Music photos are something we’re all familiar with but which many of us overlook. It can be incredibly difficult to get those live shots which sum up the passion and excitement of the music perfectly – not only are you working with subjects who you cannot direct but the lighting may be poor and you’re unable to set up your equipment as you’d like to, having to adopt a “make do” approach instead.
It may be a difficult task, but one a skilled music photographer can do perfectly. Combine live shots with a few excellent behind-the-scene exposés backstage and you have a document of the musician’s experience on the night.
While there are a lot of music photographers around these days, there are some who are considered to be much better than the others.
Here are our top five music photographers in the industry.
1. Shirlaine Forrest
Photographed: bands for top publications including The New York Times, The Guardian and Rolling Stone magazine
Shirlaine Forrest is a Manchester based music photographer who’s been taking pictures of musicians for more than 17 years. Her work is considered to be one of the most in-depth in the industry.
2. Daneka Peniston
Photographed: numerous live acts include Lauryn Hill, Mos Def and Patti Smith
Living in New York, Daneka Peniston is a star in the world of music photography. Best known for taking pictures of musicians as they are crowd surfing or mid-jump, her action shots are always popular.
3. Lindsey Best
Photographed: best work includes pictures of Bono and Thom Yorke
This Los Angeles based photographer is one of the most skilled in the industry. She’s taken pictures of some of the most famous musicians in the world and this has given her strong credentials behind her name.
4. Erik Kabik
Photographed: top acts including Kiss, Aerosmith and Madonna
Erik Kabik’s photos show just how far musicians are willing to go to entertain the crowd. He’s been working in the industry for over 20 years and is definitely one of the best with plenty of high-action shots in his repertoire.
5. Erez Avissar
Photographed: up-and-coming acts including Lana Del Ray and old school bands such as Radiohead
Not many music photographers bring something new to the table, but Erez Avissar manages to. He gives his photos a unique mysterious edge. His work helps to make artists appear contemplative and interesting. This is a completely different angle to what most photographers opt for when shooting a live performance.