This is a blog about Barricades, in particular those barriers (obstacles) we all encounter as we traipse through our Life journeys.

I, for one, prefer to have happy, pleasant strolls through Life as well as smelling and photographing the Roses (rock stars) along the way.

Barricades begone! Most of the barricades we encounter are man-made.

As I told my kids – All problems can be solved. All Barriers can be Overcome.

The more good inspirational books you read, the kinder, smarter friends you keep, the more positive, inspiring Mentors you follow, the more good you do, the more smiles you put on people’s faces, the more Life lessons you learnedthe faster you will solve the problems. There are, unfortunately, some who have to resort to their violent hands and firearms when they are not able to verbally and cleverly reason things out.

Always nip problems in the buds before they become bigger and nasty. That’s where your foresight and sense of urgency come into play.

I love this image of Pete Wentz of Fallout Boy as he interacts, atop a barricade, with his frenzy fans (above image).

If there was an image that summarises my Life both as a rock photographer and as a Life journeyman, it would be this image.

I’m extremely lucky to be always on the privileged side of the barricades.

Someone asked me recently how I am able to get behind the barricades and get those interesting Chingay superheroes and 1,500 drones shots. That’s a frequent $1 million question I’ve always been asked over the decades – basically how did I manage to get over the barricades, enter interesting rooms and hang out with the Legends.

Th answer to that question is the same as how does one live an interesting and fun Life.

Remember one thing – Bees are attracted to Honey, not Vinegar.

Be nice, be confident, go with the flow, think on your feet, have a ready and genuine smile, it’s not about you, live a kind and giving Life, do not be afraid to ask (politely) and have a trusty camera with you.

I always advise young photographers – Shoot fervently until your style emerges. Enjoy the Ride.

Challenge yourself always, that builds self- confidence (your body armour). Take the harder road to walk. Leave a fresh trail for others to follow. Who knows, they might name a highway after you down the Road.

My first rock concert shot in the USA, as a college student, was at a Kenny Loggins concert (above image). I just went up to a security guard, showed him my concert ticket and my smile (and self-confidence), and asked if I could shoot the concert. He replied “Go ahead. Enjoy the show.”

Shooting concerts were much simpler then. These days I only shoot when and where I’m welcomed. No problemo.

My first rock star shot – Kenny Loggins. Shot with a Nikon F3 with Kodak Tri-X 400 film.

After shooting countless shows (with passionate enthusiasm), you would have built up a formidable portfolio of rock images, with your personal style. That’s your report card for people to allow you to shoot their concerts.

I’ve spent decades just being nice to people. That will build a nice friendly Aura within you. Even dogs can sense that aura.

There was one time when I visited a new-found friend at his home, to shoot his portrait. This friend had kept his loud and fierce dog in a room, afraid that the dog may be arrogant towards me. I replied that I’m not afraid of dogs. In fact, dogs like me and that it’s totally okay to let the dog loose. Sure enough, the dog came near me and ignored me. When I got up to leave, the dog came to embrace me.

I shoot what my Vision tells me to shoot. When I saw the western comic superheroes were having a fun portrait taken, I asked the Chinese God of Fortune to join in the shot (above image). The rest is history. They are all rock stars to me.

I got the awesome shot because I did not hesitate to ask politely and act decisively.

To others, drones are just drones. But when you have 1,500 drones on a platform, it makes an awesome iconic shot. The above portrait was my Vision when I positioned myself to get that photo angle with the spectacular city skyline as a backdrop.

Me with fun band members of Red Jumpsuit Apparatus (above image).

I always have Fun in whoever (bands, superheroes etc.) and whatever (drones etc.) I shoot.

The Beach Boys so loved my shot of them bowing to their beloved audience, they made it the cover of their 50th Anniversary Live Concert album (above image).

Trust is another essential element for getting over the Barricade. To deliver the goods, and getting the “money shot”.

To be entrusted to shoot a Bowing scene, a few feet behind the band, require the green lights from the band and their manager. They must trust that you will not to disrupt their crucial show.

A friend coincidentally captured me (red box) as I was going on stage to shoot the Bowing shot as the band members are gathering into formation (above image).

Me resting on a barricade before the start of a show (above image). I always have fun with the audience. Here’s a Japanese fan of the band giving me a massage. We’re all there to have fun and a great time.

My Vision for the above image – juxtaposing a legendary New York punk band, Blondie in a rustic, hippie Woodstock wilderness. My beloved surreal image is featured in their “Panic Of Girls” album.

My latest rock photography book“ACCESS: Into The Wilderness Of Rock & Roll” (above image) summarises 40 years of my rock photographic journey, getting over the Barricades (hence the book title ACCESS) and capturing some privileged, fun and exhilarating images. My Greatest Hits album if you will.

All Barricades can be Overcome!

Many Fun Moments add up to an overall Fun Life!