A Much More Realistic Approach

Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock still lives, I just such at updating the website, I hope that will change. I am hoping for a post or two a week at least, but who knows, I never claimed to be a writer.  I am coming up on two years of hacking away at this, I’ve had my ups and downs, my starts and stops, but I know I still want the book to become a reality. Photographing live music is what I love to do and I know I am good at it, what I am not good at is talking to people which makes it hard to make connections. The coming months will include me making a concerted effort to make as many new connections with musicians, management, promoters and record companies as possible. Watch out because here I come. Don’t worry you’ll see me coming, I’m kind of hard to miss.

A Rainy Day at Pouzza Fest

Day one of Pouzza Fest in Montreal Canada is done and I am exhausted, damp and hungry. But first sleep, I need sleep, so why am I typing at almost 5am? I thought I would try something different for a change. So many venues and only one of me and wanting to get to them all, I managed 3 in the pouring rain so I count the night a success. I must say everyone has been on their best behavior and the music out of this world. I saw bands from near and far, some that drove for days to play 5 songs. For now I will just post a few pics and leave the details for a later post.

Taking Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock on the Road

I have decided that in order to move Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock further in the direction it needs to go, I need to hit the road. I am planning a series of mini and not so mini tours through the summer and into the fall. In order to fund these tours I am asking for financial help and have launched a GoFundMe campaign that you can visit and read more.

I have thus far mostly funded Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock out of pocket and cannot continue that and still move forward and a respectable speed with the project. Believe me I would rather not ask people for money, but this is something I strongly believe in and I do need help to get the ball rolling faster. So please take the time to check out my GoFundMe page, give it a read and share it with your friends.  www.gofundme.com/pkprtour


Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival Countdown

It’s that time of year again, only four weeks till the Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival in Las Vegas Nevada. This years lineup of bands looks amazingly awesome to say the least, a bit of something for everyone. You can’t really complain with headliners like Cock Sparrer, Descendents and NOFX. Throw in some SNFU, OFF!, Good Riddance, The Adicts, The Dwarves and Left Over Crack among others, how could you go wrong? Don’t forget either that this is not just the three days of the festival, it’s also three nights of club shows which never fail to disappoint.

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This will be my fourth Punk Rock Bowling and the second for Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock, I wish I had been to more of them, there is never a shortage of great people and fun times. I did not mention the pool parties did I, you will not want to miss the pool parties, always a possibility of surprises!

Here is just a small sample of what Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock saw last year, on and off stage.


I can’t imagine all the work that goes into putting this amazing weekend together, I for one am very thankful and appreciative of everyone involved in pulling this off year after year. If you are going to be there this year I hope to see you there, if not, then maybe next year.


I suck at website updates

I’m way behind on where i wanted the Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock website to be and what I promised I would be doing with it, I’m sorry about that. No more promises, just a lot of hard work ahead of me. Look for more show photos posted here and an increase in writing about said photos. I am still dedicated to having Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock become an amazing book, but almost one year into this project and I have found it was never going to be as easy as I thought. But really when was anything easy ever really worth doing.
Please follow along with me on this ride and let’s see what happens.

Ken Chinn of SNFU October 2013 at Call The Office in London Ontario Canada

Getting Back On Track

So I haven’t posted anything here in a long time and that isn’t a good thing. I have been dealing with life and sometimes that’s all you can do. I have come to realize that Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock is a lot more work than I had originally envisioned. This was not a months long project as I had originally thought it would be, more like years. Getting my name out there and the Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock’s name out there has not worked out the way I had hoped it would, but I will be coming up with some new strategies in the coming weeks. I am no giving up, I will not quit.

Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock is important, I know it is something that needs to be done and I know I am working for a good cause. I will be updating things here on the website more often as well as Facebook and Google+. I will be the first to admit that I am not a writer, but the more I write the better I’ll get, so bear with me. I hope you all had a great Thanksgiving and are prepared for the Christmas onslaught. Be safe, be well.

Today I am Humble

Last night after I was able to reflect on things I realized that I have a lot to learn. I knew going into Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock that there was a lot about this project that I had no idea about and as it turns out dealing with people was one of them. In my haste to get things moving as quickly as possible I didn’t take the time to really introduce myself and let people become comfortable with me before I started telling people what I wanted from them. I now realize that I may have come off as pushy and demanding, I assure everyone that it was not my intention to be that way. Truthfully I can’t do this book on my own, While I may be spearheading this project I need more help than I could have ever imagined. I have convinced myself that I am doing something that no one has ever done before and that might be true or it might not be. I obviously need help from bands and musicians, but I also need the help of managers, pr people, record labels and promoters among others. I need to forge lasting and trusting relationships with everyone and I have to show them that their trust in in me is warranted and that I have something to offer them in return for the help I am asking for. I can’t make Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock a reality without the support and endorsement of the project by bands, record labels and promoters. I am very grateful for all the help and advice I have received so far and I will put it to good use.

My Frustration Knows No Bounds

To say I am frustrated would be an understatement. I have no problem admitting that there were a handful of tears. I have been working so hard for a couple of months now and it all came crashing down. The Punk Rock Bowling and Music Festival seemed like the perfect opportunity to get a lot of photos of bands in a short amount of time. I put in a request for a photo pass a month ago and until this morning had not heard anything back. I figured that while I was waiting I would contact all the bands performing at the festival and ask specifically about them being ok with me photographing backstage. Some of the bands were very excited about Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock, some didn’t mind at all, no one really had any issue at all with me being backstage with a camera. I wasn’t asking for interviews, or posed photo shoots. I made it clear I just wanted to be around and that I would stay out of the way.

There is a big disconnect between what bands believe they have control of and what the festival believes they have control of. Bands say they have no control over backstage access, but at the same time the festival says I have to clear it with the bands because it is not up to them. No one is on the same page as far as who has the power over access. I was told last night that if even one band said no then I could not have access. When I pointed out that they had all said yes, the story changed, it was now the policy that no cameras were allowed backstage.

To be honest, I don’t think a lot of people even read my emails or look at my website or Facebook page to see what it is that I am really doing. What I am doing will not take any time from people, I will not be in the way, and they don’t need to do anything that they wouldn’t already be doing. What takes no effort from the people I am contacting will be a lot of work for me, but I don’t mind, I love what I am trying to do and I love the cause that it will benefit.

So what this boils down to is that if I was told a month ago that they would never grant me access to photograph bands at Punk Rock Bowling, I would not have spent all the time I did contacting all the bands and making the arrangements that I did. What a waste of time and energy.

The Dwarves, Turbonegro and Punk Rock Bowling

I haven’t said much here lately, so it’s about time I did. There are a couple of big shows coming up that I am going to be at. First up for me is show in Denver this coming Monday, The Dwarves and Turbonegro. Next  week for memorial day weekend will be the Punk Rock Bowling & Music Festival in Las Vegas. I have been working very hard contacting all the bands performing at Punk Rock Bowling and have had great success in hearing back from most of them. As you know, my goal with Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock has been to include mostly candid photos and not as many concert photos. Getting permission from bands to shoot backstage at concerts and festivals is key to having the opportunity to get the shots that I want and to that end I have been able to do that quite successfully with Punk Rock Bowling. There are 27 bands performing at the festival and I have been able to get the ok from 24 of them so far.

My challenge moving forward will be getting the opportunity to photograph bands in non-concert situations, like rehearsals, recording sessions, and as many other settings as possible. I also have a dilemma when it comes to festivals that aren’t necessarily Punk Rock in nature, but include many Punk acts among other acts, gaining access to these events to just shoot the bands I want to has so far proved impossible. In order to gain access to events I need people to understand and support what I am trying to do with Portraits In The Key Of Punk Rock. I think I should expand on the last issues in a larger post, until then, spread the word about the website and the Indiegogo campaign. Thank you.  The Dwarves TurbonegroPunk Rock Bowling

Getting My Photography On Concert Style

Bad Religion Set ListSo this weekend was a busy one and exciting too, spent all day shooting at That Damn Show in Mesa Arizona on Saturday (Bad Religion, Face to Face, Tiger Army, Fenix TX, HB Surround Sound and Inept Hero). Sunday was a day of rest after spending all day out in the sun the day previous, but Sunday night was an absolutely amazing show at Pub Rock Live in Scottsdale Arizona, Jello Biafra and the Guantanamo School of Medicine.

That Damn Show was a great time and let me tell you, it’s been a while since I’ve shot at a concert especially one of this scale, what a trill being up so close to the action and being the envy of every person behind you and the barricade. I promise a better write up when I get around to going through the photos later this week, the same goes for the Jello concert. I have to say though Jello Biafra puts on one of the most amazing shows, talk about high energy for someone of any age.

In posting this and the update later this week, with pictures, I am in no way claiming that any of these musicians will be making the way into the book, yet anyways. I will be clarifying my stance on if and when I will reveal who will be in the book. I assure you there is a yes list and it is growing day by day. Look for my post on this matter tomorrow.