I flew down to the University of Florida to cover Wiz Khalifa’s performance this past weekend. I decided to get to Florida a week early to catch up with some old friends - and enjoy the weather of course. The blizzard in NYC was rough, so I figured going down for some extra days would be a nice change. Once I got approved to shoot Khalifa’s sold-out show, I booked my flight immediately. Getting to shoot probably my favorite rapper was going to be a dream come true; so I needed to make sure I was prepared for the concert. I rented some extra equipment to make sure I was good to go, and double-checked all of my personal equipment. I was ready.
The day of the show arrived, and I was hyped. While all my friends were busy pre-gaming the concert, I was at home getting myself in the right mindset. I arrived early and got my press credentials. Now, I waited. It would be just two hours till Wiz came on, and K-Camp came on in less than an hour. After some time, we got escorted down to the floor. Once there, they held us behind the crowd until it was time for the show to begin.
At the beginning, the show it was a nightmare. The staff consisted of current students who had no idea what to do and shook off responsibility. K-Camp came on stage and the staff said, "Go ahead and shoot, you have three songs." They expected us to shoot from the floor - alongside of a sold-out crowd consisting of kids who were turnt. Having equipment that adds up to five thousand dollars and dealing with rowdy students is not ideal; especially when they have a wide open photo pit available. I started asking questions. I wanted answers as to why that was happening, but no one knew anything. By the time I got an answer, which was cryptic and for lack of a better word bs, the three songs were over. We were pushed to the back and had to put our equipment away. I didn't take a single photo; the lighting was terrible, and so was our designated location.
After the first set, I went looking for people to talk to in order to get an answer from adult - as opposed to some unprofessional student staff member. No one was to be found. They told us to come back down around 8:40pm for Wiz and that was it.
8:40 pm: I switched lens, and tried to do my best. Wiz came out, looking hella stoned wearing all white. I even believe he was wearing the same pants Kanye West said were "cool pants" since Kanye's album was supposed to drop that night. We were supposed to get three songs for his set as well but the staff was more worried about personally seeing the show than working. I worked the floor, literally running around the whole crowd to get shots from both sides of the stage. I also noticed the staff wasn't paying attention to the left side of the stage so after the third song I made sure to stay on that side to get a couple extra songs in, which worked. Then I heard someone saying "hey you guys are supposed to be done" so I just turned around and out my stuff in my bag and jumped into the back of the pit to avoid having to watch the show from the bleachers. At one point wiz began standing on the bars and holding on to the fans and singing - everyone was going crazy. I took that opportunity and moved up to about the 4th row of the floor and saw the opportunity for a dope photo. I quickly pulled out my camera and took a few photos.
You can see that photo at the end of the gallery, it's my new favorite photo. Makes a dope laptop background btw. Overall great performance by Wiz, he's never disappointed in the past and didn't that night either. My apologies for the long rant all the photos are below, hope you all enjoy.