Just about ten years ago, I saw The Shondes play for the first time at a (now-defunct) venue called Southpaw in Brooklyn, New York. I instantly fell in love with the band. I had brought a tiny Canon handheld camera with me to the venue and I filmed the whole set. The footage is almost complete garbage, mostly because the sound is pitifully atrocious. The imagery might possibly be forgivable if the sound wasn’t clipped to all hell, but there was no way that little camera with its overwhelmed microphone could spit out anything but distortion.
All that said, for some reason, the band could see and hear past all that, and I started traveling with them to their gigs all over the Northeast. I learned a lot, as fast as I could. I never shot them with that small camera again, for one. But I also got my Canon XL2 serviced to fix its shotgun mic, and I upgraded to a Zoom H4N Recorder. I learned how to talk to sound techs and take a line off the board. I learned how to synchronize footage with multiple audio tracks. When the Shondes went to Europe in Fall 2012, I upgraded again to a Canon 5D Mach III, and I started shooting still photos as well as video. I was grateful, and still am, for the chance to hold a camera in my hands and shoot something real, right in front of me. I loved expanding and honing my skills as a videographer, and being able to offer the band something useful as their stature grew.