‘Wish You Were Here’ takes lens underground

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For those who haven’t experienced Boston’s underground art and music community, now is the time. “Wish You Were Here,” the Together photography show, has brought the party to Pavement Coffeehouse. That’s right, a party in a coffeehouse.

Together, Boston’s electronic music festival, is returning to the city for its second year from April 18 – 24. The festival provides parties, film screenings, record fairs, speakers and panel discussions.

Intended to celebrate the city’s underground movement via photography, the show makes it a point to portray Boston nightlife and relive some of the best nights out through the eyes of photographers Derek Kouyoumjian, Lara Callahan, Natasha Moustache, and David Day.

Photo by Lara Callahan

“[The photo show at Pavement] is a lot of fun, giving myself and the other photographers a good outlet to show our stuff,” said Kouyoumjian. “It’s nice to actually have the photos up on a wall where people can take them in and enjoy.”

Kouyoumjian photographed his first party in the late 90s and has done work for the Improper Bostonian and ManRay. He also shoots portraits, fashion, food and editorials.

“Some [of the photos displayed] are personal to me. Some really show off the energy of the night,” he said.

Photo by Derek Kouyoumjian

Making it painfully obvious when approaching a subject, Kouyoumjian said he tries not to be sneaky about taking someone’s picture. “It’s all about being at the party,” he said about being a party photographer. “You’re recording it so someone else can look at it later and feel like they were there.”

The 40 photographs bring to life the hot-spot atmospheres of venues including Gypsy Bar, Royale, ManRay, The Estate, The Model and Great Scott. Viewers will feel they’re on the dance floors at parties like “Throwed,” “Hearthrob,” “Circus” and “Thunderdome,” all while meeting DJ Volvox, Steve Aoki, Cusraque and Susie G through the lens.

Photo by Derek Kouyoumjian

“I really enjoy the spontaneity of event photography,” said Callahan of Elci Photography. “People also have lowered inhibitions, so I’m more likely to capture something more creative and exciting.”

Callahan has spent about three of her five years as a photographer taking party photos. In addition to music and events, she shoots celebrities, creative and fashion, and has worked for companies including Red Bull, Puma and Yelp.

“I always try to capture the essence of the event. It’s important to get the typical group photos, but I love photographing people doing wild things,” she said. “I also love shooting up close and personal when the subject isn’t aware. It always makes for an interesting photo.”

Photo by Lara Callahan

Images lining the walls of the independent coffeehouse flaunt the highlights of good times past. Appalling close-ups, saucy group shots and images of killer happenings pop out at the viewer. The flashy tints and clear-cut liveliness are unavoidable.

“I feel that the images showcased at Pavement Coffeehouse display my event work best as a whole,” said Callahan. “I love to take the most vibrant, colorful, and outrageous photos for each event I shoot.”

Of course, coffee and photos make for a pleasing festivity, but every party cries for an after-party. House DJ Hunee will slay beats this Thursday at Middlesex Lounge.

Featured photo by Lara Callahan

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