Tag Archives: concert photography

Artist Feature: Ebru Yildiz

Ebru Yildiz is a New York-based music photographer that we met through Adela Laconte. Active in the New York music scene, she breaks down the role of Reflection and Response in music photography/portraiture into two concurrent yet distinct concepts: a photographer’s effort to capture the musician in his or her response to/through music, and the photographer’s own response to the performance. She showcases some of her recent music photography work, talks about the process of creating meaningful, expressive portraits, and discusses expanding her craft with an upcoming project using a photographic process developed in the 1850s called “wet collodion.” Check the dialogue and prints from this artist steeped deep in exploration and creation!

Ebru Yildiz | Photo by Mitchell King

Ebru Yildiz | Photo by Mitchell King

In order to make meaningful portraits, you really need to have interest in people other than yourself; you need to have a genuine interest what they have to say, what their story is…No two people’s stories are the same, no two people’s feelings could ever be the same when they are faced with similar situations.

– Ebru Yildiz

Ebru Yildiz - Shilpa Ray

Ebru Yildiz – Shilpa Ray

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

EY: I was born and raised in Ankara, Turkey. I moved to New York-where I have always dreamed of living- the minute I finished college. And I started making photos few years after that. When I was in Turkey, I always preferred to go to live shows than any other club scene that was so popular back then. So when I moved here, it took me a minute but I eventually found “the” places to go and see music. I was always at shows, so making photos at the shows came as an extension of that lifestyle. After I developed a certain style that I was happy with, in order to keep things exciting for myself, I decided to take a little break from shooting live shows with exception of occasional shows here and there and focused on personal projects and making portraits. Right now, I think it is a healthy mix of all three.

And I am still in New York where I hope to live for the rest of my days if I am lucky!

Ebru Yildiz - Savages

Ebru Yildiz – Savages

Ebru Yildiz - Savages

Ebru Yildiz – Savages

Ebru Yildiz - Psychic Ills

Ebru Yildiz – Psychic Ills

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

EY: When you say response, I can’t help but think the other end of the spectrum, which for me is reaction. I believe being able to respond to things happening to you rather than reacting to them is a difficult form of art to master. Not everybody can succeed in taking the time to think about what is actually happening, listen to how they really feel about it and/or put themselves in the shoes of the other person before they decide how to go about it. I always make a conscious effort to respond to things around me but having the hot Mediterranean blood in me definitely makes it a challenge at times. I only hope at some point in my life, it is going to come naturally.

Ebru Yildiz - Jason Pierce

Ebru Yildiz – Jason Pierce

To me, reflection means to take the time to look at what I have done so far and going forward questioning if I should change anything about them. During this process, being able to acknowledge good as well as bad with all honesty is super crucial. I never understood why people cannot be humble and are so afraid of admitting negative things about themselves. These only show you are a strong person and nothing else. Either ways, I believe even the acknowledgement of the need to change is a gigantic step in and of itself. Being able to make the changes you think you should is a completely other animal though. And it takes time.

Ebru Yildiz - Mitchell King

Ebru Yildiz – Mitchell King

How does your work fit in with that definition?

EY: Well, I have never thought about reflection and/or response in terms of my photography but now that I did, I can see that it comes out the most for portraits. The photographer and the subject respond to each other continuously. People feed off of each other. If you are in a good mood, it is going to rub off on people around you, if you are not in a good mood, that is going to rub off on people too. So it is a constant flow of emotions back and forth. I remember I used to try to get a certain emotion out of people, for that reason I liked making people uneasy, and uncomfortable by asking incredibly private questions during the shoot. But right now, I take joy in letting the people I photograph just be. I become mindful of what they allow me to see and try to focus on those. So I guess it is kind of reflecting what I think they project to me back into the photograph, if that makes any sense. But everything is so subjective. At the end it is collaboration. It is my interpretation of what my subjects let me see. Regardless, I personally think that in order to make meaningful portraits, you really need to have interest in people other than yourself; you need to have a genuine interest what they have to say, what their story is.

Ebru Yildiz - Frankie Rose

Ebru Yildiz – Frankie Rose

Ebru Yildiz - Tamaryn

Ebru Yildiz – Tamaryn

As for live photographs, I think in those, I am focused on catching musicians’ own response to their own creation, of course that combined with my own response to their music. And like everyone else I respond differently to different music. I heard my husband talking about my work to a friend once; he was saying that he thinks that most of my live photographs are like portraits of those people who happen to be playing a live show. I don’t think I have ever heard a bigger compliment than that.

Ebru Yildiz - Thee Oh Sees

Ebru Yildiz – Thee Oh Sees

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Adela Loconte

We first met music photographer Adela Loconte at the same Charles Bradley show where we met fellow photographer Ken-Grand Pierre. Born in Caracas, Venezuela, Adela started her own production and photography company while completing her masters’ degree in advertising. She then lived in London and Barcelona and worked as a producer for the CMYK Independent Magazine Cultural Festival while also shooting/producing at the Sonár Music Festival. She then moved to Williamsburg, Brooklyn, where she’s been shooting concerts and musicians nonstop. Adela links reflection to introspection and learning about the self, which can lead to meaningful response through actions.  For Adela, a photograph represents a reflection of a moment, a “register of time.” Peep the interview and some of her awesome images below!

Adela Loconte | Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Adela Loconte | Photo by Ebru Yildiz

Through the camera I get to reflect the moment, atmosphere, action, and feeling of the subject. My intention through the photograph is basically making people feel that moment in case they weren’t there or, in case they were, bring them back to it.

– Adela Loconte

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

AL: Hola! My name is Adela and I was born and raised in Caracas, Venezuela but my roots are Italian.

I finished high school when I was 16 years old and started to study advertising in Caracas. During my second semester, I started to take photography classes, and became interested in it. I went on to get my masters degree in advertising at Santa María University, and while studying, I interned at Saatchi & Saatchi Caracas. After interning, I decided to open my own company with a friend and focus on production, photography, and design. Saatchi & Saatchi became our client, along with Leo Burnett, Venevision TV, Planeta Urbe and Loquesea.com, amongst others.

Adela Loconte - Charles Bradley (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

Adela Loconte – Charles Bradley (Music Hall of Williamsburg)

While I was in school for my masters degree and running my company, I decided to enroll in a photography school called “Imagomundi.” I really got into it and I spent two years there taking different types of analog camera courses.

After I finished my masters degree and my photography courses in Caracas, I decided to close my company in 2001, and head to the UK to continue my photography studies.

I chose London, because it’s where all of my favorite music was from, and I enjoyed the English sense of humor.  I started a Postgraduate degree in Photography at University of the Arts London, and was so excited that I sometimes even went to school on Saturdays!

I enjoyed London so much for 3 years. I studied a lot. I met incredible people there. I enjoyed cultural exchanges. I enjoyed amazing shows and festivals and it was time to leave, because the weather was not helping my tropical side. So, I flew to Barcelona, Spain where the weather was better and I could go to the beach as much as I wanted. I spend almost 4 years [there]. I worked there for CMYK Independent Magazine Cultural Festival, and Sonár Music Festival. I learned so much and had a blast, working as a producer for both festivals.

Adela Loconte - Courtney Barnett

Adela Loconte – Courtney Barnett

The last Sonár Music Festival I worked. I got the opportunity to do two different jobs at the time, one for Barcelona and the other one for Venezuela. Apart of working on the production side at Sonár, I got to shoot the festival for the main newspaper in Venezuela called “El Nacional”, when all of the sudden my camera got stolen in the middle of the festival. At that moment, I only had on my mind how many months of hard work were gone, instead of the camera and the films the thief took.

When I was living in London I put my self into the craziest schedule someone could have lived in. I was sleeping about 5 hours a day. Finishing my Photography Master, having a daytime job during the week at a company and during weekends at nighttime a job as a bartender, and I was also studying on Saturdays. My goal at that time was buying this amazing camera I was dreaming with, it was a Nikon F5 (film camera) and some lenses and new flash. I worked for 6 months nonstop. I was falling asleep everywhere, at the university, in the train, at the bus, and at the office. I aimed for the Nikon camera, 5 Nikon lenses and a Nikon flash and finished everything I put myself into it. All those months on nonstop work just got stolen at a festival.

I feel so much frustration after that episode that I went into different life phases. I did produce photographers. I did assistant photographers. I quit for some time photography and then I came back. Barcelona at that time was starting to go into their economical crisis; companies where paying really bad and I couldn’t get a new camera as fast as I did in London.

Adela Loconte - Kirin J Callinan

Adela Loconte – Kirin J Callinan

So, time to start again! Let’s leave Barcelona for New York!

First, I came to New York to visit for a month and out of the blue, the most hardcore city open its arms and super welcoming me! I never thought I was going to live here, honestly. Basically, I have been based in Williamsburg for the past 7 years. I been working for CMJ Online, CMJ Music Marathon Festival, Brooklyn Vegan, SPIN, and IMPOSE magazine.

I also worked for Vme Media/Channel Thirteen, Sheik ‘n’ Beik, and Metal Magazine as a Producer.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

AL: Reflection is our own introspection and the willingness to learn more about our own nature, purpose in life and essence. Through introspection we find responses, those that make us create a plan to develop our own path and to aim our goals.

There is a wonderful quote by W.T. Yeats, that I really like, and it says “It takes more courage to examine the dark corners of your own soul than is does for a soldier to fight on a battlefield.”

Adela Loconte - Red Hot Chili Peppers (Barclays Center)

Adela Loconte – Red Hot Chili Peppers (Barclays Center)

How do music photography and portrait photography fit in with that definition?

AL: Through the camera I get to reflect the moment, atmosphere, action, and feeling of the subject. My intention through the photograph is basically making people feel that moment in case they weren’t there or, in case they were, bring them back to it. [With] portraits I’m all about people’s essence and their anatomy.

The response will be my introspection towards music. Music is a worldwide language and Photography is the register of the time.

Adela Loconte - Franz Ferdinand (Hammerstein Ballroom)

Adela Loconte – Franz Ferdinand (Hammerstein Ballroom)

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , , , ,

Artist Feature: Ken Grand-Pierre

Ken Grand-Pierre is a New York-based music photographer whose lens captures images that recall specific moments and feelings. His love of concerts and live music help fuel his work in this epicenter of creativity. Ken’s photography spans shots of shows as well as his unique “Day in the Life” series which captures images of musicians the day leading up to a performance. Ken has been his on grind and has had the opportunity to photograph the music and performance activities of many dope artists. Throughout his piece Ken touches on his diverse influences, the idea of eschewing perfection in the creation of art, ideas of Reflection and Response, and stories of capturing music through images.

Ken Grand-Pierre

Photo by Nicole Mago

Fuck the idea of perfection and resources. Perfectionists are important in our lives but never allow perfection to be the reason you hold back from doing something; make mistakes and learn from them…

– Ken Grand-Pierre

Leading off with some basics, where are you from? And where are you at?

KGP: Hello, my name is Ken Grand-Pierre! I’m originally from a small town called Rockland County, which is forty minutes outside of NYC. I am now based in NYC and have been for about six years on and off (more on then off though). Rockland is an area that I always felt I had to get out of, especially from a very small age. There’s good people there but it’s not a place where creativity can thrive, at least not to it’s full potential, so while growing up I’d always see NYC as the epic centre of everything and being able to be here now, being part of it all is still something that’s wild to me.

What does Reflection and Response mean to you?

KGP: Both of those words are strong to me, especially because I find them to be both cohesive and universal with how humans are in general. I think the smartest people I’ve ever come across are the ones who are constantly reflecting on the experiences and decisions in their lives and responding to those reflections in a willful manner. You can’t get anywhere in life unless you have the will to do things, to take risks with your life in any size and variety, and I believe the most important choices you can make in life come from reflection and response.

Ken Grand-Pierre - The 1975

Ken Grand-Pierre – The 1975

How does your work fit in with that definition?

KGP: The pieces I chose to accompany this interview are photos that just take me back to a moment instantly. When it comes to covering shows I love working with artists I know close to little about just as much as artists I already admire. I also believe that no one should ever limit themselves to just one genre. It blows my mind how many music fans (even fellow photographers) I’ve come across who are so closed-minded. People who say things like ‘Oh Indie music? Gross!’ or ‘I wouldn’t be caught dead at a Rap show!’ things like that make me immensely dumbfounded, especially if you’re a music photographer you should aim to do as many different things as possible. The shot I specifically picked for this question is of Rónán (AKA Ro) from Irish band Delorentos.

Ken Grand-Pierre - Rónán of Delorentos

Ken Grand-Pierre – Rónán of Delorentos

They’re one of my favorite bands and have been for years, and I never thought I’d get the opportunity to see them live. Last year they released a new album and came to NYC to play a show to promote it. I jumped at the chance to do it but I also aimed to spend the day with them for a ‘Day In The Life’ type of photo feature. I had never done one before and I had no idea how to prepare or anything haha but I just went about it naturally and tried my best. This photo was taken right after the show. The band came off stage and I went backstage (well technically downstairs since it was at Mercury Lounge and the green room is a cellar) and Ro was about to grab a towel when I propped up my camera and said ‘Ro! Have a scream!’ and he did hahaha it was absolutely random and the thought occurred in seconds but it’s one of my favorite shots haha. I picked this shot because when I think of reflection/response I think of things that accumulate, as well as things that happen quickly yet seamlessly. My passion for Delorentos brought me to that show and the fact I love what I do allowed me to spend the day with them, so it all kind of comes together in a cause/effect sort of way.

What else have you been working on recently? What are you looking to work on next?

KGP: I’ve mostly been photographing musicians like always but also doing ‘Day In The Life’ photo features with bands. That’s when I’ll spend a day with a band and photograph the day as it leads up to the show. It’s what I enjoy doing the most and I’m hoping to expand on that. My biggest goals now are to eventually tour with a band and photograph a European music festival. I think when it comes to aspirations those are the two clearest ones I have that’d make me feel complete in some way, shape, or form. I mean people always go on about buying a house or getting good credit but things like that seem so boring to me. You should naturally get good credit and a house in your life so why not aspire for something bigger? For something more? Something I love is when I do something like shoot a festival or an arena show and there’s a moment where I’ll look about and wonder ‘….wow….how the fuck did I get here?’ so I think my ultimate goal is chasing that beautiful feeling.

Ken Grand-Pierre - Glasvegas

Ken Grand-Pierre – Glasvegas

Who or what inspires you?

Continue reading

Tagged , , , , , , , , ,
%d bloggers like this: