For nearly 25 years I’ve been playing in the San Diego-based, Irish, folk-punk band The Downs Family. We’ve played countless local shows, toured, and recorded several albums together. Although members have come and gone, and the band’s activity level has ebbed and flowed with day jobs and families taking more prominent roles in our lives, we’ve managed to keep things together even if that sometimes meant playing only one show in a year on St. Patrick’s Day. In so many ways, we truly are a family. We’ve shared life’s struggles and joys: births, weddings, funerals, and more. Throughout those years, I never carried my camera. There are shoe boxes of snapshots in my closet, but none were shot by me.
The last five years have seen a resurgence in my photographic work as well as renewed interest in “getting the band back together.” We’ve booked more shows, developed new songs, added new members. And along the way I’ve brought my camera on stage, snapping shots in between choruses and solos in those rare moments when I have a hand free. Shot with a point-and-shoot, under difficult lighting conditions, the motion blur and odd angles capture the intensity, joy, and excitement of a live performance from the band’s perspective.