Shooting live action shots is not an easy feat, especially when the subjects are dancing around a stage bathed in laser lights. Rock photographers have their work cut out for them, and should be commended for their dedication. Here is a list of 5 whose names you may not recognize, but who have taken candid shots of some of the most well known faces in the music industry.
During the ‘60’s and ‘70’s, images shot by Brad Elterman were everywhere. Whether it was of Joan Jett eating on the pier, or Leif Garret snuggling in the sheets with Nicolette Sheridan, Elterman made it a point to try and capture the musicians in their most vulnerable state – as humans.
Patti Smith once referred to Jenny Lens as “the girl with the camera eye”. Lens crashed onto the punk scene with her camera in the late 1970’s and became a big part of it. Unlike Elterman, she captured the essence of punksters such as Dee Dee Ramone in their more comfortable element – onstage being a rock star.
Starting his photography career in the late 1970’s with the glam rocksters, Mick Rock should just go ahead and take singing classes online. He is still a major player in the rock photography industry, having recently taken stills of Lady Gaga and Daft Punk. Maybe if his online singing lessons pay off, he can become one of Gaga’s monsters.
Charles Peterson is too young to remember classic rock, but he did make a name for himself in Seattle when the grunge scene took over. Peterson is the man behind the lens in a number of Nirvana shots as well as Pearl Jam and Alice in Chains. He has broadened his horizons since then and is now a world renowned photographer in a number of genres.
A native New Yorker, Janette Beckman had her camera on her nose when rappers like Run DMC first made an impression. As punk was going out, she was taking shots at Blondie, while also running around shooting the likes of Slick Rick. You can still see Beckman in modern music photography through performers like Missy Elliot and M.I.A.
These photographers made a name in the industry because they found a subject matter that they loved and chose to stick with that. An aspiring picture taker needs to look at what inspires them, and make that the inspiration for their portfolio.