Photo Pop 2012 Preview: Rick Kern @ Red 7 (11.9)

Here’s another one of the great photographers that will be displaying and selling their photography at Photo Pop 2012 this Friday at Red 7.  If you’re lucky, Rick might give you the sexy photo of me stuffing my face with a cupcake backstage at ACL.  His photo to the left is from a GWAR shoot, and you can also read on to find out why he’s mad I called Emily Haines to just chat. Here’s Rick. 

ATH: What started your career as a music photographer?

RK: The urge to get serious about photographing live shows came right after shooting SXSW in 2008.

ATH: What camera/lens do you use or prefer to use?

RK: Canon 5D Mark III / Canon 70-200 f/2.8 IS

ATH: If you had to pick one band to shoot over and over, based on past experience, who would it be?

RK: Easy. Metric.

ATH: How do you go about shooting a show? Do you just aim for shots of the lead singer, drummer or what? Anything else you do? Do you try to tell a story?

RK: It really depends on the band. If it’s a really famous group I’ll shoot everyone. If it’s not too famous I tend to stick the the lead singer. If it’s an opener I’ll most likely photograph everything (the band, photographers in the pit, and the crowd).

ATH: In your opinion, what’s the difference between using an iPhone and shooting photos as a career?

RK: There are definitely people shooting with just an iPhone as a career.

ATH: How do you feel about apps like Instagram, etc?

RK: Instagram is cool for posting “live” pictures of food or pets. And it’s a good way to share concert photos as well, but I’m against using it in the pit while a band is performing.

ATH: What has been the hardest show you’ve ever shot, or weirdest?

RK: Hardest: Matt & Kim, SXSW 2009. After standing in the same spot for about 4 hours M&K went on. The crowd went crazy, people were shoving and surfing. I ended up with broken blood vessel lines across my thighs from being up against the low stage for so long. Weirdest: GWAR and recently getting covered in cornmeal by Val Kilmer during the Black Lips set at Fun Fest come to mind, but I’m going to go with The Rock Cats – a 5 piece cat band with a hen named Hendiana Jones on the tambourine.

ATH: How do you feel about the much accepted rule of only shooting the first three songs? Smart move?

RK: I’m a fan of the 3 song rule as long as the lighting stays more or less the same for the rest of the set. It’s more than enough time to shoot, plus I can see how it takes away from the experience of someone who paid to be there.

ATH: What’s one piece of advice you’d give to a young photographer just getting their feet wet?

RK: Don’t buy kit lenses. Save up to buy high end glass. A $1,600 lens on a $400 body produces better images than a kit lens on a $1,600 body.

Here’s a jam from our friends in Shivery Shakes who will be playing the show that evening, following the display of photography by Rick Kern and his friends.


Download: Shivery Shakes – Wait [MP3]

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