by Scott Roos
COVER OF THE YEAR:
Aaron Brown of Aaron Brown Photography
We had a pretty tough decision to make in all our photography categories this year. In 2022, NSMZ expanded and now features the work, if you include some stuff that I've done myself, of seven photographers. We've always prided ourselves in not only covering Saskatchewan artists with our writing emulating the old school ways of publications like CREEM, Hit Parader, Circus et al but also in our original photography. Having seven different people shooting for us means a lot of variety in how we present artists. It arguably, in my opinion, gives us an edge over almost any publication in the province. The writing, which zeroes in exclusively on Sask artists, events and venues, in combination with the visuals is a killer combination.
This year after a lot of deliberation, our "cover of the year" goes to Aaron Brown of Aaron Brown Photography for capturing this show of New Jacobin Club's Mistress Nagini in mid use of her "power tool". This is a shot that perfectly encapsulates what the wild, weird, and wonderful world of the New Jacobin Club's live show, at least in part, is all about. With the addition of the Halloween themed graphics from our writer William Yannacoulias, it becomes our second annual cover of the year.
STAGED SHOT OF THE YEAR:
Tara McDermott aka The Portrait Witch
Confession time: we didn't do as many "staged" shots in 2022 as we did in 2021. With the addition of photographers came more versatility in the live music setting. That aside, the staged shots we did still were phenomenal including this year's winner: Tara McDermott's photo of LaRonge based hard rock act Set To Flames. McDermott travelled from Meath Park to LaRonge to work with vocalist Shelbey Savoie and guitarist Troy Patterson in an NSMZ exclusive photo shoot. The end result, shot in March for our "March Metal Madness" edition, is an action style grab that showcases the energy and enthusiasm of a group about to release their debut album in the months ahead. As we move into 2023 we'll continue to offer photo shoots to artists as opportunities arise. If you're an artist interested in a possible magazine style feature photo shoot, email us at email@example.com
Live Shot of the Year:
Deanna Roos of Deanna Roos Photography
Live photography is a hard game to play. It's a constant struggle to nudge your way through a crowd of spectators to give readers a glimpse of an artist in their natural habitat. Then it's a struggle get said artist actually looking natural. Natural is the key word here because sometimes, when an act sees that you're shooting they will start mugging for you so that you get a photo of them "looking cool". Some artists also go as far as planning their spots which can be a nice touch until you sift through pics of their past shows and see that 15 other photographers have caught the artist engaging in the same antics - the same pose, same facial expression... You need to be alert. You need to be observing but not necessarily "watching". Then you go home and hope beyond hope that you actually caught something worthwhile and the editing begins (which can take hours). I could go on and on here but I think you get the point. Live photography = hard.
This year's live photo of the year is of Patrick Moon Bird who played a short set to a modest crowd at this year's Chester Fest Couch + Music Festival this past July. Based in Prince Albert, Moon Bird is a Lo-Fi artist with a fairly sizeable following and a measure of critical acclaim. In P.A. though, he's an artist that very much flies under the radar locally. In this photo, Deanna has captured what she would call a "moment between the music". Moon Bird, is shown here in a moment of vulnerability and intimacy. Moon Bird is doing what he loves and is "lost in the moment". The photo is a natural extension of both Patrick the artist and Patrick the person.
Thanks once again to all of our great photographers that have contributed images to our pieces this year. You are all truly amazing at what you do!