Hey Ya’ll!! Recently, I’ve been seeing Ally Newbold’s name everywhere. My friends have been talking about her work, and her photos were just recently featured on the insert of Modern Baseball’s new LP, “You’re going to miss it all.” I was able to get a few questions to Ally about photography, and was lucky enough to meet her in person when she came to The Sinclair on tour with The World Is a Beautiful Place and I am No Longer Afraid to Die (direct support for Into It. Over It.). Check out our interview below to learn about Ally and her photography!
Natalie: I keep seeing your logo on pictures of the bands I love. Can you introduce yourself and describe the role you have within the music community in which you work?
Ally: Hi my name is Ally Newbold and I am a music photographer/videographer based out of Philly.
What criteria did you have when you were looking to buy your first professional camera. How has your equipment inventory grown since that first purchase? What resources do you use to figure out what you need to buy next to grow your business?
My mom purchased my first “professional” camera when I was in my early teens so I can tell you I did not have any criteria at all. I just wanted to have a “nice” camera. My first camera was a Canon Rebel XTI which I used for quite a few years. Since then, I have acquired a Canon 5D Mk II which is a full frame camera and a Canon Rebel T2I as a backup camera. I now have a small assortment of lenses for these cameras as well as speedlites. Although I primarily shoot digital, I also have several film cameras such as a Mamiya rb67 and a Pentax K100.
Besides using the internet, a resource I tend to use often is simply just other photographers. I am always interested to see what other photographers are using as well as asking what gear they recommend.
What artist/photographer/videographer ect inspires you? Have you had any specific mentors along your path?
Some of the contemporary photographers that I am inspired by are Olivia Bee, Ryan McGinley, and Petra Collins. I’m also inspired by Ryan Russell’s growth in the past few years and I thoroughly enjoy the videos created by Alex Henery.
When I was first starting out, my high school film photography teacher, Mr. Wetzl was a mentor of mine. He would never give me guidance but simply ask me to ask myself if what I am doing is in the direction I want to be going in. I have been appreciative of him ever since.
How important is the Philly music community to you? In what ways are you involved with people in the Philly scene beyond photography and videography?
The Philly music community is significant to me. Although I just moved to Philly a little over a year ago, the music community has so far been extremely welcoming and kind. Within the first hour of moving to Philly, I went to a show at Golden Tea House to see Timeshares play. I had little to no money from moving all the way from Florida and I emailed Nick Fanelli over at the Guild and he helped me out. That was my first impression of Philly and I’m grateful for people such as Nick Fanelli as well as Ruben Polo for continuing to let Philly have such an incredible scene.
Within the first few months of moving here, I got to tour with The Hundred Acre Woods. The boys in The Hundred Acre Woods, Modern Baseball, and Secret Plot are just a few of the many incredible bands who have been supportive of my work since I moved here and I am thankful for all the opportunities that they have provided for me.
Can you give us a sense of what the process is like when you’re photos are chosen to be a part of a new LP? How does it feel when you open up a new record and see your photos inside?
I am sure this works in a number of ways. For example, I have been hired to shoot photos specifically for an LP while sometimes I get asked to submit photos I have taken in the past for an LP. Working with Man Overboard, I was asked to come to the studio and photograph a promo for the back of their newest record “Heart Attack” out on Rise Records. It feels incredible to be able to flip over the back of a record and see my photograph on the back of it.
Point blank, our music community is filled with a lot of dudes. Do you ever wish more ladies were involved with hardcore/emo music on the working end of things?
Although there are a frequent number of dudes in the music scene, it is also frequent with ladies involved in the music scene. For example, at Union Transfer, which is a venue in Philadelphia, the stage manager is a female. She is also a very sweet and intelligent lady!
There are several females in the music scene who work roles as managers, publicists, label owners, band members, photographers, videographers, and writers. I think this is overlooked quite a bit and is underappreciated.
Do you have any key tips for young ladies on how to be taken seriously as an artist, and as someone who tours?
Be consistent and prove yourself.
Can you give us an idea of what one of your days on tour is like?
Depends on the band I’m with, but generally wake everyone up, shower, eat, get everyone in the van, get to the destination, help load in, set up merch, explore the city, sell merch when show starts, photograph/record sets, sell merch, eat more food, load out, leave, go to next destination and sleep!
When shooting bands that are playing in VFW halls and DIY venues, what’s usually the protocol/policy for shooting on a professional level?
There is a different answer to this question for every venue. Smaller venues generally allow you to photograph as much as you want but I have been to places that do not allow cameras in at all unless you have a press pass.
Do you need a DSLR camera to start shooting bands who are playing in venues like this?
I would recommend a DSLR or a SLR for the film folks.
Do you have any tips for younger kids who are looking to start shooting shows in their local music scene?
Be consistent, be friendly, and respect the bands, venues and the show. Remember that the show isn’t about you and people generally don’t care about your photos, they care about seeing the bands.
Click here to check out Ally’s website. Also be sure to follow her on twitter and facebook!