Project Description

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SOJA 2013-2019

Photographer: John Shore

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ABOUT SOJA

Nearly two decades ago, SOJA began as high school friends in a Washington, DC, area basement teaching each other to be musicians and play roots reggae music. It worked. They quickly became popular locally, then nationally, and now internationally. Along the way,  GRAMMY-nominated SOJA attracted an almost Grateful Dead-like fanbase, growing during each tour (more than 20 countries, worldwide), with caravans of diehards following them from city to city.

For SOJA, everything is about connections, whether it’s within the band or in the world around them. “Nothing worth doing in life can you do by yourself,” bandleader Jacob Hemphill notes, “We’re in this together.”

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“SOJA concerts have always been shared by friends new and old, creating so many memories of special magical moments. Meaningful times and experiences with SOJA music live in concert is fondly remembered by all who attended a show. We miss those moments and all our fans dearly, and the man who has always been so amazing behind the camera at capturing those special moments is John Shore. Here we have put together a print collection of favorites to share with everyone and at the same time support charities in our community supporting those that have been so greatly affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.”

— Enjoy and thank you, SOJA

Sample Mounted Print

BUYING PRINTS

Prints are available in 3 sizes (in inches): medium (11×14 or 12×18), large (16×20 or 16×24), and jumbo (20×24 or 20×30). The exact dimensions depend on the photograph. Prices start at $50.

Ready-to-hang prints (the “standout” format) are mounted on 3/4″ deep lightweight foam with black edging, with pre-created holes on the backside for hanging.

ENJOY THE SHOW

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PHOTOGRAPHER STATEMENT

“I love photographing SOJA.

For starters, they make it easy. They’re photogenic, energetic, expressive, cooperative, interactive – both with each other and with the audience; and they’re well lit. Moreover, the band and the crew are friendly, easy to work with, and fun.  In short, we made this exhibit together.

But I love photographing them for other reasons as well – their music, their lyrics, and their fans. Reggae’s my favorite genre, and I like the modern and eclectic style that’s SOJA’s reggae. Plus, it’s SOJA-style reggae with a message – thoughtful lyrics that I like personally and are clearly meaningful to fans. At SOJA shows it’s obvious that the crowd loves the music and is having fun, but there’s a palpable emotional connection with the band that makes the show great fun and lasting fun.

What’s not to love?”

— John Shore

ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHER

Mostly self-taught, John Shore began photographing live music seriously in 2009, shooting local bands in small local venues. Some of the internationally-known bands he’s shot regularly include Thievery Corporation, Gogol Bordello, and SOJA. When The Anthem opened in 2017, he became a principal house photographer, shooting over 100 artists there until COVID-19 hit. Visit John’s portfolio to see more of his live-music and other work.

John Shore, Photographer

John Shore photographing SOJA, Wolf Trap, 2019 / Photo by Jes Vegas

THANK YOU

This exhibit and fundraising effort is a collaboration with SOJA — management, crew, and, especially, the band: Jacob Hemphill, Bobby Lee Jefferson, Ryan “Byrd” Berty, Ken Brownell, Patrick O’Shea, Hellman Escorcia, Rafa Rodriguez, and Trevor Young. Thank you SOJA for your generous cooperation, support, and friendship — not to mention your photo-friendly attitude!

Special thanks to Hunter White of Red Light Management and Starr Hill Presents for his generous help throughout the development of this exhibit. And for their advice and help in numerous ways, including portfolio reviews, thank you Çinar Akçin, Susan Bachurski, Elliott Harrington, Gail Griffith, Maggie Johnson, Patrick Jordan, and Hilary Shore.

MISS LIVE MUSIC? LOVE GIVING BACK?

Buy an archival-quality, mounted or unmounted print and we donate 100% of the net proceeds to charity. You’ll help support people who have been disproportionately hurt by the same pandemic that decimated the music scene.

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