I was recently commissioned by Billboard Magazine to link up with Long Beach rapper, Vince Staples, and hang with him for an entire day to give a glimpse into the craziness that is the South by Southwest (SXSW) music festival. I met up with Vince and the crew around noon on Friday, March 18th, as they were just waking up at the house in the hills that they had rented for the week. I made my first frame right before noon and did not stop until we returned back to the house nearly 15 hours later around 4:30am the following day. I captured over 4,500 total frames and just 1 video throughout the time; 3 huge shows, a late-night dinner at Kerby Lane and even a brief stop in the Illmore VIP before calling it a night. I got back to my place in Austin around 5am and although my body desperately needed rest, I spent the next several hours watching the sun come up and editing the 4K+ frames down to 25 or so before sending the final edits to my editor in NYC and collapsing into bed.
It was a long, exhausting day, but that’s SXSW. I have been photographing the festival since about 2008 and commissions like these are the payoff. Big shout outs to Vince, Corey and the rest of the crew for trusting me with the most intimate access anyone can ask for and for treating me like family. Given my documentary and photojournalism roots, my goal for any commission like this is to capture not only the moments that the fans get to see, but more importantly push to capture the little moments that many do not get to see or experience.
Vince and the crew ended up loving the images and we have since continued our relationship. As of today I have photographed 5 sets from Vince, each better than the next.
Click HERE to see the feature online.
Some of my favorites from the day together:
A few of the passes and such I gathered throughout the week:
Vince hits the stage in Dallas:
Vince performing “Blue Suede” at his first solo show in Dallas, TX at The Loft at Gilley’s in May following SXSW: