Oregon Music News: Oregon’s all-genre music magazine since 2009


Through the Eyes of a Child: Sabaton & Epica at Roseland - PHOTOS / VIDEO

By SYDNEY AND MIKE LEWIS // Ten year-old Sydney is back in the pit to shoot photos of Sabaton, one of her favorite bands. Includes a video of her and her dad talking about the shoot.

The first big show that Sydney had an opportunity to photograph was one of her favorites. Three years ago, she joined me in the photo pit for Sabaton. Although she was also at the Waterfront Blues Festival prior to this, I also wasn’t certain if she wanted to continue joining me or if it was merely a one-time thing. Sabaton however has been one of her favorite bands since she was three years old and not much has changed since then. She has been looking forward to photographing them again and this time she was given not one opportunity but two as the band played two separate nights here in Portland.

The first night she was concerned about being late, so we found ourselves at the Roseland right when the doors opened. Of course, once we were inside the first things she did was made sure to make her way to the merch table and that’s where the big decision came into play; what exactly did she want? After debating and deciding that she already had one Sabaton shirt and might not need another, she settled on a beanie. I assumed that she’d really enjoy Epica but the answer I received after we got out of the photo pit was, “They are okay. I mean, I like them, but daddy . . . . you KNOW Sabaton is my favorite band.”
Apparently, there’s just no way to compete against the power of Swedish metal, at least not for Sydney.

With two nights to take photos I decided to try something a little different. The first night she used the lens that she has been routinely using which is a Sony 16-50mm. It’s a kit lens that came with one of the camera’s that I purchased and while it’s not bad in some situations, it isn’t great and Sydney complained that her photos were a little too dark. For night two I allowed her to use my 35mm and she was distraught that she couldn’t zoom but I informed her that the photos were going to look much better.

I have noticed a few changes though. She’s good at following the unwritten rules of pit etiquette. As she has grown more comfortable however, she does tend to wander and do her own thing which is perfectly acceptable. In fact, I encourage this. I also see how she is starting to mimic what she sees myself and other photographers do. She tries to crouch down to take pictures, she attempt to change the angle so it’s not necessarily a straight shot, she finds things of interest on the stage or with instruments, and she is essentially just learning what will work.

When it’s one of her favorite artists performing, she obviously wants to get the best photos that she can and Sabaton didn’t disappoint her in the least as far as their performance. She might not admit it, but I know that she also enjoyed Epica quite a bit as well. She’s already anticipating when Sabaton might come back again and I’m sure that she’ll want to get into the pit once again.

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