Favorite KEXP In Studios of 2014

What a year it's been - I photographed 38 In Studios at KEXP this year. Here are some of my favorite sessions from 2014:

1. Shakey Graves - View Photos

The first time I saw Shakey Graves was smack-dab in the middle of covering Sasquatch! at the Gorge this year. It only took a few guitar licks into his set for me to fall hard for his charismatic stage presence. It ended up being one of the few sets I watched in full during the festival. When he came around to the studio in August, he did not disappoint with his banter during the interview, suitcase drum and BFF Boo. Highlight Song: "If Not For You". 


2. Operators - View Photos

Walking into the studio before Operators set I was greeted with a giant spread of synths, buttons, and numerous electronics-- I still have no idea what they are called or what they do. But every sound that came through was not from a laptop creating a pulsing powerful song. Operators is the latest project from Dan Boeckner (Handsome Furs, Wolf Parade) and it is drenched in his sound. Add Devojka orchestrating that electro galaxy with Sam Brown drumming and you just can't help but get lost in dance. Highlight Song: "Ancient". 

Operators @ KEXP 08-04-2014

Operators @ KEXP 08-04-2014


3. The Barr Brothers - Photos from their show at The Tractor

It's no secret how much I cherish The Barr Brothers music-- I danced with my husband to 'Beggar In The Morning' at our wedding in September, and I tell anyone about their music whenever I get the chance. Though I did not photograph their in studio, I did have the pleasure of photographing their show at the Tractor Tavern for KEXP. Truly masters and creators on their craft, I cannot help but be mesmerized and inspired by these musicians. Highlight Song: "Love Ain't Enough".




4. Black Pistol Fire - View Photos

Usually before I photograph a band I do a little research so I know what I'm getting into. These two gentlemen were my surprise party of the year as far as in studios go. First, they flew out to Seattle just to do the KEXP session even though they were touring on the other side of the country. Second, they were two of the nicest musicians I've met through the station. Third, when Kevin McKeown managed to rock his guitar strap off, he kept playing and didn't lose focus. I think I've watched this session at least ten times since then and I can't wait for them to play a show in Seattle. Highlight Song: "Hipster Shakes".

Black Pistol Fire @ KEXP 5-7-2014

Black Pistol Fire @ KEXP 5-7-2014


5. My Goodness - View Photos

Although I've seen My Goodness several times live, I never get tired of the energy they bring to their performances. The combination of Joel Schneider's urging vocals, Andy Lum's explosive drumming and the latest addition of Cody Votolato's thundering bass proved that they brought their A Game to the studio. Watching Andy drum is always amusing - between the faces and the power with which he hits the drums, I'm not sure how he can function afterwards. Highlight Song: "Check Your Bones".

My Goodness

My Goodness


6. Diarrhea Planet - View Photos

If you're looking for a good time, listen to Diarrhea Planet. No seriously-- watch these guys and try not to laugh. Add a wall of guitars, shredding riffs and charming banter, and you've got this gang of six. This session makes me happy just re-watching it - get ready to party with this one! Highlight Song: Lite Dream

Diarrhea Planet @ KEXP 08-06-2014 (May not be used without permi

Diarrhea Planet @ KEXP 08-06-2014 (May not be used without permi


7. Big Scary - View Photos

Australia's Big Scary made the radio station the first stop on their Barsuk tour this year. The melodic drumming and key tickling made this session the soundtrack to my day dreams and lazy mornings in 2014. Highlight Song: Twin Rivers

Big Scary Live at KEXP - Photo By: Amber Zbitnoff

Big Scary Live at KEXP - Photo By: Amber Zbitnoff




Do Not Miss: St. Paul & the Broken Bones

I can't go without mentioning St. Paul & the Broken Bones in studio this April. While I wasn't in the station for this one I can't stop watching it. If you haven't familiarized yourself with their music do so as soon as possible. Highlight Song: Call Me


To check out more of the photo sets I've taken for KEXP, visit this link to KEXP's flickr page. I can't wait to see who stops by in 2015!

Updates To AZP Coming Soon!

My oh my, 2014 has been a jammed packed year! In addition to shooting so many wonderfully sweet weddings this summer, I also married my best friend in September on Orcas Island. Needless to say it's been a crazy ride and I've enjoyed the slow down into newlywed life. If you see the name "Amber Knecht" around, know that it *is* me! I will be maintaining my old name for my business for awhile, but Amber (Zbitnoff) Knecht may show up around the web in the mean time. There are exciting changes in the works for Amber Zbitnoff Photography which will be completed in early 2015. On the horizon is an updated website, new blog posts showing what I've been up to all year, a new pricing guide, and a new service for all of you brides and grooms looking to expand your wedding ceremony coverage! I will post all of the goodies as soon as they are ready.

I'm still booking for the end of 2014 and have begun to book for 2015. Contact hello@amberzbitnoff.com for more information on wedding packages, family sessions, band promo kits and show coverage.

Thanks for your continued support-- I can't wait to share what's to come!

Year In Music: 2013

AmberZbitnoffPhotography_Music2013_3 Four festivals. Over 160 performances of all sizes and genres.  As another year comes to a close it's time to look back on all of the shows and coverage that brought  me joy, lack of sleep and whiskey. 2013 was a beast for music.

A giant thank you to the following individuals who have had me shoot for their publications and allowed me to continue living out my passion. I truly love this job - there is no greater buzz for me than when the lights dim and the first notes begin to bounce among a crowd.

Keegan Prosser - Music Writer, Lindsey Bluher - Music Writer, Mark Baumgarten - Seattle Weekly, Jim Beckmann at KEXP, Shelby Case - Clear Channel Media + Entertainment for iheartradio's Jingle Ball, Chris Burlingame - Another Rainy Saturday, Morgen Schuler & Julia Wayne - Inside Right Wrist, SSG Music and last but defintley not least Kayte Olsufka formerly on the Neumos/Barboza crew.

A major shout out to my fellow photographers I see in the pits, the finest Seattle and the music industry has to offer. Thank you for the sanity, laughter and inspiration - you all rule.

And now, onto the big show, with links to the photos and reviews as available.


Key! Bold Names = Band featured in the photo directly below the name ***s = Favorite Performances of the year ^ = Off Duty / Without my camera



12th - Hot Bodies In Motion (Neumos, Seattle) - photos

13th - On An On, Geographer (Barboza, Seattle) - photos

29th - Father John Misty, Rose Windows (Neptune, Seattle) - photos & review on Seattle Weekly



3rd - ^ Ben Gibbard, Shelby Earl (Bellingham, WA)

22nd - ^ Ravenna Woods (Tractor Tavern, Seattle)

23rd - The Comettes, BellaMaine, River Giant (Chop Suey, Seattle) - Photos



3rd - Lord Huron, PAPA (Neumos, Seattle) - Photos

4th - ^ My Goodness, The Comettes (Triple Door, Seattle)

6th - Alt-J (Neptune, Seattle) - Photos & Review on Seattle Weekly

8th - Little Green Cars Live at KEXP - Photos & Video

24th - Purity Ring, Blue Hawaii (Neptune, Seattle) - Photos and Review on Seattle Weekly


29th - ^ Kris Orlowski, Allen Stone, John Rodderick (Tractor Tavern)



4th - The Lonely Forest, Now, Now, Bella Maine (The Crocodile, Seattle) - Photos & Review on SSG Music


16th - Daughter, Jeremy Messersmith (Neumos, Seattle) - Photos


24th - 27th - Sasquatch! Festival - Sea Wolf, Reignwolf, ***Japandroids, Father John Misty, Arctic Monkeys, Youth Lagoon, ***Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Rose Windows, Bear Mountain, Robert Delong, Atlas Genuis, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Cavemen, Andrew Bird, Akron/Family, Bloc Party, Divine Fitts, The XX, Sigur Ros, Tame Impala, Empire of the Sun, Youngblood Hawke, Danny Brown, DIIV, Wild Belle, ***The Tallest Man On Earth, Radical Face, Dropkick Murphys, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Baths, Elvis Costello & The Imposters, Grimes, Mumford & Sons, Primus 3D, Chvrches, P.O.S., Horse Feathers, Cody Chesnutt, Odesza, Imagine Dragons, Menomena, Cake, Twin Shadow, The Lumineers, Alt-J (acoustic and regular set), ***The Postal Service - Photos on Seattle Weekly



3rd - ***Junip Live at KEXP - Photos & Video

5th - Junip, On An On (Neumos, Seattle) - Photos


17th - ***^ Lord Huron (The Pyramid Scheme, Grand Rapid, MI)

27th - ^ Grimes (The Paramount, Seattle)



15th - ^ Jimmy Eat World (Showbox Sodo, Seattle)

17th - ^*** Portugal. The Man (Showbox Market, Seattle)

18th - ***The Postal Service, Big Freedia (Key Arena, Seattle) - Photos & review


26th - Capitol Hill Block Party: Telekinesis!, Danny Brown, Dillon Francis, Girl Talk and STRFKR (Seattle, WA) - Photos on Another Rainy Saturday


28th - Capitol Hill Block Party: Odesza, Hey Marseilles, Cults, ***Frightened Rabbit, and The Flaming Lips (Seattle, WA) - Photos on Another Rainy Saturday



13th - ***Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Har Mar Superstar (Marymoor Park, Redmond) - Review on Seattle Weekly & Photos


21st - No Age Live at KEXP - Photos & Video


28th - Pinback Live at KEXP **photos**

29th - Gregory Alan Isakov, Sera Cahoone (Crocodile Cafe, Seattle) - Photos on Another Rainy Saturday


31st - Bumbershoot Music & Arts FestivalCharles Bradley, Diamond Rings, Kendrick Lamar, ZZ Ward, Gus + Scout, ***!!! (chk chk chk), Gary Numan, Kris Orlowski with the Passenger String Quartet , Washed Out, Sallie Ford & The Sound Outside - Photos for Seattle Weekly  (See below as well)



1st & 2nd - Bumbershoot Music & Arts Festival: Tegan and Sara, FIDLAR, fun., Mates of State, Bob Mould, Vintage Trouble, Ra Ra Riot, Beat Antique, ***Death Cab For Cutie plays Transatlanticism***Alt-J ∆, The Sheepdogs, Baroness, Superchunk, Justin Townes Earle, Allen Stone, Deerhunter, The Joy Formidable - Photos for Seattle Weekly


11th - Bear Mountain Live at KEXP - Photos


19th - ^ ***The National, Frightened Rabbit (Neptune, Seattle)



2nd - ***Jordan Klassen (House Show, Seattle)


6th - ^ Father John Misty “Solo” Show (Moore Theater, Seattle)

8th - ***The Lonely Forest Live at KEXP - Photos & Video


11th - Lucius (Columbia City Theater, Seattle) - Photos on Inside Right Wrist


19th & 20th - ^ Treasure Island Festival: ***Atoms For Peace, Phantogram, Disclosure, Danny Brown, Robert Delong, ***Japandroids, Lord Huron, HAIM (San Francisco, CA)


23rd - HAIM (Neumos, Seattle)



7th - Matthew Caws, John Roderick and Jesse Sykes of Barsuk Records Live at KEXP - Photos

8th - Minus The Bear, Constant Lovers, Slow Bird (Showbox Market, Seattle) - Photos & Review on Inside Right Wrist

11th - Dale Earnhardt Jr Jr Live at KEXP - Photos

19th - PAPA Live at KEXP - Photos

22nd - NIN, Explosions In The Sky (Key Arena, Seattle) - Photos & Review on Seattle Weekly


8th - iheartradio KISS FM’s Jingle Ball Selena Gomez, Flo Rida, Paramore, Fall Out Boy, Icona Pop, Fifth Harmony, Travie McCoy, New Politics, Austin Mahone (Comcast Arena, Everett) - Photos on KISS FM Seattle


Here's to 2014: May we all continue to enjoy the melodies of life. If you're a publication, outlet or band and would like me to shoot for you please contact me at hello@amberzbitnoff.com - let's party.




2012: The Year of Music

December is the month to gaze back over the year and compile "Best Of" lists. As a self proclaimed music junkie I've kept track of every show I've attended for the past six years, but this year took an interesting turn as I started photographing shows for press reviews, music festivals and live performances at a local radio station. It has been incredible combining two of my passions and so in leui of a photo list or Favorite Albums (See the bottom) I've decided to share what I've been up too when I wasn't photographing love birds at weddings. A big thanks to Lindsey Bluher, my music blogger in crime and now PR Director of SSG Music, who saw me at Pretty Broken Things and said "hey, can I use you your photos?" If you click on the reviews following the band names 80% of the words are written weilded by her keyboard while you'll find photos I took from the shows.

Thank you to CultureMob, Neumos/Barboza, SSG Music, KEXP, Capitol Hill Block Party and City Arts Fest for getting me out and posting my work. It's been a healthy mix of work and pleasure (okay, mostly pleasure) I'm looking forward to getting out again in 2013! I'm also officially launching Band Press Kit packages so keep your eyes peeled and email hello@amberzbitnoff.com if you'd like to make some magic together!


Key! Bold Names = Band featured in the photo directly below the name ***s = Favorite Performances of the year ^ = Off Duty / Sans Camera

JANUARY ***17th - ^ City and Colour at Neptune Theater

FEBRUARY 17th - ^ Damien Jurado, Bryan John Appleby at The Neptune Theater

MARCH 26th - ^ Of Monsters and Men at Showbox Sodo

APRIL ***9th - ^ Radiohead at Key Arena 12th - Pretty Broken Things at Columbia City Theater - CultureMob Review

24th - ^ The Naked & Famous, Vacationer at Showbox Sodo

MAY 4th - Delta Spirit at Neumos - CultureMob Review

***7th - Father John Misty, Har Mar Superstar at Neumos - SSG Music Review & Blog

8th - The Black Keys at Key Arena 13th - Death Cab For Cutie with The Magik*Magik Orchestra, Youth Lagoon at The Paramount Theater

JULY 20th - 22nd Capitol Hill Block Party Day 1: Father John Misty, Gold Leaves, Youth Lagoon, Thee Oh Sees, Allen Stone, Constant Lovers, Fitz and the Tantrums, Fresh Espresso - Blog & Allen Stone Review on CultureMob

Day 2: Nude Pop, Beat Connection, Hot Bodies In Motion, Twin Shadow, ***ReignWolf, Grimes, Aesop Rock, Major Lazer - Blog & Reignwolf Review on CultureMob

Day 3: The Lumineers, Blouse, ***Phantogram, Neko Case, Porcelain Raft - Blog & The Lumineers Review on CultureMob

25th - ^ Fiona Apple at The Paramount Theater 27th - Neon Trees, BattleMe, Penguin Prison at Showbox Market - CultureMob Review & Blog

AUGUST ***8th - Sigur Rós, Julia Holter at The Paramount - SSG Music Review & Blog

12th - Twin Shadow, Poolside at Barboza - Barboza Photo Set 15th - Cold Specks at KEXP - KEXP Blog

20th - Three Mile Pilot at The Tractor Tavern ***27th - Minus The Bear, Helms Alee at The Comet - CultureMob Review & Blog


SEPTEMBER 3rd - Bumbershoot Musical Festival for KEXP: Seapony, Reignwolf, Noah Gundersen, Ty Segall, M83, Bryan John Appleby, LIGHTS, Passion Pit, Skrillex at Seattle Center - Blog

***5th - Purity Ring at Neumos - Neumos Photo Set and Blog

6th - Silversun Pickups, School of Seven Bells, Atlas Genius at Moore Theater - SSG Music Review 21st - Father John Misty at Neumos - Neumos Review & Blog

22nd - ^ Cold War Kids, Portugal The Man at Redhook Brewery 24th - Zambri at KEXP 25th - Sera Cahone at KEXP 26th - Alt-J ∆, GroupLove at The Moore Theater - CultureMob Review

OCTOBER 3rd - Beach House at Showbox Market - CHBP Photo Set 6th - ^ The xx at The Paramount ***9th - Ben Gibbard at the Smith Tower 16th - Grimes at Neumos - Neumos Photo Set 17th - 20th City Arts Fest in Seattle: ***Mt. St. Helens Vietnam Band, Pollens, ***Ghostland Observatory (Laser Dome and Showbox Sodo), Kay Kay and His Weathered Underground, Lemolo, Land of Pines, DeVotchKa, Motopony, ***My Goodness, St. Lucia - City Arts Fest Facebook Page

21st - Lord Huron at Barboza- Barboza Review ***22nd - Lord Huron at KEXP - KEXP Blog ***22nd - ^ Ben Gibbard at KEXP

27th - Daughter at Barboza - Barboza Review

NOVEMBER 21st - SSG Black Party with The Tempers, blackdiva as La Tigre, Two White Opals at The Crocodile - SSG Music Photo Set 30th - Deep Sea Diver, Wild Belle, Pretty Broken Things at Neumos - Neumos Review

DECEMBER ***8th - ^ Sufjan Steven's Christmas Sing-A-Long Tour "Seasonal Affective Disorder Yuletide Disaster Pageant On Ice" 13th - Lavender Diamond at KEXP 17th - Alt-J ∆, Wildcat! Wildcat! at the Crocodile - CultureMob Review 21st - The Comettes at KEXP

21st - ^ Noah Gundersen Family Christmas at Fremont Abbey

22nd - The Comettes at Barboza - SSG Music Review 22nd - Black Hills, Black Whales at The Comet 31st - ^ Pickwick at Showbox Market



If you are curious what my are my Top 10 Albums of 2012, you can check out my list on the KEXP blog: http://blog.kexp.org/2012/12/19/kexp-staff-volunteers-interns-top-ten-albums-of-2012-part-2

Zambri, Cold Specks, and Sera Cahoone Live at KEXP

Zambri Live at KEXP - Photo By: Amber ZbitnoffZambri  

Cold Specks Live at KEXP - Photo By: Amber ZbitnoffCold Specks


Sera Cahoone Live at KEXP - Photo By: Amber ZbitnoffSera Cahoone


I've shoot a few In-Studio Sessions recently for KEXP, my favorite local radio station including the sweet sisters of Zambri, a wonderfully soulful Cold Specks, and the heart melting goodness of Sera Cahoone. Click on their names if you're interested in what happens inside that little booth.

Seattle music scene, I just can't quit you. More so I don't want to.


All photos shared courtesy of KEXP.