Introducing our Lette of the Month, Cheryl Bryan, aka, Cherry Bomb. She is a photographer here at Juggalo News and most of you will recognize her from shows toting around her Nikon D800 getting awesome shots of the show and the crowd. Let’s learn a bit more about her:
How did you get started in photography?
As far back as I can remember, I had a camera. My mom’s side of the family has always had a passion for photography and that was passed on to me. In high school I took photography classes, and was also a photographer for the school paper and yearbook.
Where are you at in the Canon versus Nikon debate?
I joke with many of the other photographers about this. I prefer Nikon and I make that known. Here’s the part of the story most people don’t know: My first two SLR cameras were Canons. To this day, I still have a fully-manual 35mm Canon SLR that I used for photography class. However, the SLR I used the most, was a Nikon that I would check out from the journalism department to shoot events for the school paper and yearbook (and possibly personal use), and it felt more natural to me. I attest that Nikon has better lenses, and I feel, I superior product in general.
This one is for Hazin. When are you going to be switching to the superior Canon?
Truth be told, I started with Canon. I have switched to the superior Nikon, and have no intention of downgrading.
Out of all of the events, concerts, and other things you have had the opportunity to shoot, what is your favorite so far?
I have had some amazing opportunities, but I’d have to say my favorite was Juggalo Day 2015. Normally, security clears out the photo pit after 3 songs. Somehow we were allowed in for basically the entire show, including all of ICP’s set. I was the last photographer remaining in the pit during Faygo Armageddon – while everyone else scattered. I was beyond soaked, trying to protect my camera, dodging bottles, bodies, buckets, boxes – trying to still get photos of the crowd on stage. Being there, between the stage and the barricade, surrounded by family, doing what I love…that’s the most fun I have ever had. I still get goosebumps thinking about it.
This is a two part question. What is your favorite venue to shoot at? And what is the worst venue to shoot at? And why?
I like the Fillmore, Alrosa Villa, and The Crofoot – they all have decent lighting and real stages. The worse venue was Harpo’s – that stage is like a million feet tall and I’m short…and there is no photo pit it all. For Juggalo Weekend 2016, Day 2 – I was standing on a stool up against the stage for almost the entire show. Up until about Love Song, my camera was wet to the point I was worried about its well-being and had to bail. And most of the night, I had to fight to defend my spot, holding my camera in both hands, and was a constant jungle-gym for anyone who wanted to get on stage. Good thing I’m tough.
I’ve noticed in your photography, you seem to love getting good boobie shots. Believe me, I’m not complaining, but would you like to explain your love of boobs?
Everyone loves boobs! I’m no different. I’m just not shy about it. It’s also to my advantage that I’m a girl, and from my extensive research, I have found that lettes don’t really mind other lettes touching their boobs, and often times rather like it! I actually make a game out of it at shows. I will cut my stickers into pairs, and go up to a girl and place a sticker on her boob, and give her the other one to stick on someone else’s boob. And I like to take pictures of it. It’s not creepy because I’m a girl. I promise. BOOBIES!!
What sets you apart from other photographers in this scene?
Obviously I’m a female. Not that I’m the only female in the industry – however, I was the only female to be nominated as photographer of the year by Faygoluvers. (Congratulations Hazin!!) I also use a Nikon, and I’m not really shy. I don’t use a flash, and my photos are typically very crisp and high-contrast. Plus I can touch boobs without drama.
What would you recommend to other photographers trying to progress in this scene?
Network. Prove what you can do. Don’t talk about it, be about it. If that means bringing your camera to a local show with 50 people in attendance – that’s a perfect place to start! Or if you get the OK to bring your camera into a bigger show but you have to stand front row behind the barricade – show what you can do from there! Also, know your equipment. If you do get a photo pass, you typically have 3 songs per artist. If you are fumbling around the whole time, you are not going to get any good shots. Practice! Practice!! Got a friend in a band? Practice on them. Get to where your camera is an extension of your arms. Practice in different lighting situations. Be prepared for things to change. Be flexible. Talk to other photographers. And for God’s sake have back-up batteries!
Besides just doing photography, you also do a lot of arts and crafts projects, including having a side project of making and selling nail decals. How did you get into that, and what can you tell us about your nail decals?
I scrapbook and make cards as a hobby, which goes right along with photography. I’m pretty sentimental, and save a lot of stuff, and like to showcase them with scrapbooks. I have saved just about every ticket stub, pass, and wristband from every concert I’ve ever been to. I have 2 die-cut machines, that I primarily used for those reasons. I like doing my nails, and I like being different – and am always reppin’ The Hatchet. I thought it would be neat to have Hatchetman nail decals and finally have the equipment to be able to do it. I knew I was not the only person who would want them, so I decided to sell them as well. I now have Hatchetgirls available, and I’m working on Batman and TMNT designs. I make them in all different colors, even some in glitter! All orders are custom-made, if you have something else you’d like, please ask! For color options, pricing, and details – email me at email@example.com. Make sure you get your orders in early to have your nails done for the Gathering!
Any other hobbies?
I am a beer snob. My husband and I brew beer (OK he does most of the work), and “collect” craft beer. He has an entire beer fridge plus a kegerator with home brew on tap. We love going to breweries and trying all kinds of craft beer. Also, brushing my teeth. And sewing.
Let’s switch it up a little bit to get to know you? What is your favorite Joker’s card?
Up until recently, it was a close tie between The Great Milenko and The Wraith. It seems like if I had to pick one, it would be The Wraith. Well now there’s a second set and I can definitively say it’s The Marvelous Missing Link. Both albums, the music, how Lost was released before Found, being front row at the Hallowicked show when they were announced – very powerful to me. Not to mention Young Wicked’s contributions.
What about your favorite ICP song?
I could change my mind 50 times, but I keep coming back to “We Belong.” I come from a broken home, and grew up always trying to find where I fit in. To be accepted, loved, protected – by so many people just like me, without having to change who I am – this is where I belong.
What about the first ICP song you ever heard?
Wow – my mom didn’t have cable, so when I went to my dad’s every-other weekend, my brother & I would watch The Box and MTV. Being that ICP wasn’t played on the radio, this was my first real memory of them. It had to either be ‘Another Love Song’ or ‘Tilt-A-Whirl’ – this was during the same time my dad forbid me from listening to ICP. He also forbid me from getting tattoos. So…you see how well that worked out.
Besides ICP, what is your favorite underground artist?
Artist? I gotta go with Boondox. And Tech N9ne.
Favorite Faygo flavor?
Rock N’ Rye all day
Let’s get down to food. Vegetarian? Have you been a vegetarian your whole life?
Not my whole life…It wasn’t trendy when I stopped eating meat, so I didn’t mark the exact date on the calendar. But as far back as middle school I can remember being vegetarian. That’s something like 20 years. It was a lot harder back then (especially in the Midwest). Now that so many people are hopping the vegan train, it’s easier than it used to be.
What made you decide that you wanted to be a vegetarian? Is that even something that you can decide?
I have always been an animal lover. I like animals more than I like most people. I tend to over-think everything, and I couldn’t stand the thought of cutting, chewing, and swallowing the flesh and skin of these animals. When you’re a kid, you don’t really know any different. But once I started to understand the process, it made me sick to think about.
Okay, I have to ask. How do you live without bacon?
There it is! I get asked this on a regular basis. Veggie bacon. Really, bacon grosses me out. That’s how. I don’t miss meat.
How many tattoos do you have?
Oh geez…last time I counted I lost count at something like 28. Sleeves, most of my back, most of one leg…fun fact: I have 78 stars tattoo’d on me. Oh I also have a vegetarian tattoo – of veggies.
What is your favorite tattoo?
That’s like asking someone to pick their favorite child. Probably my cat portraits. Rayna is 16 and diabetic, and I have had her tattoo’d on me for several years now. After Karma passed, we had her cremated, and I had a portrait of her inked on me as an angel, with her ashes in the ink. So she is always a part of me. My newest tattoos are Dark Lotus on my wrists.
Dogs or cats? Do you have any? If so, tell us about them.
Cats. Not that I don’t like dogs, but I have always been a cat person. We have two cats, Rayna – the solid white one, who I have had longer than I have had my husband. When I lived at home, I had a cat named Maggie (it was Magellan when we thought she was a boy), who gave birth to one kitten on my bed in the middle of the night. Rayna, born April 10, 2000. She just turned 16. She has been diabetic for about 8 years, and is a fighter. After we lost Karma (who was solid black) in 2012, I needed a distraction. I found Bella on petfinder and she was perfect. She was at a vet hospital in Toledo, about 2 hours away, and it worked out that the only day I could pick her up was on Christmas Eve. She needed a middle name because she was mischievous, so I picked Noel. She is the cutest kitty you will ever see, she’s a Savannah, so she’s got the wild cat genes, so she a playful tiger and has very keen senses. She’s territorial, but also very affectionate. I will soon have a tattoo of her as well.
Okay time to get a little serious again. What does being a Juggalette mean to you?
This is a tough question for me. Until recently I didn’t really embrace the term. I didn’t feel there needed to be a distinction between male & female Juggalos. We are all equal. But since I have come to terms with it, I take pride in the term. I think it’s about being you and being strong & proud. Expressing whoever you are inside and not being afraid or shy. Creativity & expression, passion & confidence. And boobie touching.
Batman vs. Superman who wins?
Batman, duh! (did I mention I have a Batman tattoo?)
Anything else you’d like to say in closing?
I have to say that if you have not experienced Faygo Armageddon, there is nothing like it in the world. Make it a priority. Maybe I’ll even be there to photograph it.
I would also like to thank Matt and everyone who has supported me, promoted my photography, complimented my work, stuck my stickers all over, let me touch their boobs…as well as the record labels for believing in me and sharing my photos. Much love!!
Thank you for taking some time answering some questions and letting us get to know you. If anyone would like to follow Cherry Bomb’s photography, check out the links below.
Also, if you are interested in purchasing any of the nail decals mentioned above, the purchasing information is below.
Sheets of 12 decals are sold for $5 each (shipped)
Buy 5 sheets, get 1 free
Hatchetman or Hatchetgirl
For order form and color availability please email firstname.lastname@example.org