Through the Photographer’s Lens

Feb 01, 2017

You have likely seen us, the gang with all the cameras, marching into the arena while you’re waiting for your favorite artist to take the stage. It's always a telltale sign that show time is getting close. I am one of the lucky few that has the honor of shooting some of the biggest musical acts in the world as they grace the stage at Budweiser Gardens.

My name is Bill Woodcock and I am a photographer for and Bud Gardens, as I like to call it.  It is a dream come true, as a music photographer, to shoot the biggest acts in a state of the art venue in our city.  Being granted access to these shows is something I could never have imagined the first time I shot a band live on stage.

It looks like a glamorous gig.  You see us, in front of the front row for most shows.  It's what us photographers call a, "pit shoot ". These are the shoots you dream of.  You are so close that sometimes you feel like you are part of the show. You sometimes interact with the band through the lens of the camera and get those incredible shots we all like to look at as music junkies. These are the moments when your heart is racing and the adrenaline is flowing. These are the moments I am in the zone and living a dream a lot of photographers I meet talk about.

In 2016, I was lucky enough to shoot a number of shows at Budweiser Gardens. It is hard to pinpoint my favorite show and I am asked often which I would choose as my favorite. Anytime I get to shoot a show at Bud Gardens, I would say, is a moment I cherish. From the very first show I ever shot there, which was Canadian Icons, Blue Rodeo, to the moment Sir Elton John took the stage to a capacity crowd a mere foot from me, every show has a different vibe and different meaning to me.

One of the craziest shows I was fortunate enough to capture was when, Five Finger Death Punch, and, Sixx A.M., rolled through town. It was a show I will never forget, my first hard rock concert shooting from, and “the pit".  You could feel the energy of the crowd the moment you walked onto the arena floor. It was an incredible night, and I was able to capture some of those moments, shared below.

The list of shows this world class venue hosts is endless, from comedy tours such as, Gerry Dee, to Country Superstars like, Carrie Underwood.  I have been fortunate enough to be there, with cameras in tow, to capture those moments and share online with thousands of music fans.

One of the biggest moments for me this year, at Bud Gardens, was when it was home to the Canadian Country Music Association's, Canadian Country Music Awards. The show, which was aired on CBC, was the biggest night for Country Music in Canada and I was lucky enough to be granted Media Access and was able to shoot photos of the entire live show.

The venue is a dream to shoot photos in, not a bad spot in the venue.  If we're shooting from the soundboard, or even the concourse level, it's always a treat to be at Bud Gardens. What's even more amazing is the marketing team at the venue. They are our escorts in and out of the event.  They give us the rules and they always do it with a smile and make it fun.

I can't wait to start shooting the 2017 line up of shows coming to Budweiser Gardens. Again, world class entertainment coming right here to downtown London Ontario.

Author: Bill Woodcock

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