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Shutters & Shears

The Used - #JG365Project - Showbox Sodo September 2014

If my post last night was telling in re: to my musical taste, day 269 will continue in that same vein. As per my own rules, as long as I shoot a photo of a person on the date itself, it counts. So, as midnight came and went, I pulled the subject for this post aside and we walked out into traffic to capture this shot. Much like Adam/Taking Back Sunday, this guy was instrumental in creating an album that defined an entire era, not just for me, but for many of you as well. On that same tour I wrote about last night, his band shared the same stage, helping to shift the focus of rock music into a heavier and more genuine domain. At the time, rock music was in a black hole. Grunge was dead, post-grunge killed it even more dead, and nu-metal was starting to choke on its own pompousness. I think I, much like many others, were looking for something that felt real again. In June of 2002, a completely unknown band out of Utah released a self-titled record that still gives me chills when I listen to it 12 years later. I don't care if I'm in my mid-30's now and everyone else listens to Mumford & Sons because it's cool. The Used were my jam back then and they still are now. I've met Quinn over the years, even recalling to him last night the photo of him and I, taken outside the Showbox 12 years ago while I was in beauty school and we were both barely old enough to drink. I've watched these bands soar in popularity, come back down to earth, keep recording records, and play to people who truly give a shit about the music that they listen to. My #JG365Project has taken me from the streets of Seattle photographing homeless folks, to the streets of Seattle shooting guitarists who have defined a decade for me. To say I feel fortunate is an understatement. Every one of these people, regardless of their "status" has helped to shape who I am to this day. Go. Live. Do something with your life. Tell someone how much they've meant to you. That's what this is about.

Bandsintown featuring one of my Empires photos

The guys is Empires are so rad.  They "get it".  They're writing a tour diary for Bandsintown and they used one of my photos, but unlike so many other bands, they DID NOT crop out my watermark.  Blessings guys.  That's so awesome.  Go check out the article here.  Their new album "Orphan" is out now on iTunes and in stores.  

Guest post for Rain City Ambience: "Empires".

Head on over to Rain City Ambience to check out some of the photos from the Empires show on Sunday and to read my review of the concert.  


Empires - Promo Photos - #JG365Project

Years and years ago, I cut hair for a ton of bands who were all up and coming in the Warped Tour scene. As time has gone on, many are finished touring and some are still doing quite well on the road. Those bands that broke up have spawned other bands and some members have taken up roles playing for other previously established artists. A former member of The Academy Is... now plays in a band named Empires. This guy is actually one of the first people who I really took a liking to for the actual art of photography. He used to sell his prints off of his own website and I always used to go and check out what he had shot while out on tour. As his band has picked up with consistent touring, he's put the camera down to focus on guitar again, and for good reason. Empires has the kind of sound that feels nostalgic in a very genuine way, yet cutting edge enough that it'll likely be dominating alternative rock radio very soon. They've got backing by Island/Def Jam, which could bode very well for them if this record takes off. Today, they came through Seattle and I had a chance to shoot portraits for them and grab some shots at their show. It's always good to see old friends doing well and I fully expect to hear more from these guys in the coming years. Day 264 of the #JG365Project is (from left) Mike, Sean, Max, and Tom of Empires.
Years and years ago, I cut hair for a ton of bands who were all up and coming in the Warped Tour scene. As time has gone on, many are finished touring and some are still doing quite well on the road. Those bands that broke up have spawned other bands and some members have taken up roles playing for other previously established artists. A former member of The Academy Is... now plays in a band named Empires. This guy is actually one of the first people who I really took a liking to for the actual art of photography. He used to sell his prints off of his own website and I always used to go and check out what he had shot while out on tour. As his band has picked up with consistent touring, he's put the camera down to focus on guitar again, and for good reason. Empires has the kind of sound that feels nostalgic in a very genuine way, yet cutting edge enough that it'll likely be dominating alternative rock radio very soon. They've got backing by Island/Def Jam, which could bode very well for them if this record takes off. Today, they came through Seattle and I had a chance to shoot portraits for them and grab some shots at their show. It's always good to see old friends doing well and I fully expect to hear more from these guys in the coming years. Day 264 of the #JG365Project is (from left) Mike, Sean, Max, and Tom of Empires.
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Copyright Jake Gravbrot
All rights reserved
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Copyright Jake Gravbrot
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Copyright Jake Gravbrot
All rights reserved
All rights reserved
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Copyright Jake Gravbrot
All rights reserved
Copyright Jake Gravbrot
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Family Photo Time

As much as I'd like to push the thought out of my mind, summer is almost over. Fall is around the corner and with that, comes pumpkin e'rrrryyythang, fall leaves, and the inevitable holiday season. This is the second year in a row that I've shot family photos for these 4 (6 if you're counting Julio and CC). For day 257 of my project, I spent an hour with my friends Dustin, Catherine, Carson and Cooper to create the image that will adorn their Christmas card this year. #JG365Project.

If you're interested in setting up a family photo session with me, book online now.  

It's not Aurora Borealis, but these lights from the North are pretty epic

We went chasing the Northern Lights last night and while we didn't see anything out of the ordinary, we still spent two hours in the pitch dark capturing images like this. We drove all the way to Larrabee State Park, along Chuckanut Drive and hiked in, past the gate closure to set up on a rocky bluff, with the Puget Sound on 3 sides of us. The color in the sky on this image is the result of a 85 second long exposure, the lights of Bellingham beyond the ridge, and the light from the ship on the Puget Sound at the bottom left of the photograph.  A group of 4 Canadians are seen in the foreground, walking around on a ledge, as their headlamps do some light painting to add an even more interesting element to this composition.  I shot this w/ a tripod, a remote, a 20mm 1960's Nikkor lens, and my Nikon Df in bulb mode.  This image is available for print at various sizes. Please contact me for information - jake@jakegravbrot.com

Inked Magazine thinks I should change my name to "Jake Gavrot"

*UPDATE*  Within 12 hours of posting this, I received and e-mail back from Inked Magazine, fixing the photo credit and explaining the situation.  Phew!  Better late than never... 

It's always nice to see your work published, especially when it happens to be one of your favorite photos of one of your favorite people, in one of your favorite magazines.  Perhaps the only exception to this, is when the photo was used without authorization by the magazine mentioned in the title AND when the magazine continues to spell your last name wrong after repeated attempts to correct it.  As any of you who read my blog, or follow along on Instagram know, I shot photos of Christian from Anberlin for my #JG365Project back in April.  I texted him the photos and he credited me on Instagram when he posted the photo.  Unfortunately, somewhere between then and now, Inked Magazine got ahold of my photo, posted it in this article, and initially omitted my photo credit entirely, tagging "Big Picture Media" as the owners of the photo.  After a week of trying to get it sorted out, my name was finally credited (spelling error still intact), but the magazine still never once contacted me.  I'm grateful the photo was used, it just seems that a magazine as big as Inked would do their due diligence for things like this and want to ensure proper credit AND spelling for the artists they choose. 

William Beckett - #JG365Project

Going from being the singer of a wildly successful band to a solo artist is a transition in and of itself. In a band dynamic, you share the stage with 3-4 other people, thus the pressure of performing is shared with others. Going solo is akin to public speaking and most people couldn't even fathom doing that in front of ten people let alone hundreds. I've watched this guy absolutely mesmerize audiences for almost a decade now and for the last few years he's done it all by himself, accompanied by his acoustic guitar and a laptop. The stage is a whole lot bigger when it's only him and the dynamic is so much different as he interacts with the crowd one on one. I've long admired him for these characteristics and have been such a fan of his powerful voice, shown off even more in a solo setting. This'll be the last time I see him this year, so 6 months after his first appearance in my project, I'm bringing back Mr. William Beckett, former vocalist of The Academy Is..., and current solo artist for day 251 of the #JG365Project, moments before he got on stage to fearlessly captivate an audience once again.

The Naked and Famous Portraits - Pittsburgh, PA - June 2014

Here's a few from our shoot in Pittsburgh, Pa back in June.  All images copyright @JakeGravbrotPhotography

Jeff and Chandler Wedding - September 5, 2014

Here's a few from Jeff and Chandler's wedding yesterday.  It was a very beautiful day, a gorgeous venue, and a wonderful couple.  Wedding packages start at $2,000.  I do my best to work with all budgets, so please contact me @ jake@jakegravbrot.com for inquiries.  Also available for travel.  


Kris Orlowski Band

I'm incredibly fortunate. My son, who is about to enter 5th grade, is the absolute best kid I could ever imagine. This summer, I have been lucky enough to have him for a "new" schedule than other summers in the past. I've had him 2 weeks on, 2 weeks off, which may be problematic for some working parents, but not for me. I can bring him to work and I make my own schedule, so I just move things around, eliminate odd gaps in my day, and create enough space where I get to spend time WITH him, even when I have to work. Today, I had a few AM haircuts before a 5 hour break. Same thing Monday, so much the same, we walked around downtown with our cameras, looking at buildings and shooting photos. At lunch, local singer/songwriter Kris Orlowski and crew were playing a free concert in the outdoor atrium of 2 Union Square, a massive office building in the heart of the city. For an hour, we sat and listened to the tunes and enjoyed the break together. Afterwards, I asked the guys if they would pose for a group shot in the most epic of places. What you're seeing above, is the view we spent our lunch break admiring, while listening to the tunes of these 5 fine gentlemen. Not a bad day... #JG365Project Day 225.

Vocal Few

 : Growing up in Washington, only a few hours from Seattle and being a teenager in the 90's, it would be easy to assume I was influenced by the Grunge Rock movement that swept the world in that era. If so, you couldn't be much further from the truth. There was music I was ALLOWED to listen to and music that I ACTUALLY listened to. Around 1995, I found music that met in the middle of that. Tooth & Nail Records, a transplant indie label, based in Seattle was putting out the type of music that I wanted to listen to, by the types of people that I grew up very quickly resembling. Raised a Christian, I fell out of touch with the church and kept mostly to myself for years re: my faith. Along came T&N, which was a "Christian" record label, but not the kind that only put out worship albums and asked for all your money in a leaflet inside the liner notes. A lot of the music touched on faith-based themes, but came from a lot of disenfranchised youth like myself. Years later, after working with a lot of T&N bands, I was asked to come shoot photos for a podcast, put on by the members of Emery (T&N records) for their "Bad Christian" endeavor. You'll have to read up on their purpose, but it has touched a chord with me, so I felt right at home shooting for them. One of their guests was Matt MacDonald (The Classic Crime) and his wife Kristie, who make up the group Vocal Few, a dual vocal indie-pop project that is incredibly good. I shot a few photos of them and I'm using one for Day 238 of the #JG365Project.
Growing up in Washington, only a few hours from Seattle and being a teenager in the 90's, it would be easy to assume I was influenced by the Grunge Rock movement that swept the world in that era. If so, you couldn't be much further from the truth. There was music I was ALLOWED to listen to and music that I ACTUALLY listened to. Around 1995, I found music that met in the middle of that. Tooth & Nail Records, a transplant indie label, based in Seattle was putting out the type of music that I wanted to listen to, by the types of people that I grew up very quickly resembling. Raised a Christian, I fell out of touch with the church and kept mostly to myself for years re: my faith. Along came T&N, which was a "Christian" record label, but not the kind that only put out worship albums and asked for all your money in a leaflet inside the liner notes. A lot of the music touched on faith-based themes, but came from a lot of disenfranchised youth like myself. Years later, after working with a lot of T&N bands, I was asked to come shoot photos for a podcast, put on by the members of Emery (T&N records) for their "Bad Christian" endeavor. You'll have to read up on their purpose, but it has touched a chord with me, so I felt right at home shooting for them. One of their guests was Matt MacDonald (The Classic Crime) and his wife Kristie, who make up the group Vocal Few, a dual vocal indie-pop project that is incredibly good. I shot a few photos of them and I'm using one for Day 238 of the #JG365Project.

My Goodness

I've been so accustomed to having Christian this summer, that a Friday night without him felt really foreign. I didn't really know what to do and since I don't drink, the typical bar scene doesn't really have much to offer me. Despite this week already being filled with concerts and Bumbershoot on the horizon, I still wanted to see some music. After scouring the listings, I found a band playing in Everett that I wanted to see. Their dirty rock and roll sound seemed appropriate for the location, so we drove the 25 miles north to watch. I haven't seen a rock show so full of energy and fury as last night in a long time. This is My Goodness, a local band that blew the doors off of The Cannery. They reminded me of all that was absolutely right about Rock and Roll and despite not being accustomed to going out on a Friday night, their brand of sweaty and loud tunes helped me feel right at home. #JG365Project Day 241.

Cage The Elephant

Apparently the theme of this week is "musician portraits". I really don't start the week with a plan, other than a slight blueprint of what I have to do for the week, who's coming to town, and who I'm cutting hair for. Out of those denominators, plus a little bit of total randomness, I come up with my daily portrait. Today combined all of that into a little ball, mashed it together and out came this portrait. As I was scanning IG this morning, I saw a coffee photo, posted by the tour manager of a band called Cage The Elephant. The logo on the cup looked like a local coffee house and sure enough, it was. After a brief exchange in the comments of her photo, she invited me out to shoot photos for their set tonight. I asked about shooting a portrait, but as it turned out, we weren't able to make it happen. No worries, I was excited to shoot concert shots for the band anyhow. So, as I'm waiting around the venue for Mimi to show up, I see their singer, Matt. I casually walked up to him and began talking to him, showing him some photos from Sasquatch Festival I had taken of the band. Within a few moments, I asked if I could take a quick snap of him and the last bit of sunlight that was behind him in the horizon. This, is what turned out. One photo. Make it count. Matt, of Cage The Elephant for Day 239 of the #JG365Project. Thanks to Victoria for the photo pass hookup. I hope you enjoy your coffee!

I, Am an American - August 15, 2014

I, am an American. And when I awoke this morning, 4 days into the continuing tragedy that is taking place in the St. Louis area, I was appalled, reading about the events transpiring. I will not act like I know what it's like to grow up, scared of those who are supposed to serve and protect, scared of those who make the laws, or even scared of someone because of their ethnical differences. I'm very fortunate, but my fortune is not lost on me. As I drove to shoot this photo tonight, I saw the poignancy in everything that dotted the landscape of my drive. Two, massive American flags, one teal haired teenager crossing the street, 2 lesbians out for a walk with their dog, one Italian fixing his car, 5 African-American kids playing beside the street, one police cruiser speeding the opposite direction as me... all within 2 miles. This, is my America. And when I shot this photo, I didn't see any colors besides Red, White, and Blue. Will today be the day that we all stop seeing color and start seeing humanity? Parros for the #JG365Project, Day 226.