A few months ago (a week after I got to have lunch with and photograph Tori Kelly), I felt motivated to reach out to Jeremy "Passion" Manongdo and Melissa Polinar before they put on a show at Lestat's on Adams (aka one of San Diego's go-to coffee shops when you don't know where else to go past 10pm) to meet and photograph them and their show. Both are extremely talented musicians, singers, and songwriters who I've been influenced by since way back in the day. These two (along with maybe two other Youtube musicians) played a huge role in how I viewed and valued life at a young age simply because of their music, songwriting, and their motivations. Much of their music encouraged and taught me to find beauty in my surroundings and people around me -- I guess when you're always listening to meaningful songwriting, it plays into your actual perspectives and mindsets as you grow up, and it set the tone of the music that I enjoy now. Music then became something heavily attached to me -- it became a part of me rather than something I just listen to at my leisure. Fast forward 8 years later, I wanted to take the opportunity to photograph Jeremy and Melissa to, in a small way, combine my old but characterizing love for music with my new found passion and pursuit for photography. I know I could have visually and creatively done much more if we had the time, but with less than 5 minutes (they had to get ready for sound-check), all I could capture were smiles. But the opportunity was enough for me. I'm hoping to continue to add more of my inspirations into this hopefully ongoing project as I grow up. My preteen self would have never guessed that, 8 years later, I'd be casually photographing Jeremy, Melissa and Tori the same month. I'm thankful to have met some of my inspirations, and to have them hear my heart for music and photography felt pretty dang awesome.
The night finished with an expected great show put on by both of them, and it was definitely a wonderful throwback to hear some of their music live once again.
(Also, I thought I'd lost or accidentally deleted all the files for a long time. I found them recently, and hopefully it isn't too late to send these over to them!)