6 Great Music Photographers
The history of music photography is a rich one, crucial to the way we understand and remember our favorite artists. Through the photographer’s lens, our memories and our culture’s musical memories have been defined.
But the man or woman behind the camera is often overlooked for the subject. In honor of the great photographers of past and present, here are six of our favorites.
Photo: Anton Corbijn
Anton Corbijn began his career as a music photographer in the mid 1970s taking pictures of Dutch rock star Herman Brood, before going on to shoot many of music’s biggest names at the time — David Bowie, Bob Dylan, Joy Division, U2 and many more. You’ll recognize Corbijn’s work from album covers, at least, as well as a number of films as a director — most notably, the Joy Division Ian Curtis biopic Control.
Ed Colver’s photography became the definition of the Los Angeles punk scene in the early 1980s, a his black and white coverage of raucous live shows translated to album covers. You’ll recognize his work from the Black Flag Damaged cover that shows Henry Rollins punching a mirror or this iconic photo of a fan doing a front flip into the audience.
Drew Ressler, also known as “Rukes” is arguably dance music’s best photographer today. He was early to the EDM party and has been making the most of it. He learned his trade cold calling DJs in 2004 and just asking if he could shoot their sets. Since then, he’s made close friends with some of the top names in the genre, giving him top access in a now well saturated market. As the DJ world gets bigger and bigger with increasingly elaborate setups, so too will Rukes’ photos.
Photo: Fraser Jones
As the subject of last year’s MTV documentary No Cameras Allowed, Marcus Haney made a name for himself sneaking into music festivals and concerts around the world, and managed to become Mumford and Sons’ official road photographer. Through it all, he’s become a favorite cameraman of fans and bands alike.
Pacific Northwest native Charles Peterson was definitely at the right place at the right time coming to age around Seattle’s late-’80s and early-’90s grunge scene. Peterson was there for Sub Pop’s rise, shooting the likes of Nirvana, Mudhoney, Pearl Jam, Alice in chains and others, with a keen eye that has made for the iconic era’s definitive imagery.
Photo: Leon Morris
David Redfern began his career shooting jazz musicians like Miles Davis and Duke Ellington, but the British photographer’s output grew in the 1960s to include some of the time’s leading rock stars — the Beatles, Jimi Hendrix, Eric Clapton, Johnny Cash, and Ike and Tina Turner, among them.