Though you might be more familiar with his work under his Capture the Core handle, Rick Beaulieu is one of the most active photographers documenting the hardcore scene in Toronto, Canada. His live shots are a personal fave of mine, and anytime they pop up in my Instagram feed, I give them the old heart button nod.
I wanted to know more about Rick, so I decided to profile him for the site's Photographer Spotlight series.
Where were you born and raised, and were your parents into the arts?
I was born in Red Deer, Alberta Canada and grew up there until I was 10-years-old, and then moved to Quebec, Canada and lived there until I was 18, and then finally moved to Toronto where I currently live, tons of moving around! My dad was a huge collector of music metal/thrash memorabilia and my mother worshiped country music.
What came first, your love for music, or your love for photography?
My love for music definitely came first. I played in bands when I was in high school and was always the guy finding new bands to check out and get people into. Photography became a passion around the end of high school. I became fascinated with seeing live photos on the back of people’s shirts and it drove me to want the be the guy taking those shots.
How did you discover punk and hardcore?
Like I mentioned, my dad was huge into heavy metal and thrash/crossover and even some British punk music like the Sex Pistols, so at a very early age I was exposed to aggressive music. I discovered punk and hardcore from watching a late night tv show called Loud. Every Friday night at 12am this show would come on and in 1998, at the age of 9, they played the video for "Before Dishonor" by Hatebreed and I was hooked.
Who were some of the photographers you looked up to during your formative years, and were there any music-related photographers you followed?
Honestly, I didn’t really follow specific photographers in my formative years because most of the incredible photographs I’d seen had no photo credit, but I have since learned the name of a couple photographers who took iconic photos I admired, and one of them is Tina Brugnoletti who took the live photo on the back of the Integrity Humanity Is the Devil LP.
What is your camera and post set up?
For a camera set up I have been shooting with a Canon 6D full frame body, and I have been pairing it with a Canon 20mm F/2.8 USM Ultra Wide Angle lens. For post I use Lightroom for editing and photoshop for touchups and finer editing.
Who are some of your favourite bands to shoot?
I’d have to say Harms Way has been a recent favourite of mine. James and Bo are so damn photogenic. Wild Side from Niagara, Canada has been another favourite.
If you could go back in time, who are some bands that you would have loved to shoot?
If I could teleport myself with my current shooting style, I would have loved to shot Leeway in 1991, Madball around the Been There, Done That Era, as well as Hatebreed in the Satisfaction Is the Death of Desire days.
What are the toughest aspects to shooting hardcore shows?
A few things that make really great live hardcore photos are also the toughest. One of them being where you are standing, I like to stand right at the front with zero barricade catching the vocalist in front and the other band members behind still in the frame. These are tough shots to get because people are diving/moshing and all that good stuff. I find that usually the bigger risk I take in the pit usually results in better live photos. Lighting is another tough part of shooting hardcore. I usually shoot smaller venues where a flash can be used so it saves me, but everyone would agree lighting is always an issue.
Tell me about some newer bands that we should all be on the lookout for.
I would highly recommend checking out a few bands from Ontario/Quebec Canada. One of them is called Get the Shot. That band is unbelievably heavy. Also, I would recommend Cold Shoulder, and another band called Speaker, both of these bands are from Toronto, Canada and have new records on the way, two of my most anticipated releases this year.
Who are some modern-day photographers that you admire?
There are a couple photographers who I am easily their biggest fan (and I hope they know this). One of them is Ryan Stacey and the other is Kyle Smutzki. These two constantly amaze me and put out incredible content.
If you had to pick one of your photos that best encapsulates why you love shooting hardcore bands, which one would it by and why?
I would pick a photo that I took of Expire from their final show in Milwaukee, Wisconsin. You can see in everyone's eyes how much they appreciate hardcore music and I feel that same way every day of my life.