Top 50

It used to be that most of the music photographers in the country knew each other. Maybe I am just getting old, but recently someone sent me a link to a page with an article entitled “The Fifty Greatest Music Photographers Right Now.”

Each photographer had a page consisting of a short bio and, I presume, one of their best photographs.

Thought #1. I have only heard of one of the 50 photographers, and that is because he lives in Chicago

Thought #2. Out of the 50 photographs displayed here, there were only about 10 that I would have kept- the rest I would have deleted when I got home.

Thought #3. No use photographing a DJ or EDM artist unless you can get on stage behind them. Other wise it’s just a guy standing behind a table on stage!

Is this the state of music photography today? The three song rule does not permit anyone the ability to wait for things to happen, you just have to shoot whatever is in front of you.

Ironically, Yesterday a movie premiered on Showtime documenting the career of Bob Gruen, one of the greatest music photographers of all time.. It is a fascinating look at the music scene of the 70’s and 80’s, and show the total access that Bob got with his subjects. It also includes interviews with many of his subjects, included Tomy Ramone, Deborah Harry and Billie Joe Armstrong of Green Day. Billie Joe goes on and on about how great Gruen is and what an honor it is to be photographed by him. Some of his quotes:

“A photographer captures images and passes them on to the next generation.”

“It is so important to have these pictures.”

“These are the pictures I had up in my bedroom when I was a kid.”

Doubly ironic, as Billie Joe does not allow anyone to photograph more than two songs of Green Day! And makes people shoot from the sound board!!! He goes on and on talking about seeing Bob waiting for the moment to shoot while he doesn’t allow any other photographers to do the same.

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