Flaskmob Nov 2015 in South LA USC

Pop culture is always evolving and interestingly enough, finds a way to intersect into your life. Since digital photography has been such a trendy form of art in the past 10 years, watching the visual media form collide with social media has brought a whole new level of street photography to life. 

The San Francisco based Flaskmob has gotten some major press this year especially in the Los Angeles area. Their last major collab with @conquer_la certainly got the attention of the LAPD when it got shutdown 15 mins after it's start time. Flaskmob is basically a group that organizes photo walks but with an edge. The walks are at night in very urban areas where a handful of male and female models dress up in eerie fairytale-ish costumes and use various forms of smoke bombs, flares, spinning steel wool and anything else that emits lovely low light energy. 

This time around, in order to control the crowd, Flaskmob announced the meeting location only by signing up for their newsletter. When we arrived on scene, there was a heavy police presence. The police were not dressed in riot gear so that was a good sign that things weren't gonna get shut down immediately. Figured it was good to have a police escort in that part of town.

As the crowd started to mob, the LAPD were very vocal about people staying on the sidewalk and not breaking any laws and blocking streets. The LAPD helicopter was making sure that people knew what they expected. Since we were waiting for some friends who were behind, we ended up walking at the very tail end of the mob so we missed some good crowd action in the beginning. 

Calvin was lucky enough to meet a really cool girl with a boa snake. The first time he had ever held a snake and now he wants one as a pet.

There was a ton of police presence not only cause of the Flaskmob event but also cause of the USC and UCLA football game. It has a collision of events that make it even more interesting. The LAPD had their sirens blaring in the underpass and since it was filled with smoke from the mob, it was like a scene out of a movie.... it was a cool experience.  

Below is the very famous Felix the Cat neon sign. It was cool to be able to show Calvin such a landmark across the street from USC.

As the mob gathered in front of the The Shrine, more smoke bombs went off and mini photoshoots ensued. Basically people would find a spot and instaphotoshoot would happen. 

A look at a portion of the mob below

@butch_locsin_from_la doing his thing with his smoke drum

We eventually ended up on the USC campus and were setting up for all sorts of shoots in the dorm area. USC students got curious and made the crowd even larger. 

A sea of photographers caught the attention of the local news media. KTTV is what I think I saw. 

With all of the commotion, there was a generous walk to the local fire station where people dropped toys for the less fortunate. 

A few hours in, my feet started to give out since my Chuck Taylor's weren't supporting my feet well. Ended up using Uber for the very first time to get dropped off back to the car. 

Thanks to the organizers for putting the event on. I had a chill time and it was great seeing what the photo community is capable of. I wish you guys many more successful events.

A cruise down to San Diego for Big Socal Euro Meet

Life is an adventure... go out there and meet new people, seek new lands and make fond memories that you can talk about on your death bed. It's so hard to break away from the norm and when you do get away, its hard to ease your mind of all the work you have to do when you get back... you  know what I'm talking about right? Makes it worse since I am Korean and Koreans are workaholics. I try not to be but it's in my blood. 

This past weekend was Labor Day... trying to take it easy on Labor Day seems unproductive so I had to find a way to relax but get some work done at the same time. Where does one begin to do that? 

Apparently there was a big car meet in San Diego on Sunday hosted by a Purist member. Open to Euro enthusiasts, I asked a few Euro people if they were going to check out the meet. Sure enough Darren (@creaminz_official) and a whole crew of Porsche and BMW boys were down to roll so I cleared my Sunday to check it out. 

Darren hangs out with some really cool dudes... and since all of these guys ball so hard, I had to get my #mbn (must be nice) hashtags ready to hand out. Here you go, and here you go.... thank you, must be nice sir... lol but as hard as they all ball, they are very gracious and humble dudes. Pleasure meeting the group, their significant others and their sons.... James and Rob both have one boy so Calvin felt right at home with it. 

There was definitely traffic heading down to SD from OC but a majority of the traffic came from people rubbernecking on the 5 freeway when the Marines at Camp Pendleton area were taking their hovercrafts from the dirt to the sea. It was super badass, sorry no photo, we were just mesmerized. 

The rollers below were shot by me while I was driving. Left the Canon 24-70mm 2.8 Mark II on 24mm, center focus and I shot over my shoulder. I have a pretty good idea of what the lens sees so I was able to get some shots this way. 

Stopped by our 2nd Shell Gas Station in SD where we refueled, snacked on packaged goods and waited for Rob from Crooks and Castles

Rob's Lamborghini Aventador in white and HRE's made quite the entrance with his wife sporting the murdered out Merc AMG G Wagon. 

I never attend car shows even though I love cars... not sure why... probably cause of the crowds, the commitment and the heat are at the top of the list. A lot of respect to those that run the circuit of shows... definitely a lot of work. My 964 ended up getting into the show cause the boys know everybody they need to know to get people in. There were two other air cooled Porsches out there, a 930 turbo and a Carrera RS in beautiful RS green. 

This Audi with the Volk ZE's was one of my favorites from the day.... even comes with a stack of firewood. How nice.

I didn't shoot too much on this trip for a few reasons: 1. I was driving 2. Phil (@handsomeandphilthy) jacked my Canon 24-70mm 2.8 Mark II cause he brought a broken lens to the show 3. I actually wanted to be a spectator and not a working photographer.... so you get what you get. lol

Ordered some Thai basil and chili chicken over rice and a Thai Ice Tea. I was let down by the use of breast meat... so dry... ugh. Our pick up sign was "Havoc".

We ended the night with some chicken wings at Wing N' Things and some spirited driving back up the 15N around 10pm. We took some photos... Kevin with the Polaroid and sticking his body out half way around 85mph was fun!

Photo Credit: Kevin McDonnell (@himynameskevin) shot on iPhone

Photo Credit: Kevin McDonnell (@himynameskevin) shot on iPhone

Awesome day with some great people... I hope all of you had a great weekend!

All the images were shot on Canon 1dx and Canon 24-70mm 2.8 Mark II with a Marumi 82mm Circular Polarizer unless otherwise stated. All items can be found at IE Photo Rentals

Til the next,
Andrew Manley

Happy 4th Birthday Princess Addy

Nothing makes you feel older than watching a person go from birth to a child in no time. Where did all the time go... right? So our niece Addyson celebrated her 4th birthday yesterday with a nice small gathering of first cousins at Chuck E Cheese in Diamond Bar. 

I brought out the Canon 1dx and 24-70mm 2.8 Mark II.... which typically I don't do since indoor evenings would bring out L primes but I wanted to shoot at various focal lengths so I went with my gut. The 1dx held up well since it's low light is terrific and the image quality from the Mark II was sharp as it usually is. 

Shooting candids/documentary/journalistic style takes some effort because at the end of the day, it comes down to timing... you have to do everything right and then wait for the perfect moment. Typically I am directing at my shoots.... "Stand there, move this, park here, fix your hair...." but documentary style requires patience and being on the sidelines. 

Now I tried my best to do what I could to capture the moments yesterday but I felt like I struggled in capturing the essence. Could be all sorts of reason but I feel like I really need to change my mindset when I am shooting different styles... but it was also my niece's party so I wanted to enjoy it. Ah... the struggles.

Would love to hear who you guys love in documentary styled photography. What are some of your secrets in capturing special moments? Share below in the comments. Would love to hear you guys.

Happy birthday Addy! Love you babes

Til the next
Andrew Manley