Kenny Williamson: Meet the Best Music Photographers in St. Louis

Categories: Best Of

©rknphoto.U207.17.11-3.jpg
Photo by Kenny Williamson
Earlier, we introduced you to our ten favorite concert photographers in St. Louis. We got well over fifty nominations, and our judges narrowed the field to these ten folks. Over the coming week-plus, we'll be introducing you to each of the finalists in turn by having them share with you five of their favorite concert photos and answering a few questions about their process and passion. Up next (and finally!) is Kenny Williamson, whose work can be viewed (and purchased) from his web site, www.rknphoto.com.

See also:
-Finalist Profile: Louis Kwok
-Finalist Profile: Todd Owyoung
-Finalist Profile: Jon Gitchoff
-Finalist Profile: Jarred Gastreich
-Finalist Profile: Bryan Sutter
-Finalist profile: Corey Woodruff
-Finalist profile: Nate Burrell
-Finalist Profile: Jason Stoff
-Finalist Profile: Ben Fournier

RFT Music: What makes a great concert photo?

Kenny Williamson: 'Great' is rare. 'Great' is capturing a unique moment, that has never been seen, hasn't happened before with the artist, and likely will never happen again, which people will remember from the image for decades. This has happened to me several times, but unfortunately the camera was out of focus, I had the lens cap on, or a security guards head was in my way when the moment happened.. still waiting for my Great one.

©rknphoto.DMB06.16.10-.jpg
Photo by Kenny Williamson

What's the best thing about live music?

Nothing else but a live music performance can bring 20,000 people from different walks of life, together, all on the same page, all at the same time. From a photography perspective, all emotions are firing on all cylinders. I am a music fan first, so being this close to the artist in the photo pit is already a natural rush. Then add to that, I'm there doing what I love to do, trying to get the best shots I can get in a 3 song span. It can be tough sometimes when I'm shooting a band I really like, to stay focused on what I'm doing.

What's the strangest thing that has happened to you while photographing live music?

Thankfully, nothing 'too' strange. I always laugh when I think about shooting Motley Crue's Carnival of Sins Tour. We were allowed the pit, first two songs. The show opened with dancers, circus acts, visually great stuff. Just before the band took the stage, pyro went off, fire, smoke filled the stage so thick I couldn't see the end of my arm. The band played, I heard them although I couldn't see them. I think by song 4 it cleared up enough to see the stage, but by then I was already out of the photo pit, with 0 useable images to speak of.


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