Levitt. I’ve loved him since (500) Days of Summer. Once again, he came out to introduce the film,


get the crowd riled up,



and of course, take a selfie to post on Facebook.


You can see the front of this picture on his Facebook page.

After the movie was over, he joined some of the other cast members for another Q & A session with the audience.



I think someone near me must have been asking a question because it looks like he’s looking right into my camera. Such an awesome night!


Those are a few photos from my favorite events. Tonight I’m hoping to catch Iron & Wine perform, as well as get a few photos! I’ll be back in a few days to post about all of the other amazing aspects of SXSW that have turned me from an Austinite who has always loathed the festival and the crowds it brings to the city, to a converted mega-fan.