This shot was taken at Madison Square Garden, New York in February this year. I had treated my partner, Diane, for her 40th birthday and booked a backstage tour, dinner with the crew and ‘pit’ tickets. We were three rows from the front and on the centre aisle, so had the best vantage point to get plenty of shots all evening with an unobstructed view. The shot was taken during “Wanted Dead or Alive” when Jon Bon Jovi and Richie Sambora take centre stage at the beginning and end of the song.
At the end of their 2010/11 tour in July, Bon Jovi announced their “2010 & 2011 Tour Photo” contest. The international competition was open to anyone who had been to their gigs within the timeframe. Only one image was allowed per entry and I think this was my strongest image from the evening. A congratulatory email came through to confirm it had come in 2nd place and I had to sign a release form so it can be used for any publication. To say we were ecstatic is an understatement!
The winning images were posted on to the Bon Jovi website and also on their Facebook site. At midnight on the day the results were posted the picture had received 2,426 ‘likes’, which was 606 more than the winning image, and hundreds more than 3rd and 4th place. It also received numerous comments asking who the photographer was and if they could buy it!
I can safely say that a lot of elements brought together make this picture a personal favourite for me. Having a reliable, good quality bridge camera (Canon G12), excellent viewpoint and location, and obviously good subject matter! Winning 2nd place and receiving recognition has made an unforgettable trip even more memorable. But part of the success is purely down to right place, right time!
Contribution by Paul Daines