WHAT IS PULSE?

Pulse Music Journal is Saskatchewan’s hub for music indulgers. We ‘eat/sleep/breathe’ the music and entertainment industry – plug into our outlet while we highlight new music, recap live performances, and interview the biggest names, local legends, and the newest initiatives surrounding our local music scene. We are honoured to be a leading cultural staple in the Saskatchewan music and entertainment scene.

WE SUPPORT SASKATCHEWAN’S ENTERTAINMENT & MUSIC SCENE

Whether it’s reaching out to a newly released project, musician or creating a spotlight for local talent to be heard on any of our stages, as well as opportunities to be heard opening for larger acts on our full-venue stage. We look forward to reopen and launch our newest concepts that strongly support the local music in our city. The local music scene is super important to us – we are a small city, but we have big dreams. Let’s grow and support each other – putting Saskatchewan on the map for premium music and entertainment experience.

IF A PICTURE IS WORTH A THOUSAND WORDS, THEN THESE FOUR ARE WRITING STORIES FOR THE ENTERTAINMENT AND CULTURE WORLD

Mac Ulmer, Dilly Bat, Snelsey and Bob Holtsman are among the top photographers in Canada. Each photographer has specialized in their own photography background taking opportunities to develop images using their own unique flair. From the sweaty crowd to the top floor, the backstage to the encore performance – event photography is all about taking each photo opportunity and running with it. Brushing shoulders with their favourite musicians to A-List celebrities, while keeping cool and snapping that shot to forever be a moment in time. The photographers have their own ‘come up’ story, and now they share a common interest in capturing moments in entertainment and culture.

We sat down with Mac Ulmer, Dilly Bat, Snelsey and Bob Holtsman to chat about their first photo opportunities, ‘water breaks’their favourite moments in their career, career photography versus hobby, future career goals, and so much more.

“I NEVER OWNED A CAMERA, BESIDES THE CAMERA I HAD ON MY PHONE”

– MAC ULMER

WHAT IS STATIC MEDIA? HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED WITH SHOOTING CONCERTS?

MAC ULMER: Static media started out as a hobby. I was taking pictures of cars to fill extra time, I bought an entry level DSLR camera in May of 2018 and didn’t know how to use it. I’ve never owned a camera before besides the camera I had on my cellphone. I started taking pictures of cars trying to learn how to take a solid photo. It took me a few months and thousands of photos to catch on and was able to take a photo where I was happy with it but still wanted to keep improving myself.  After I got the hang of it, it really took off and started doing some pretty cool stuff all car related stuff. So Static Media became my automotive photography. While I was taking photos of cars, I was also selling tickets to shows for a couple companies, and they asked me if I’d be interested take photos at some shows. I knew my setup wasn’t made for low lighting, after a while I upgraded my camera gear and finally took them up on the offer and shot Mash’d N Kutcher at JT’s Bar and Grill in July of 2019. Static Media right now is just automotive and concert photography with plans to expand into other areas of the art as well. 

WHEN IS YOUR WATER BREAK?

IT GETS REALLY HOT IN THE CROWD, ESPECIALLY DURING EDM SHOWS.

MAC ULMER: It does get extremely hot in there. I always have a bottle of water on me incase I need it, I usually drink it between sets.  

Theory Of A Deadman performing at Coors Event Centre on February 11th 2020

WE SEE YOU PRIMARILY SHOOTING EDM SHOWS, IS THAT YOUR FAVOURITE GENRE OF MUSIC? IF YOU COULD SHOOT ANY GENRE WHAT WOULD IT BE?

MAC ULMER: I do shoot a lot of EDM shows, it is definitely one of my favourite genres to shoot. Believe it or not, it isn’t my favourite genre of music. I love old school rap and hip hop. If I could choose any genre of music to shoot it would be rap and hip hop. It would be unreal to shoot for the artists I grew up listening to. I would kill to be in Eminem or Ice Cube’s photo pit at one of their shows. 

Check out Mac Ulmer’s Catalog of work here: https://www.instagram.com/maculmer/

Black Tiger Sex Machine performing at Coors Event Centre on January 17th 2020

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY? WHY?

MAC ULMER: I’ve had a lot of really cool photo opportunities since July 2019, but my favourite would have had to been Black Tiger Sex Machine. The show had crazy production, and light show. It made for some really crazy photos, and the massive crowd made for super high energy. It was a lot of fun.  

Pulse Music Journal celebrates environments that encourage consumption of non-alcoholic beverages. We are proud to work closely with venues that advocate for sobriety while providing comfortable spaces and entertainment for the community.

Introducing Coors Edge – Non Alcoholic – The authentic traditional Coors taste, doubled brewed North American-style Lager. Coors Edge is a refreshing golden lager without the alcohol ensuring that you’ll always be in the moment. Call your ex on purpose, dance the night away, or stay up late to be up early. Coors Edge is the perfect addition to any moment. Naturally flavoured, 60 calories per 473mL can, 11g carbs.

Authentic Taste with 0.5% alcohol.

Shadow of Intent performing at Coors Event Centre on September 20th 2019

BEING ENGULFED IN A PARTY ENVIRONMENT

WHERE YOU ARE FULLY IMMERSED IN A THIRSTY CELEBRATING CROWD. HOW DOES IT FEEL TO BE THE SOBER ONE AMONG THE CROWD? WHAT ADVICE WOULD YOU GIVE TO THOSE WISHING TO BE SOBER IN THE ENTERTAINMENT INDUSTRY?

MAC ULMER: Being sober in the crowd feels great. I still have as much fun as I would after some drinks, but I don’t wake up feeling hungover. I used to drink out of boredom, and I wouldn’t stop after a couple. Instead of filling my time with drinking with friends or going out to drink. I decided to fill my time with a learning a new hobby, which was photography. For the people in the entertainment industry that are wanting to be sober – you just need to find that one right thing that works for you, then dump your heart and soul into it.  

“BEING UP AT ALL HOURS OF THE NIGHT”

– DILLY BAT

DOES PHOTOGRAPHY AND VIDEOGRAPHY AID IN YOUR MUSIC CAREER?

DILLY BAT: It definitely aids in my music career. Having the skills and knowledge to create high quality photo content as well as being able to produce my own music videos from directing to editing and color correcting help give me an edge and I cut a ton of cost.  

Ludacris performing in Saskatoonn on August 27th 2016

BEING THE ‘BAT-OF-ALL-TRADES’ DID YOU WANT TO BECOME THE BEST AT MULTIPLE THINGS OR DID IT COME NATURALLY?

BECOMING GOOD AT ONE THING, AND IT ‘SNOWBALLED’?

DILLY BAT: From the start, I knew I wanted to be diverse in the Audio , Photo and Video fields. That was the plan from the start. I knew doing this would not only help cut a ton of cost out sourcing for content but I knew this would help me better shape my vision for each project to come out exactly how I want. Now I can record mix and master my music but also shoot the photos for my promotion as well as produce any video content I need on top all free of charge. Beside that I also have these 3 skills that have been paying my bills for the last 7 years of my life offering various services to clients in almost any industry you can think of.  

Check out DillyBat’s Catalog of work here: https://www.instagram.com/dillybat/

T.I. performing on January 21st 2017

WHERE DID THE NAME “DILLYBAT” COME FROM?

DILLY BAT: The name DillyBat came from my lifestyle. Dilly is short for Dylan and everybody started calling me “the bat” because of being up at all hours of the night. So the 2 names went together to create the name “DillyBat”.

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY? WHY?

DILLY BAT: My favourite photo opportunity would definitely have to be one of my travel experiences. This was a combination of both photo and video. This was my first year in business where I had a clothing company hire me out to go shoot content for them in Bali, Indonesia for a month. I’ll never forget that trip and the amazing moments that I was able to capture throughout the trip. So many amazing views as well as it was cool to experience another counties culture food and people.  

Merkules performing at Coors Event Centre on October 1st 2018

“YOU NEVER REALLY KNOW WHAT THE FUTURE MIGHT BRING”

– SNELSEY

IS PHOTOGRAPHY YOUR MAIN GIG? WOULD YOU EVER TAKE THE LEAP TO DO PHOTOGRAPHY FULL TIME?

SNELSEY: Music photography is a great passion of mine that’s only really been realized over the past few years. I often think that if I was a decade younger, and just getting started, I would make a serious go at full time touring photography, but I truly enjoy the low commitment and escape it offers as part time hobby. That’s not to say I won’t seek out bigger and better opportunities because you never really know what the future might bring, but for now it’s been a great outlet for me creatively, especially when I don’t get to exercise that part of my brain during my day to day. 

Avatar performing in Edmonton, Alberta on May 31st 2019

YOU ARE OFTEN BETWEEN THE BARRICADE AND THE STAGE – WHAT IS THE CRAZIEST THING THAT HAS HAPPENED WHILE IN BETWEEN THOUSANDS OF ROWDY FANS AND THE ARTISTS ON THE STAGE?

SNELSEY: Not to sound dull or boring, but I think I’ve been pretty lucky that nothing too crazy or damaging has happened while in the pit aside from a few rogue kicks from crowd surfers or soaking up someone’s beer down my back! I try to shrug these things off pretty quick and honestly wouldn’t even notice most of it as I’m usually so intently focused on whatever is happening on stage. But anything that does pull my attention away is just part of the show’s unique experience, so I just roll with it!  

Reignwolf performing at Coors Event Centre on August 27th 2019

TELL US ABOUT TANDA MEDIA.

HOW HAS IT ENHANCED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY WORLD?

SNELSEY: Toby and Alleen from TandA are amazing. They have opened so many doors for me. They welcomed me into their small, tightly knit creative team before I even knew what I was doing.  I initially reached out to them through DM with the intention of seeking advice on how to access bigger shows and touring events that might roll through our city.  I knew that most photographers, when not touring directly with the band, were typically backed by media outlets to access these shows with their cameras. I was really just hoping for any insight on how to solicit myself to publications for these media credentials.  

The timing couldn’t have been better, I guess, as it turns out they were already planning to reach out and ask if I’d be interested in covering a couple of shows for them in Canada.  They had a number of photographers covering concerts in the US, but were looking to expand north, so that’s where I lucked out!  The first show I covered for them was Against Me! in Saskatoon at Louis’, and then down to Regina for the Comeback Kid/Counterparts/Stray From the Path tour at The Exchange back in 2017. Both shows were crazy and only a little bit stressful making sure I covered everything and had enough photos to deliver for a final gallery. I’d never felt that pressure before from previous shows but it was rush that I’ve since enjoyed many times over! 

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY? WHY?

SNELSEY: The best opportunity I’ve had is also “the one that got away”, and honestly had me question if I wanted to continue with music photography at all.  I had literally peaked and felt like a complete failure all at the same time with an amazing opportunity to tour the North Eastern USA with a well-established band falling through at the border on my way to meet up with everyone. Unfortunately I had no one to blame but myself for this one! A positive takeaway though is thankfully there were no cameras in the Minneapolis airport or I would have been an easy target for Border Patrol. Ask me about it next time you see me! 

As for a successful opportunity, I had the privilege to work directly with Swedish metal band Avatar and their management group during their North American Tour in 2019 joining them for handful of their Canadian dates. It was my first taste of AAA access as a photographer with a full-time touring band and really felt a sense of “I’ve made it”.  Even though it wasn’t quite as big of an opportunity as the aforementioned, it still felt like some form of redemption for me. 

I’ve also had so many great moments and memories with the hardworking artists and industry pro’s that call Saskatchewan home. One-off gigs, SK-AB “Beer Run” tours, promo shots, and music videos, I’m over the moon thankful for all opportunities to work with these amazing people, and even just getting to know everyone on a personal level has made this hobby of mine so enjoyable.  

I’d also like to send a special shout-out to Vince Geiger who runs StepKid Events. Vince has worked meticulously with artists from all over and has a hand in almost every band and touring package that includes Saskatoon on their tour flyer.  He has been an integral part of my growth and successes in the music photography world and I owe him a tremendous amount of gratitude! 

Check out Snelsey’s Catalog of work here: www.snelseyphotos.com

Sum 41 performing in Saskatoon on August 6th 2019

“THE CROWD WAS CRAZY, THE ATMOSPHERE WAS ELECTRIC”

– BOB HOLTSMAN

Danko Jones performing at Coors Event Centre on April 15th 2017

WHAT STARTED YOUR PHOTOGRAPHY CAREER?

BOB HOLTSMAN: I used to compete in triathlons and marathons. My wife was my photographer. When injuries forced me to stop running, I started taking pictures of my friends racing. I quickly realized that I loved sports photography and spent many hours chasing the best images in sport. For years I shot just for fun but eventually race organizers started paying me to cover their events.

HOW DID YOU GET INVOLVED IN SHOOTING CONCERTS? 

BOB HOLTSMAN: In 2016, Dana Pihach, General Manager of Coors Event Centre, offered me the opportunity to shoot LUGO, a fund-raiser for the Remai Modern Art Gallery. My images were good enough for Dana to ask me back on a regular basis to shoot bands playing the venue. Band and Event photography quickly became a staple of my business. I was fortunate to see, shoot and enjoy amazing acts –  Bombargo, One Bad Son, I Mother Earth, Steel Panther, and many more.  

DID PHOTOGRAPHY BECOME A PASSION OF YOURS LATER IN LIFE? OR HAVE YOU ENJOYED PHOTOGRAPHY YOUR WHOLE LIFE?

BOB HOLTSMAN: My love of photography started in 1978 when I inherited my grandfather’s rangefinder camera. The Lordomat was all manual so I had to learn about aperture and shutter speed and light metering long before YouTube and the internet. The staff at Carefree Camera in Market Mall were a huge help and patiently answered all my questions. That early knowledge proved useful as my hobby evolved. 

In 1984, my wife and I received a Pentax Super Program SLR for a wedding present. I loved that camera, and although there were automatic settings, I never lost my desire to shoot manual. We enjoyed many happy years of SLR film photography and captured lots of wonderful trips and family memories as our children grew up. 

I was an avid triathlete and marathon runner from 1986-1998. My wife captured lots of great race day images with our Pentax. When injuries forced me to stop running in 1998, I became the unofficial photographer for local triathlons and multi-sport events – that’s when I found my true calling. I loved sports photography, I took every opportunity to hone my skills. 

With the advent of digital photography, I was drawn to the simplicity of automatic point-and-shoot cameras and the efficiency of shooting, viewing, sharing and printing from home. I shot several multi-sport events with that camera but it wasn’t long before I realized that point-and-shoot wasn’t going to cut it for sports photography. In 2011, I invested in a Canon Rebel XSi and a Sigma 18-250 “holiday” lens. I shot lots of great events with that setup. Images from that camera still reside on my website. 

I was quickly bitten by the gear bug. My closet is now full of awesome professional Canon gear, including my workhorse Canon 5D3 and Canon 70-200 f2.8L, which provide me with the tools to capture some really solid sport, lifestyle and event imagery. 

Check out Bob Holtsman’s Catalog of work here: http://www.bobholtsmanphotography.com

Need To Breathe performing at Coors Event Centre on May 18th 2017

I Mother Earth performing at Coors Event Centre on October 7th 2016

WHAT WAS YOUR FAVOURITE PHOTO OPPORTUNITY? WHY?

BOB HOLTSMAN: The success of the LUGO images led to shooting my first paid gig on July 7, 2016. The band was Steel Panther. The crowd was crazy, the atmosphere was electric, and I was hooked on band/event photography! I’ve had the opportunity to shoot some fabulous bands and events inside Coors Event Centre, thanks to Dana and her confidence in me to deliver the goods! But Steel Panther will always be my favourite. 

Compilation video created by Bob Holtsman

TO LEARN MORE ABOUT THE PHOTOGRAPHERS, FOLLOW THEM ON THEIR JOURNEY.

UPCOMING EVENTS

WHAT EVENTS WE ARE LOOKING FORWARD TO…

Nov 3rd

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Nov 27th

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Dec 4th

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July 30th

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LEARN MORE ABOUT WHAT’S TO COME…