Shooting Monster Massive or,
"How I learned to stop worrying and Love the Jungle Room"

20,000 in attendance, 20,000 stories, 20,000 photographic opportunities. 20,000 choices, only 6 rolls of film.

The way I shoot, as a publisher, I shoot only what looks like a shot. Usually, it's something I've seen before, a shot I picked out of the over 300 rolls of film I've developed for Ravers Digest (and Rave On Magazine before that). I don't have to invent all that much, it's not like writing or design, all I need to do is see it and recognize it. Then set the camera and shoot. For a normal party, I can cover it in 3 rolls, or maybe 4. I don't try to capture everything, just enough so that you, the audience, can get a good idea of what was there. For a small party, it's cake. You walk around, see a hundred shots, and take them all. A massive, on the other hand, has a hundred shots in every room, plus a hundred shots between the rooms and outside, plus talent that you might never get to see again. So what do you do? Okay, just to make things interesting, you also need to get a cover tonight. Oh, and you don't get any type of special access, so you have to risk getting tossed for a decent crowd or talent shot. Of course, you know there isn't any decent light inside the arena, and Go Ventures only gave you one GL spot for photography, so you won't get a break all night and all the pressure is completely on you (thanks for adding that extra element of challenge, Reza).

And here we are, at the Los Angeles Sports Arena. After walking around the entire venue one and a half times, we get to the Guest List and are cleared by Reza himself, as there are no more Guest List Tickets or wristbands.

Who cares, we're in. Just barely, but we're in. Finally I can relax. There is always a chance that for some reason or another I won't be allowed into a party, at which point I sneak in, but I digress. Yes, it is a rush to sneak in and you do have a whole new level of appreciation for a party you had to sneak into, but I digress. Either way, don't sneak into parties. It's bad, really, really bad. I only do it because I have to for the magazine (and I love raving).

Anyway, like I said, we're in. Right away I see a shot, and another one, and another one. This is how it's going to be all night. Good shots are everywhere, so I need to think about getting a variety of shots, and most importantly a cover. For Ravers Digest, that means finding the perfect cover girl.

i am NOT this good of a photographer! i just got lucky on this shot, or maybe i should be thanking the drum n bass godz fer this one?

Larissa is the girlfriend of the infamous Mike G., but not the original Mike G, the real Mike G.

Mithcah and Kristen (what you don't know is...)

violet, baby!! sorry this shot sucks, all my shots were either great or sucked tonight !! 37

There are a lot of things on my check list, including: one good shot of each room, great dancers, the all important crowd shots, shots of cool costumes, sexy girls, random stuff, shots that give you and idea of what was there, shots of the talent, and whatever strikes me as a good shot. What makes this so hard is that most shots only exist for a few seconds, and then are gone forever. I can't tell you how many shots I missed by less than a second, and this is with an auto focus, auto shutter speed, auto aperture, auto everything camera. I have no idea how Sam shot raves with a strictly manual camera.

To make a long story short, I spent all night looking for the perfect cover girl only to have not found her by 3:30 a.m. I stayed in the Jungle Room, guessing that this would be the right spot. The Jungle room was outdoors, had some available light (at least it wasn't black) and was really truly going off, so this had to be it.

I eliminated literally thousands of girls since they were: in the wrong light, camera shy, not photogenic, fuct up, couldn't dance, had boring outfits or lacked personality.

The perfect girl turned out to be Max, a 22 year-old brunette who was topless except for a handful of leaves. Max if you are reading this, "Thank you!!" Max had the right look, right outfit, perfect body, perfect attitude, loved being in front of the camera, could really strike a pose, and most importantly had charm. I had 10 shots left, rapidly using 9 of them on Max and saving the final exposure for a shot of me with my beautiful cover girl. -37

oh my, i love her sooo much !!! what a goddess

why can't we have a party in here every month? too much happiness?

here is another shot that came out way better than i deserve

ok, here is a shot of the hardcore room, i know we always ignore hardcore,
but it's not my fault i'm a junglist, uhm, i mean housecat

uhm yeah, i was asked to leave the upper deck where i shot this from

but i came back again later !! haha

i was also asked to leave this area, but i love this shot.
i had to time the light coming down on the crowd up front.

guess what? i was behind the fence for this shot and got tossed back into the crowd, special thanks to Sean AKA the DJ SDF-1 who cleared me to go on stage later, allowing me to get this next shot with MC Skibadee, who by the way did not "Over-MC" during DJ SS's set at monster

"this is the mister skibadeedoo with the matter, and your rollin with the drum n bass arena RINSE OUT"