Dan Rawe, photo by Kiabad Meza
If you've gone to hardcore shows even semi-regularly in Southern California over the past 25 years, chances are you've seen Dan Rawe there, taking his place near a side corner of the stage with camera at the ready. I'm pretty sure I started following Dan on Instagram before ever actually meeting him, until I saw him at a show wearing his own "Dan Rawe Photography" hoodie and had to say hello. Easily one of the friendliest guys at a show, I always appreciated Dan for documenting the whole show experience, including taking photos of friends hanging out in between sets. Read on to learn more about Dan Rawe.
1) Where are you from and where do you live now?
Grew up in Chino and currently live one city over in Montclair. Pomona Valley forever!
In My Eyes, 2012
2) What is your current gear setup for shooting shows?
My dad was a Canon man so I followed. I have a few bodies I work with - 50D, Rebel 7T and a 77D. I usually go between two lenses: 10-18mm for the smaller shows where I’m up against a band and a 17-55mm for everything else. Since I have bad luck with flashes I’ve started buying some cheaper ones. Right now I’ve been using a TT 560 speedlite by Neewer. I’m not a gear head by any means. What I can afford at the time dictates what I get. I’ve been wanting to upgrade for a while.
Primal Rite, 2017
3) When did you start shooting shows/bands, and what compelled you to start shooting these types of photos?
Ron Vickers is 100% the reason I started taking photos around 1995. When we drifted apart I missed having photos of shows and friends. So I had a little point and shoot I started to take everywhere. I never thought about anything other than documenting my time around shows. Locals like Mikey Fastbreak, Dave Sine, Chrissy Piper, Sonia/Kent Ebulition and Dave Mandel made me want to be a better photographer.
Youth of Today, 2019
4) Have you had any standout experiences from shooting shows or bands? Anything memorable you're stoked (or not stoked) about?
Being able to shoot The Descendents for New Noise and Sonic Youth for Goldenvoice, or Black Star (big thanks to Vern Laird and Mark Waters) are always gonna stand out as amazing experiences. Breaking cameras at Strife, Terror and a Judge show, still not too happy about.
Youth of Today, 2019
5) Are there any photographers you look up to, admire, or draw inspiration from?
Besides everyone in the hardcore scene I call family, I’ve always had an admiration for skate photographers: Chris Ortiz (local hero), Stecyk, Glen E Friedman, J Grant Brittain, Atiba Jefferson... I suck at shooting shows but I’m even worse at skateboarding. But it is something I love. The beauty of motion.
Into Another, 2016
6) If you could go back in time and give yourself any advice about shooting shows when you were first starting out, what would it be?
Don’t stop! There have been a few times I’ve put down the camera only to pick it back up a few months later. And I always feel like I’m at square one.
7) What other styles of photography do you enjoy shooting?
I love architecture and landscape photography. Eugene Atget is my all time favorite. Might be why Paris means so much to me.
8) What do you do for a day job?
I work for UPS at the Ontario Airport facility. I am in charge of a team of 12 that work 4 different sorts that clean and process HAZMATs.
World Be Free, 2016
9) Who are some of your favorite Revelation Records bands you've shot?
Youth of Today, GB, Judge, Fell to Low, Down to Nothing, Torso... And this awesome band you might have heard of, DARE!
Gorilla Biscuits, 2012
10) What music have you been listening to lately?
Oddly nothing new. SNFU this week since Chi Pig passed away. Early Bad Religion (Suffer, No Control). Actually a lot more Bane since Sunny Hate5six posted the last show and Have Heart with all the S&F posts about it being a year ago and us missing this years.
Forced Order, 2016
You can see more of Dan Rawe's work here:
Bands needing photos in a pinch are welcome to scroll through Dan's Flickr page for unedited show photos.
You can also see Dan's photos in person at the NO BARRICADES #2 photo gallery currently on display at Supply & Demand in Long Beach, CA.