My name is Mark Vidreiro. If you are here, it means you are at my website and besides looking at my photos, are a bit curious as to who I am.
I was born in New Jersey in the 80’s. I didn’t attend my first concert until 2002, when I went to go see my one of my favorite bands of all time open up for Live, Jimmie’s Chicken Shack. After that, it was nearly 2 years until the next concert. I made friends with some people who went to concerts a lot and that is what got me hooked.
As for the photography aspect of concerts, it’s simple. I’ve always been into photography. I’ve always enjoyed capturing a moment to relive a month or years later. This was no different when I started to go to shows in the mid 2000’s. I’d always have a camera with me.
But where it really took off was around 2007/2008. I was currently living in Florida at the time. Then Jimmie’s Chicken Shack would do a short tour of Florida, 5 to 6 shows, and I had to go to every single one. This was my favorite band who I haven’t seen since 2002. I was able to become friends with Jimi and the rest of Jimmie’s Chicken Shack. In turn, I became friends with the promoter who put the Florida tours together. I was asked to photograph the shows and I did. I had fun. I became hooked.
I networked with the promoter who got me in touch with other people and that lead to my big break. Shooting for then All Access Magazine. It was a small startup at the time, but it allowed me to cover bigger shows. And the first one? Slipknot with openers Trivium and Coheed and Cambria at UCF Arena. Wow. A huge arena show!
After that I would continue to cover shows here and there for the magazine while creating my own website and shooting for my site. I’d travel to Tampa, St. Pete, Orlando and nearby cities out of my own pocket to cover shows and build up a portfolio. During my time in Florida, I had two major accomplishments: My first photo published in a national magazine, Dirt Wheels Magazine, and being paid for a photo to be published in the Tampa Bay Times! I knew things were going up and I wasn’t going to stop.
Eventually I’d move to Maryland at the end of 2013. Now I was closer to bigger cities; Baltimore, Washington D.C., Philadelphia, New Jersey, and New York. I continued to push myself and hope that something would catch on. It did. Eventually I would become the house photographer for Baltimore Soundstage. My first paid gig. This last for a few months until new management took over and I was deemed surplus.
After that happened, I felt defeated. I felt like I lost. I still kept up with taking photos at concert, albeit with my phone. I still love going to concerts and shows, I love everything about it. But then a spark kind of went off in me in 2022. I was attending a Motion City Soundtrack show and saw there was NO photographers at the show. This made me a little sad that there was no one here to document this night. So I decided to fire up my e-mail and see if I could get approved for some upcoming shows.
I did. The first one was for Alexisonfire, just one month after the Motion City Soundtrack show. After that I didn’t reach out to other bands. I was kind of in a limbo. But then a huge fire was lit in me. I was fortunate enough to attend 7 shows with The Get Up Kids and Sparta. I got to travel around the east coast. See new venues for the first time. Hear one of my favorite bands night after night. Every night I had a photo pass each night. After every set, I’d look at the photos and honestly, kind of surprised to see some of them and how good they were. This was it. This made me want to try this again. Maybe not as serious, but more than I have before.
So, this is where I am. It’s April 26th, 2023 and I’m going to try to shoot more shows. I’m having fun this time and I won’t let it stop me.
See you on the other side of the barricade.