Warped Tour Cincinnati 2014

Photographing Warped Tour started as something to do while my little sister hung out with her friends.  It is fun to watch all of the bands and their fans.  I love seeing how impactful music is to everyone there.  This year I had the opportunity to  photograph the show for cincymusic.com.  I was given more access than previous years, but honestly it didn't really matter.  I enjoy shooting at the smaller stages from the crowd more than anything.  Here are some of the pictures I captured that day.

Shooting for Cincymusic.com

Music was how I began my life as a photographer.  I was 19, my boyfriend was in a band and I needed my own creative outlet.  I enrolled myself  in photography school with no clue of  how to turn on a camera.  Once I figured out how to use it, I would bring my camera to their shows and rehearsal space and practice as much as I could.  Back then I was shooting film, and my very inexperienced so most of those images will stay buried in the archives.  Though it's fun to look back and see how much I have grown since then.  OMG I just added it up, I have had a camera in my hand for almost 17 years, wow! :)

  Bands are still one of my favorite things to photograph.  I love the energy that is exchanged at live shows.  Part of me feeds off of it.  I used to take my little sister to Warped Tour every year.  I would sneak my camera into the venue to grab some pictures of the bands and the crowd.  A lot of my friends are also in bands,  I try photograph them as much as I can.

 Recently I got the chance to shoot some shows for Cincymusic.com.  It has been an awesome opportunity.  I dont have to worry about getting my camera snatched from me or getting kicked out, and I have the best seat in the house.  It's also nice to be able to help promote the bands I photograph.

I put together a small collection of images I have shot this winter.  You can go to cincymusic.com to see the full galleries plus lots more.

I linked all of their facebook pages so you can dig a little deeper if you want.  The Tongue and Lips, Valley of the Sun, Honeyspiders, Electric Citizen, mr. Gnome, The Sword, Roky Erikson, Black Angels, Blackberry Smoke, American Sharks, In This Moment, Devour the Day

Social Media Mini Sessions

Lately I have had a few people ask me to help them update their social media profile pictures with professional images.  I think this is a wonderful idea.  In the world we live in now, social media is where we go for jobs, dates, and to meet new friends.  Your image is the first thing people see.  Why not have that image be something that makes you feel confident and good about yourself?   These sessions are not only perfect for professionals, but also great for artists, musicians, or anyone who just wants a really good image to freshen up their profile.  Did I mention having a photo session with me is fun?  I love when I am able to make someone feel great.  It's probably the best perk of my job. Here are the details... The mini session fee is $150 for one person.  Included  is a 30 minute photo session on location with me.  I will give you 10 high resolution images in an online gallery for you to download.  You can use these images however you want... for press releases, your business website, dating websites, social media.  You can also purchase prints from your gallery if you want.  Contact me here to set up a session nikita@nikitagross.com.

Here are a few examples of images I have done in the past.  Remember, this shoot is about you and your personality.  Together, we  will create images to suit your needs.  It can be as serious or as fun as you want.

Experimenting with Ross and Laura

Check out this super talented couple I had the pleasure of photographing.  When I called them up to ask to them to do a shoot, I planned on doing environmental portraits for my on going personal project Artists and Their Space.  Once I started shooting, I knew this wasn't just going to be a standard shoot.  I felt free to explore with them, to experiment.  Some things worked, some didn't, but that the beauty of creating.  We shot through light bulbs and light fixtures,  we used oil lamps and fluorescent bulbs.  It was a blast!  

Ross and Laura have been together since they were teens.  Musically, they are a force.  Ross plays guitar in the , The Tongue and Lips and Laura has her own band called Children of the Emerald Fire.  Together they just started a new band called Electric Citizen.  You can see them tonight at The Southgate House Revival.  Check out their demo here, I have been listening non stop.

Music Makers

I love surrounding myself with creative people, I feel like I feed off of them.  Music is probably my biggest source of inspiration, so I feel lucky to have had the opportunity to work with some very talented musicians over the past couple of months.

This is my friend Jeremy and his band The Tongue and Lips. From a recent review by Zach Braun " With a tight rhythm section that veers from Jazzy explorations to Sabbath-style crushing heaviness, reverbedout  guitars, and a vocalist that sounds like Captain Beefheart on meth, The Tongue and Lips are one of the best new bands I've heard in forever. "  Perfect!

Their debut album is being mastered in Los Angeles and will be available very soon.  You can see them every Monday in April at MOTR Pub in Over the Rhine. Another one of my good friends, Shawn and his band Jody Stapleton and the Generals.  They are putting the finishing touches on their debut album.  You can check out a few of their songs here.  I love this review of them from Cincinnati.com "If you wax nostalgic about the musical style of the 1970s, well, then Jody Stapleton and the Generals is where you should start getting your modern day fix. The four piece has mastered that decade of sound, but has also added some upbeat, modern pop beats into the mix to create a well-rounded, enjoyable experience."

After the promo shoot I got to check out their show at The Drinkery in Over the Rhine.And this is the beautiful Abiyah, a beautiful musician and poet.  A wonderful description "Abiyah has an edge that you rarely find in contemporary women singers—White-bred and pre-packaged, ol’ girl isn’t. As a writer, she’s passionate and onstage she sings, rebel-yells, dub-chants or raps about empowerment like she’s this cunning linguist who studies different languages and stirs them up in her own little dutchie. Abiyah skirts convention, and there are obviously some influences from a wicked orgy of pop-culture pacesetters"  Yes!!!!  Big thanks to Christine Rice for the amazing make up on this shoot!


I have been using the down time I have before wedding season kicks in to get out of the house and have a little fun!  As you can tell from my previous posts, this fun involves taking pictures of really cool people. :)   I was introduced to this band, Winterhymn, by Jill, the  beautiful ice goddess from this shoot.  Her sister, Kate plays violin in the band.  As soon as she told me they were folk metal, I was dying to see what it was all about.  They are competing in the The Greater Cincinnati Band Challenge at the Mad Hatter so I went to the show last Sunday.  They are too much fun and full of energy.  I was super stoked when they did a Dio tribute at the end of their set.  They made it to the final round which is March 5th at the Mad Hatter, be sure to check it out! 

Warped Tour

The past two years I have taken my little sister Olivia to the Vans Warped Tour for her birthday.  She leaves to go hang with her friends and I wander around with my camera all day.  It has become one of my favorite things to photograph.  I don't know many of the bands and that is ok, I am more interested in all of the crazy people running around.  The piercings, the mohawks, the tattoos,  I love all of it!

Rock and Roll!