Favorite Photos of 2016 - Alyson Coletta

2016 was a life changing year for me. It was a year of firsts. I went out on tour, left the Eastern Standard Time Zone, traveled by plane, and so much more for the first time in my life. I learned a lot about myself. I met some of the most amazing people. I learned to love my work. I was always hard on myself, but reflecting back on this year, I looked at my photos and felt proud of myself. I finally saw the worth in my work. That may just be the most important part of this year. While going through the photos, I picked out 20 of my favorites. A lot I have shared in the past, but some I've kept to myself. They may not be by definition "the best" photos in the eyes of other photographers, but that doesn't make them any less meaningful to me.

Thank you to everyone who made this year incredible for me. Thanks for all the love and making sure I never give up. Most importantly: thank you to my bff Anthony - I wouldn't be the photographer I am today without you.

letlive. // Stroudsburg, PA

This band is filled with so much passion, energy, and love. I can see them an infinite number of times live without ever getting tired of them. This show was a challenge to photograph. I was afraid I was going to walk away with nothing, but then I took this photo, and nothing else mattered.

Dashboard Confessional // Holmdel, NJ

I first discovered Dashboard Confessional on MTV when I was a kid. MTV would play the music video for "Stolen" every once in a while and I fell in love with the song. Getting a chance to photograph a band I've listened to since I was a kid was incredible. On top of that, the photo itself is something I'm proud of. I shot this at a venue that only allows you to shoot from an aisle. It's always cramped with photographers in the aisle and I rarely walk away with anything good. This photo was an exception to that. The background of the photo is what makes the image, in my opinion.

Saosin // Holmdel, NJ

This was shot at the same show as the DC photo above. The openers for the show - one being Saosin - played far back from the edge of the stage. I threw on my 85mm lens and hoped for the best. I admittedly never get good photos of Anthony Green for some reason, but this photo will now forever be my favorite one of him.

Too Close To Touch // West Palm Beach, FL

A nice peaceful moment of Thomas getting ready to go play a set on Warped Tour. I had such a great time working with these guys this year. I've never shared this photo, but I've always loved it.

The 1975 // Philadelphia, PA

I personally believe that The 1975 will become one of the most important bands of our generation. This year I finally got to photograph them after wanting to for years. Their live shows are some of the best I've ever seen. The colors and symmetry in this image are what I love most about it.

Ghost // Montclair, NJ

Ghost earned a spot in my top favorite bands to see live and photograph this year. I caught them for the first time back in April and I was blown away. They had beautiful lighting and I have a strong appreciation for their theatrics, stage presence, and talent. A Ghost concert is like no other. Attend one if you can.

Falling In Reverse // Phoenix, AZ

Photographing Ryan from Falling In Reverse every day was one of my favorite parts of Warped Tour. Ryan is an insanely fun person to photograph and I ended up with a lot of great photos. He also became one of my favorite people that I met this year. He is one of the kindest humans and I'm grateful our lives crossed paths.

A Day To Remember // Columbus, OH

I told myself I would one day attend Rock on the Range in Ohio, and this year I did just that. The lineup was fantastic and ADTR was one of the big selling points for me to go. I normally miss ADTR when they come around on tour for some reason, but this photo more than made up for it.

Too Close To Touch // Columbus, OH

We knew that Too Close was winning the APMA for Best Underground Band before they did, so I wanted to capture their reaction to us telling them that they had won. This was Keaton's reaction to the news. I will forever cherish this moment. I'm so proud of these boys and I was so glad that they won.

Parkway Drive // Sayreville, NJ

One of the best bands in the world to photograph. They put on the most insane shows and I always end up with great pictures. My friend Colton works with Parkway Drive and was kind enough to let me take some photos from FOH. This photo would never have happened if it wasn't for him. Colton, if you're reading this, thank you for making this possible. This photo is one of my favorites of all time.

Green Day // Sayreville, NJ

Green Day was the band that transitioned me into the genres of music I listen to today. I was introduced to them by a former friend in 5th grade along with a bunch of other bands that are some of my all time favorites. If you would've told me I would one day photograph Green Day in a venue that holds no more than 2,500 people, I would've told you that you're out of your mind. This was a dream come true and I'm so grateful for the opportunity.

Sleeping With Sirens // Pomona, CA

A photo I've always loved but never shared. I loved being able to photograph Sleeping With Sirens all summer. I remember seeing them back in 2011 on The All Stars Tour and no one knew who they were. 5 years later I watched them play to thousands of people every day. Their success has been well deserved.

The Interrupters // Columbia, MD

I lived on a bus with The Interrupters on Warped Tour. They didn't know me at all before the tour happened, but they treated me like family from the very beginning. Their shows are always energetic and fun - you can't leave their set without a smile on your face. This photo of Aimee is one of my favorites. She always would have fun with the camera and we ended up with a lot of awesome photos as a result.

Sykes // Camden, NJ

Just like The Interrupters, I lived with Sykes over the summer on Warped Tour. I didn't get much time to photograph them, though, but I was happy when I was able to get a chance. They also treated me like family despite never meeting me until tour began. They're some of the nicest people and I can see their band doing big things in the future.

The Used // Nofolk, VA

If you know me, you know how much I like The Used. This year I was able to catch 6 dates of their 15 year anniversary tour where they played their first 2 LP's in full. Being able to hear my two favorite records played front-to-back multiple times is something I will never take for granted.

Avion Roe // Cincinnati, OH

I wanted to capture this moment the entire time Avion Roe was out on Warped Tour, and on their last day, I finally got the perfect shot of it. These boys have become some of my favorite humans in a short amount of time. I've also created some of my favorite images with them and it was hard to pick just one to put in here.

The 1975 // Asbury Park, NJ

Another shot of The 1975 because, well, it's The 1975.

The Interrupters // New York City

Justin having a mid-set snack. I love fun moments like this. Not every moment you capture at a show has to be serious, emotional, and/or dramatic. Sometimes the fun ones are the best ones to come out of a shoot.

Falling In Reverse // Denver, CO

Ronnie moves around a lot on stage and it can make it hard to capture some good photos of him. There are very few times where he pauses and I'm able to snap a photo like this one. Finding out how to photograph him in the best way was one of my biggest challenges on tour. I never photographed them prior to Warped Tour, so I had to learn quickly. Also, I just really love the red jacket he's wearing in this.

Every Time I Die // Burgettstown, PA

As some of you may know, I have an anxiety + panic disorder. I remember breaking down the Epitaph tent for the day with Emilio when I was hit with a full blown panic attack. I really don't know why I had one, but it came out of nowhere. I wasn't sure if I was going to make it to photograph ETID - they were going on just a few minutes after we broke down our tent. I told myself "just stay for a few songs and leave if the attack doesn't get better." I'm not sure how, but I managed to push through the set and stayed for almost all of it. I'm extremely glad I did stay, because if I had left a few songs in, this photo never would have happened. I look back on this photo now and it's a reminder that I can get through even the worst panic attacks. While none of these images are in order for favorites, this one is my #1 photo of 2016.

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