Thursday, February 26, 2009

another post... another week gone by... a collection of thoughts...

I feel like 2009 is passing by in fast forward... Another week has passed and March is almost here. Just like in college, here I am waiting till the last minute before the deadline to turn in my report.... I am writing a blog to recap the past week that has sped by faster than a Ryan Dempster fastball. To those who have asked about my Cubs ticket dream... my wristband # did not provide any tickets... but my computer did as I was able to secure a bleacher ticket for opening day as well as some Cubs vs. Sox tickets for June. I do need to find one more bleacher ticket for my good friend Jeremy Mills who will be visiting for opening day - if anyone knows of any... do share.

I ended last week's post with a mention of shots from the Neville Brothers and Dr. John that I had shot at the Cubby Bear the week before... I will just post my favorite shot from that show... of Dr. John. It is rare to see such a big show with a big name such as his in a small venue like the Cubby Bear...
(Dr. John @ The Cubby Bear, Chicago - Photography by Will Byington)

There is so much I love in this shot... the skull on the piano and the look on his face are just two... See more from the show on WXRT's website.

Last weekend a couple fun events filled my time... On Saturday I photographed Chris Festa's Bead Quest bar crawl in Wrigleyville.
All weekend, I thought about trying to find anyway possible to get to New Orleans for the real Mardi Gras... and to ride with my friends in Bike-Us - a krewe of friends who dress in costume and ride bikes through the streets of NOLA on Fat Tuesday. Sadly, airfare was too much...

I have been lucky to do all the marketing photography for Festa T-Shirts for the past couple years. Chris does the annual Twelve Bars of Christmas (TBOX) crawl around Christmas, this past year having 7,000 people join in... and he knows how to throw an excellent party. Bead Quest was a last minute idea that he threw together I would say fairly quickly and yet 1,000 people still braved the cold and snow to clamor for beads and drink all day. If you are on Facebook, you can check out the photos here. I followed up the bar crawl by heading over to Martyrs - one of Chicago's best music venues to see The August and their last hometown show before heading off to Nashville.
(The August @ Martyrs, Chicago - Photography by Will Byington)

The August if you have not heard of them feature some of the finest musicians I know... with Jacky, Wojtek, Tim and Petey... they are stars on the rise. Sadly, this was Petey's last show... but the band carries on... and I wish them all the best! I will be photographing them this week on the CAYAMO cruise and know that soon I will be seeing them and hopefully photographing them in stadiums around the country! As always, check out the pictures from the show - HERE.

A couple other things have kept me very busy this week... two of which, I hope to make the big announcements about soon... one is an "intro to photography" class that I am creating and hope to launch in the coming months. The second... details will be coming VERY soon on... as I just booked my airline ticket tonight for London in May.... is a rough idea I am building for a trip across the pond.
In a nutshell... my idea is this.... that you will all become my boss... and send me on assignment to Europe. I am planning to go, trek through for 3 weeks... taking thousands of photos.... and for a small $20 donation... that a % of will go to charity.... you will also get an 8x10 print of any shot in my collection... at the end of the trip. I will also post blog updates, pictures and such along the way during the journey. More details will be coming soon on the website Right now, that just forwards to my website...but I plan to update it soon.

A couple final thoughts in closing... I have just learned that the Chicago Bull's great Norm Van Lier passed away today. I was lucky enough to meet "Stormin Norman" a few times, esp. through the fantastic charity "Miracle Michael" that I have been a part of the past few years. Norm was a force in the sports and journalism business here in Chicago. Since his playing days ended, he was a commentator and constant on the charity circuit. I am glad I got to know him and will never forget riding around the White Eagle golf course with him a few short summers ago.
(Will Byington with Norm Van Lier - Photography courtesy of the Miracle Michael foundation)

As I mentioned earlier in this post, I am heading out tomorrow to photograph cruise #4 of the year... the CAYAMO cruise featuring Lyle Lovett, John Hiatt, Indigo Girls, Brandi Carlile, Patty Griffin, Marc Broussard and SO many others. Check out the website for all the great artists. Look for pictures and stories on the other side... until then... enjoy.

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