Again another flickr discovery for me. This time something slightly different, a bit of music or band photography. Throw in some sport/action and a bit of advertising/commercial and I give you Joel Pilotte.
Tell us a little about yourself?
My name is Joel Pilotte and I am a freelance photographer from Sarnia, Ontario. I started shooting around four years ago and have been doing it seriously for a year or so now. My passion for photography grows every time I touch the shutter and I love spending time surfing the web finding new photographers and their work to inspire me.
What made you get into photography?
I took a trip with a friend out west to Vancouver/Whistler and I wanted to take good photos so I picked up a Nikon D40 with an 18-55 kit lense. I knew it wasn’t much but at the time I didn’t mind. I ended up shooting photos at an event held every year in Whistler called Crankworx from the sidelines and when I shared my photos online from the event, pro mountain bike rider Cedric Gracia contacted me to use one of my photos for his website. I was in shock and decided maybe this would be a cool hobby to get into.
How did you get started?
I always loved action sports, whether it be snowboarding, skateboarding or biking. I started by just meeting people where I lived that did those things and I just tagged along and kept shooting. My photos kept getting better and better as I went. Then I got asked to come out to a local show in my hometown and I brought my gear and shot some live photos of the band. I stuck with shooting concerts and I have shot nearly 100 shows to date.
What sort of photography do you mainly do?
It’s always hard to place myself into a genre of photography because I try and take photos of anything possible. If I had to place myself into some it would be Music, Sports and Portraiture. I have also assisted two weddings which were a lot of fun. I just got off tour with my good friends in Texas In July last month and I had a blast just documenting their tour. Touring is something I defiantly would love to do more often in the future whether it be with them or any other band.
What gear are you using?
Currently I am using a Nikon D300 body with a 50mm f/1.2&1.8, 24mm f/2.8, 10.5mm f/2.8 fish. I also have a 18-55mm kit lense and a 55-200mm f/4-5.6 but I don’t use them as often. For lighting I have the sb-600 and sb-28 speedlights and Cybersyncs to trigger them. Then also a 45” Wescott softbox and a few umbrellas and stands.
Whats your favourite lens and why?
Lately it’s been my 50mm f/1.2. I got it for an amazing deal and it has been the most well spent money so far in my career. My favorite concert lense is my 10.5mm fisheye because it can get everyone in the band in the same frame. I hope to pick up a 17-55 f/2.8 soon which would be amazing for the work I do.
How are you marketing yourself?
I spend way too much time on the internet. As of right now I have a website, blog, twitter, and a facebook page.
Whats your favourite photo you have taken?
It’s difficult to choose my favourite photo. Here is a shot I got of a band called Counterparts in London, Ontario. I like it because it really shows the intensity of the band and how much effort they put forth each show they play.
Another one I thought i’d share is a photo of Jonathan Vigil. He is the vocalist for a band called The Ghost Inside and I grabbed this photo backstage before their set. He is all about staying positive and his lyrics reflect it in a huge way. This photo just fits him and his music perfectly.
Advice for new photographers looking to go pro?
Just keep shooting. Nothing comes easy and you have to be patient. I find that I have just been taking things in steps and not rushing anything is the best route to go. Doing personal work aside from work for clients is always a huge plus because it keeps you motivated and lets you get creative. If your passionate about what your doing the possibilities are endless.