The 2014 Best Music Photographer in St. Louis: Vote Now!

Categories: Best Of

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Photos from each of our nine finalists.
We've spent the last couple of months introducing you to our favorite music photographers in St. Louis, and now it is time for you to vote for the best of the best.

Below you'll see a photo from each of our nine nominees -- yes, nine, not ten. Last year's winner, Todd Owyoung, who was also nominated this year, has since taken up residence in New York. As such, it wouldn't make much sense to name him the best in St. Louis, would it? We wish him the best of luck in the Big Apple.

Be sure to check out the full profiles of each photographer, linked below. Did we forget to include your favorite? Feel free to write him or her in. Now, on to the voting!

Please only vote once. Attempts to stuff the ballot are super transparent, so don't bother because we will notice. Voting will run until midnight on Wednesday, May 14 (12 a.m. 5/15, for the sticklers). Have at it!


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Ben Fournier
Bring Me the Horizon

What is your favorite part of doing music photography? 

Ben Fournier: The best part of doing music photography is the energy of a show. No matter the venue or the style of music, the energy of shooting in that environment is always fun. The feeling in the room when the house lights go down and everyone starts to cheer always gives me chills. It's a very exciting atmosphere to work in. 

Full profile and additional photos: Ben Fournier

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Abby Gillardi
The Tallest Man on Earth

What is your favorite part of doing music photography?

Abby Gillardi: Capturing something that will never happen again, but can be reflected on over and over, is where photography and music really start to have a lot in common, I think. Those few seconds when the lights go out and the crowd starts screaming as the band takes the stage are completely exhilarating. It's an easy energy to get into. I always try to find the unique qualities in each band and how to best capture that. Personally, I'm looking for more than a cool shot. I want the photo to express some emotion. At the end of the day it's about looking at the photos and being able to hear them and experience what that was like all over again.

Full profile and additional photos: Abby Gillardi

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Jon Gitchoff
Jay-Z

What is your favorite part of doing music photography?

Jon Gitchoff: My favorite part is the challenge. I love being faced with a new set of circumstances each time I step into a photo pit, and learning a new trick or two to keep improving my work.

Full profile and additional photos: Jon Gitchoff

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Christian Mayberry
Florida Georgia Line

What is your favorite part of doing music photography?

Christian Mayberry: It is truly hard to pick one favorite thing, but the easiest one that comes to mind is the mini adrenaline rush you get when shooting shows. When the lights go out before the show, all of us in the pit can feel the energy from 15,000 to 25,000 people, knowing that they have waited months to see the bands you are about to photograph. For the next couple songs you feel as if the band is working for you, to help you create amazing images so the fans at the show can look back and remember their favorite night with their favorite bands. It is always a great experience being in the pit, whether it is for a small band or large one. We don't always get to technically experience the full effect of the show, as we all have our faces in our cameras, trying to make sure we have our settings correct or making sure we capture that quick jump by the band that only happens once a show. But those moments where you feel the energy from the crowd make it worth it.

Full profile and additional photos: Christian Mayberry

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Todd Morgan
Scott Ian of Anthrax

Todd MorganWhat is your favorite part of doing music photography? 

That is a tough one to answer, but if I had to give you one answer it would be the energy of a good show. The band is right in front of you, in most cases, and the crowd is at your back -- it's a rush to be in that position. You can feel the energy of a band that is front of you, and in most cases that energy just shoots past you and you know it has connected with the crowd, without even turning around. Other times you can actually feel the energy fall right off the front of the stage and you turn around to a very mellow crowd. I feel like the energy of a good band translates into my images. If the band is boring, often so are the photos.

Full profile and additional photos: Todd Morgan

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Jason Stoff
John Mayer

What is your favorite part of doing music photography?

Jason Stoff: I love the challenge of trying to capture the magic of a live show in small moments of frozen light. When I know I've got a shot, that really nails that feeling. There's a natural high there.

Full profile and additional photos: Jason Stoff

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Bryan Sutter
Priests

What is your favorite part of doing music photography?

Bryan Sutter: I think my favorite part of music photography, besides nailing the shot, is the people that I get to meet. These days I don't have many friends or acquaintances that I didn't initially meet through my work as a photographer. It's pretty awesome to know so many talented and interesting individuals, and having such a network is really useful when someone needs help with an idea or task, as it usually leads to more opportunities and the occasional barbecue.

Full profile and additional photos: Bryan Sutter

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Steve Truesdell
Skeletonwitch

What is your favorite part of doing music photography?

Steve Truesdell: When you get "the shot." It's that moment after you snapped the shutter, and you know that you captured the energy, joy or fierceness of the artist, or the kinetic vibe of being at the show. The type of image that when others see it they feel as though they were at the show for that brief moment. Not just a split-second, frozen in time, but an image that leads the viewer into the following moments of a show. That, for me, is what I'm always trying to get. It is easier with some acts than others, to be sure, and very challenging to get on a big arena or stadium stage, which is why I prefer clubs for shooting these days.

Full profile and additional photos: Steve Truesdell

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Kenny Williamson
Maroon 5

What is your favorite part of doing music photography?

Kenny Williamson: The challenge of trying to produce something different, and capturing that one shot that meets my expectations.

Full profile and additional photos: Kenny Williamson

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12 comments
Laura Hamm
Laura Hamm

It should be me. My pictures are just as good, but no one sees them lol.

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