This summer I was lucky enough to have V.I.P passes and backstage access to Vans Warped Tour. At the tour stop in New Jersey, I met a band called Waterparks as well as their photographer and videographer Jawn Rocha. After a brief conversation he had to be on his way to get some work done, but I still wanted to pick his brain about the work he does.
Ever since I got involved with the alternative music scene I’ve always loved the idea of working and touring with a band across the country and capturing the events that happen along the way. Because of this, I’ve always been curious about what being a photographer on the road it like.
After that meeting in New Jersey, I had the opportunity to talk to Waterparks’ photographer and videographer about what this experience is like.
While touring across the country with the band he is taking photos of their set each day along with some behind the scenes shots. He also records clips from the day and edits them into a compilation of highlights from the day to post on the band’s social media.
I asked Jawn to describe his job in his own words because I thought that would give me a better understanding of what he does. He defined his job and him touring around the country taking pictures and videos of the antics his friends in the band get up to. Sort of like capturing memories.
I also found out that he didn’t always know that this is something he wanted to do, but that he when he was around 13/14 he was filming and editing videos for some of his old bands and that is what lead him in the direction of what he is doing today. Because of this, I was curious about the skills he discovered he needed for this job.
Jawn said that the top two skills he needs are: adapting on the fly and dealing with ambiguity. And these are skills that you can only learn from experience. He said that he can never know what it going to happen while on tour and that these skills help him to always be prepared for whatever is thrown at him.
At the end of the interview, he gave me some really good advice. He said that you always have to start somewhere and that you cannot just expect to do big things right away. You should take whatever jobs you can get to gain experience and improve your skills. Jawn also advised to not waste money. If you cannot afford expensive equipment and cannot justify buying it, then don’t. Work with what you have and improve your skills, and then when you can afford it buy the more expensive equipment. Finally, he stressed the importance of making connections. Talk to people about what they do and what you do because you never know when a situation will arise where they might have a job for you or could put you in contact with someone else who does.