Seeing one of your favorite bands at a live concert is one of the best experiences one will have throughout their lifetime. And, if you’ve been to a concert within the past few years, chances are you will have seen hundreds of concert goers pull out their camera phones to take photos of the band. Chances are you were probably one of them, but nothing will come close to the photo quality one will get from an actual concert photographer. These elite photographers get access to bands by getting backstage while also getting the best spot in the house to see the show. We’ve put together our list of the best concert photographers LA has to offer.
If you attend a rock concert, chances are Kevin Winter is up in the front snapping away. This acclaimed photographer has shot photos for some of music’s top acts including Kings Of Leon, Vampire Weekend, Queens Of The Stone Age, AFI, Grouplove, Foals, Phoenix, Garth Brooks, The Neighbourhood and many more. Winter, who has worked notable events such as the Grammy’s, KROQ’s Almost Acoustic Christmas and The People’s Choice Awards to name a few, captures these top events and music stars with an eye that is unparalleled.
A newcomer to the music scene Gabriel Olsen’s photography has arrived with the voracity of an atomic bomb. Signing as 106.7 KROQ’s house photographer in his first year and Coachella and Comic Con in his second, Olsen’s work has been published in nearly every major newspaper and magazine in the country. As a Getty Images photographer, Olsen has shot some of music’s top acts including Kanye West, Macklemore, and many more as well as major events. One of Olsen’s breakthrough moments came on February 9, 2012 when he was on assignment at the Tru Hollywood nightclub. The late Whitney Houston ascended to the stage to sing a few bars of, “Jesus Loves me,” with her friend Kelly Price which turned out to be Houston’s last performance. Olsen’s photo work was featured on Dateline’s special investigating the tragedy where Olsen himself defended the fallen star.
From Passion Pit, CeeLo Green, The Lumineers and Slash to Phoenix and every band / artist in between, Mike Danenberg has photographed some of music’s top acts. With a passion for music and photography, Mike Danenberg has the right eye and it shows. In a world where most photographers work is similar to the next with little to distinguish them apart, there is something uniquely special about Danenberg’s photography. One look at his beautifully shot photos and you will understand what sets this up and comer apart from the rest and makes him one of the best in the business. Danenberg’s photos all exhibit a special and unique mix of colors, angles and composition to frame the perfect picture of each and every show he attends. This Chicago native worked closely with bands in his time in the Chicago area where it all started and has been capturing special musical moments ever since. With a personal style all his own, Danenberg strives to put out photos that makes a viewer feel like they were actually at the concert. Couple that with his desire to conjure up meaning in his work and you will be brought to a place where you’ll feel the music through his photos.
James Marcus Haney
Impressive is the first word that comes to mind when having the pleasure of viewing James Marcus Haney’s photography. And, apparently we’re not alone in our beliefs, as Haney has been nominated for a Grammy for Best Packaging for his work on Mumford & Sons’ album cover ‘Babel’ and for a photo-book of the folk rock stars. With an impressive list of other artists photographed including Jay Z, Beyonce, Old Crow Medicine Show, Kanye West, Foo Fighters, BB King, U2, Stevie Wonder, Deadmau5, and many more, Haney is most definitely a photographer with unparalleled talent. Haney’s usage of color, composition, and framing are truly phenomenal while the exact moments captured are truly dramatic in setting. A first rate list of clients include Spotify, EMI, Capitol Records, Sony Records, Island Records, Atlatnic and Domino Records and Glassnote Records and his work has appeared in Rolling Stone as well as SPIN Magazine. In addition to music and concert photography, Haney is currently finishing work on three different feature-length documentary films to be released in 2014.
Blur. U2. Red Hot Chili Peppers. The Rolling Stones. No Doubt. These are just some of the superstar artists Lindsey Best has photographed in her impressive career as a music photographer. With a large list of publications Best has had her photographs published in including Premier Guitar, Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, Los Anjealous, she is one of LA’s best concert photographers. Since 2007, Lindsey Best has professionally photographed some of music’s greatest events and her passion for photography and music has made her endeavors come naturally. Best says “shooting music allows me to connect with and experience music in a way that’s different…I always try to show what I love about an artist in my photos”. Best strives to get technically great shots while also looking for an emotional layer that represents who an artist is and how she relates to them. And, it shows in her photographs. One of Lindsey Best’s most iconic shots is of Thom Yorke as he seemingly stares into the soul of Best’s camera. The timing of the shot is impeccable.
With a flare for the dramatic, Barron’s photographs capture moments of greatness from each and every artist Barron shoots. From Michael Angelakos of Passion Pit screaming his lyrics into the crowd to Hayley Williams of Paramore in a rockstar pose, Barron photographs the moments that matter and helps to tell a story and an experience from each show to his audience. Among his roster of bands, Barron has photographed Foster The People, Passion Pit, Paramore, The Jonas Brothers, Switchfoot, and more. In addition to publishing three books of photography including Foster The People – Tour Book, Hello Hurricane – Switchfoot and Flags – Brooke Fraser, Barron has also had placements in renowned publications such as Rolling Stone Magazine, SPIN Magazine, USA Today, MTV.com and others.
Born and raised on the southern coast of New Jersey, Christopher Polk first picked up a camera at an early age to capture his second passion, surfing. Accolades for his surf photography quickly followed and Polk simultaneously took on work with local media, ultimately landing a much sought-after position with the Associated Press. From there, Christopher conquered Atlantic City, becoming the foremost photographer in the entertainment destination. After relocating to the west coast in 2001, Polk eventually became a Getty Images photographer. After nearly a decade in Los Angeles, Christopher’s unique style and brilliant work has earned him an A-list status among the A-listers of Hollywood, granting him access to the most coveted events in the business. Christopher has made his mark capturing the beauty and glamour that is Hollywood, while working for the most prestigious photography agency in the world, Getty Images.
Based in Malibu, Scott Dudelson has photographed hundreds of artists including Paul McCartney, Iggy Pop, Bon Iver, Tom Petty, Stone Temple Pilots and many others. Dudelson’s impressive resume of photos have landed in the pages of Billboard, KROQ.com, AOL/Spinner.com, Flavorpill, Classic Rock Magazine, Music Connection, Jambase.com and many others. What makes Dudelson’s photography interesting is his ability to capture interesting moments throughout a show. Aside from his passions for photography, Dudelson is also an internet entrepreneur.
Jordan Schlecter is the features editor for CBS LA.