Thursday, June 27, 2013

Rock out with Daniel Coston June 28

I often tell "my" photographer Daniel Coston that I couldn't do my job without him. If you've attended a social function in the last decade that I've covered for the Observer or SouthPark magazine, most likely he'll be there capturing it with his camera, often while wearing a super cool chapeau cocked at a jaunty angle. I have "my" in quotes because although I want to claim him as my own, he's an in-demand nationally known freelance photographer whose first love is shooting bands in action at concerts, or for their album covers are other publicity shots. 

I think one of the reasons he excels at photographing parties is that they're similar to rock concerts. You just have to dive in there and do it, often while jostling through crowds while dealing with lots of noise and chaos in the pursuit of a great shot. And you have the added pressure of having to be careful not to step on a gorgeous gown while trying to write down whether it's Sally Smith, Sallie Smythe, or Salee Smiths that you're taking a photo of. He makes it look easy, but it's not. 

Along with being a great photographer, Daniel is also a great writer. He has combined those passions in two new books. One, "North Carolina Musicians: Photographs and Conversations" is due out in July from McFarland Publications. It's filled with black and white photos from behind-the-scenes moments he experienced with some of our state's most famous bands - from the Avett Brothers and the Carolina Chocolate Drops to the Squirrel Nut Zippers. (Check out the July issue of SouthPark magazine, on newsstands now, for a sampling of Daniel's photos and excerpts from the book.)

The other is "There Was a Time: Rock & Roll in the 1960s in Charlotte, and North Carolina,"  his self-published book that's out now. He recently signed copies of the book with musician Jake Berger at Park Road Books where the book is available. Here's a photo of Daniel, right, at the book signing with Jake Berger, left, and two fans:

To celebrate the book, Daniel is hosting a book release party on June 28 at Neighborhood Theatre at the corner of 36th and North Davidson streets in the NoDa neighborhood. 

The book will be available for purchase, and Daniel will be doing signings. Along with emceeing the show, he's also planning to jump on stage and perform with some of the musical acts that are playing at the party. The lineup showcases the Young Ages, Good Bad & The Ugly (featuring Patrick Walters), Abbadons, Mannish Boys (featuring Jake Berger and Donny Fletcher) and Bobby Donaldson. 

Doors open at 7 p.m. and the bands start at 8 p.m. Tickets are $15 and are available at the door, or in advance at Lunchbox Records and Sunshine Daydreams. 

I can't wait to be there to rock it out with Daniel in support his latest creative project, and to turn the camera on Charlotte's best known social event/rock photographer. 

Follow Olivia on Twitter @oliviafortson