There's something about shooting a concert that makes me tingle with excitement, without a doubt, each and every time. Maybe it's the huge crowd of excited people. Maybe it's the music blaring in the air. Or maybe, it's the colorful stage lights that twinkle in the audience's eyes.
Whatever reason, I always look forward to covering concerts for the USO -- almost as much as I look forward to doing feature stories with military families, those are still my favorite things to shoot.
While I was busy running (literally running) around shooting video from the day's events and didn't get a chance to chat with any of the military families at the concert, I did get to chat with the USO photographer who was also covering the event, Fred Greaves. He was super nice and I had quite a fun time geeking out with him over photography. It's always nice to meet new people at these events -- even if those new people are working for the same company as me!
Bearing all this in mind, it should come at no surprise to hear that I had a blast while covering my latest assignment for the USO -- a free concert in Ft. Hood featuring Trace Adkins and Casey James. Not only did I get the chance to head back to the 'Great Place' and my home state, but I had the wonderful opportunity to sit down with both Trace and Casey and ask them about their respective histories of performing for troops around the world.
Both men have traveled overseas (Trace many, many times with the USO) to entertain deployed service men and women over the years and spoke very sincerely about their admiration for the work and sacrifices troops make by serving the country. I think that's one common theme that runs through all of the celebrity performer interviews I do for the USO -- they all seem so appreciative to be able to sing, dance, do whatever, for men and women in uniform. Often times, they feel like the troops are doing more of a service for them then they are for the troops. It's really moving to see such popular performers speak so humbly about their time spent with troops. I wish everyone could hear them speak so candily and from the heart.
That, at least, is a constant reminder to me that my job to capture these unique sentiments is just that much more important.