Last year, one of the articles I was most passionate about on publishing was titled, “Women in Music Photography You Should Know.” It was a feature of many of my favorite photographers in the music industry, many of whom I consider personal friends of mine. While I reached out to a handful of inspiring photographers, the list and the shoutouts they gave only scratched the surface of the talent that so many women are bringing to the photo game.
Even as I worked on that article, I knew that this was a topic that I was going to revisit, and I'm excited to feature even more of my favorite music photographers working today. These women are producing some of the most exciting work in concert photography, artist portraits, tour photography and more. Here are 40 women defining music photography today.
Once again, I asked each photographer profiled here (highlighted in yellow) to give a shout out to some of their favorite women in music photography. I'm so excited to bring you this feature — I know that I've so thoroughly enjoyed going through this list and enjoying photography that has left me stunned and impressed.
Beth Saravo was an award-winning photographer who was mentioned in several shout outs from the first edition, and with good reason. She's carved out a distinctive style that transcends the common music photographer, blending bold portraits, intimate candids and the lifestyle of live music, on stage and off. Her work encompasses a love of human interaction combined with an appreciation for “moments.”
Saravo's clients range from UMG, Live Nation and Revolt TV to Redbull, Golf Wang and Dickies. Known as her online persona Baeth, she specializes in live music and lifestyle photography; working deeply within the hip-hop festival circuit. She has a love for the high energy and fandom re-emerging through new age artists and divides her time with intention encouraging other women and emerging creatives to keep learning and pushing for their highest goals.
I love the freshness that Beth seems to capture so effortlessly. From lushly atmospheric live shots to raw backstage candids and more, her work shows an incredible range that defies the the limits of your typical concert photographer.
From the esteem and respect she commands from her peers, it's clear that Saravo is inspiring a whole generation of women in the pit. It's really exciting to see photographers like Beth enjoy such well deserved praise and success.
“She has such a thoughtful element to her images; not a single image looks like a ‘snap' but a well made photograph. We have never met, but I have been looking up to her & her images for over a year now (after I learned the backsplash image in the 3 story Nike store at The Grove was hers). Her work and moves within the industry feel very calculated and are hella inspiring.”
“I have never met a more confident woman in my life. She is SO good at what she does both in and outside of photography, and follows exactly what she wants to do in the style she wants to do it. She will not settle for mediocre and I applaud this.”
“Nicolita is so far from your average shooter. She understand the nuances of business, and is a sponge when it comes to learning from everyone around her. Her work is wildly clean; it's the type where you can recognize it because of her colors and editing style.”
“Ashley uses her platform for the betterment of the community. She is constantly reaching out, ready to teach/help new/struggling creatives. Ashley’s honesty about mental health within the industry is very needed and I am so happy to call her a friend.”
“She is a Bad. Ass. She is one of my favorite photographers – point blank. I’ve never seen someone pump out more content than her – and its CONSTANT. This is me fan girling – let her work speak for itself.”
Miranda McDonald is a photographer based in Los Angeles. She cut her teeth as a nightclub photographer and worked her way through the EDM scene before breaking into the pop world. From Holy Ship to Coachella and leading photo teams for major festivals, Miranda’s credits include everything from print features in Esquire to billboards in Hollywood.
In addition to shooting on the festival teams for Goldenvoice and others, her clients include breakout stars like Julia Michaels and Bea Miller to Shawn Mendes and Nick Jonas.
What I love about Miranda's work is the freshness of it and the ability to weave seamlessly between live music, backstage candids and studio portraiture with a singular vitality and cohesiveness throughout.
What's more, you can see a level of trust and comfort with her subjects that immediately make Miranda's work stand out. Her work with Julia Michaels in particular gives you a feeling of complete trust and intimacy. Miranda's work puts you in these places few people get to see, and looking at her work is like this peek into this beautiful, secret world. And as a tour photographer, that's exactly what you're hired to record, these moments that the fans would otherwise never see, and what makes Miranda's work so, so good.
“I love how you feel like you're standing in the room when you look at Lucy's photos. She has a way of truly capturing emotions, not only with sharp close up shots but with epic wide shots too. Plus her colors and tones are absolutely stunning!! Really excited to watch her growth over the next few years.”
Gina's concert photos are so clean, always the best moments. I've had the pleasure of shooting along side of her many times and she is not afraid to get down and dirty to get the shot – very admirable work ethic. I love her shots from the crowd's POV, they make me want to stop everything I am doing and go to a show.
“I looked up to Ashley and her work for YEARS before we met, then one day we got to shoot on a festival team together and it was instant friendship. She's such a kind person, an amazing friend and SO supportive. On top of that, she has an incredible eye for moments, can make anyone feel comfortable around her and is just a badass female really making an imprint in this crazy industry.”
“All of Pooneh's work is so raw and captures the pure essence of who she's photographing. There's something about how her subjects look into her camera that makes me feel like I know them. Not to mention she's such a sweetheart and you can feel her creativity flowing out of her just from chatting with her.”
“Katia is an absolute legend. She's the type of artist where you know its her work the second you see it, such a vibe. Majorly look up to her in the sense of being so skilled creating all types of content, for massive pop stars. You can tell she is a hustler and is down to put in the work always.”
Wrenne Evans is a photographer based out of Nashville, TN. After college Evans moved to NYC to work with famed photographer Annie Leibovitz, eventually leaving to focus on touring. She's worked with bands like BULLY and Mumford and Sons, and has worked extensively with Maggie Rogers, including documenting the star's 2019 world tour.
Her clients include Island/Universal Records, Founders Entertainment, Capitol Records, Infinity Cat Recordings and License Lab. Evans's images have appeared in Rolling Stone, Pitchfork, NME, Esquire, DIY Mag, Noisey, BILLBOARD Magazine, Myspace, Flavorwire, IMPOSE, Clash Music and Nashville Scene.
I first met Wrenne when she was photo director for the Red Bull Music Festival in NYC. Immediately on meeting Wrenne, her warmth and genuineness shine through, and I love that you can see this in her photography. It's abundantly clear that she has a closeness with so many of her subjects that is wholly earned, as she's able to capture uniquely intimate moments in her work. When I look at Wrenne's images, it's as if I'm looking at a family photo album in the pure, unguarded moments she captures with her subjects.
“Nat is something special. Not only has she worked at venues and cut her teeth in live music photography, she tour manages while doing so. Bands need to be hiring her to focus on photography because she's just too good and sees souls. Her travel photos are also insanely beautiful.”
“I think she is one of my favorite photographers alive. She creates stories for a lot of her personal work and the emotion behind her work is so tangible. I think a lot of my female photog community looks up to her. She goes into spaces as a documentarian and photographs them like Vermeer paintings.”
“I love her portraits so much. Her black and white work is pretty iconic. She focuses on these insane details of her subjects that are almost visceral. She recently shot a Rolling Stone cover which is really big for alot of us ladies because that tends to be a male dominated space at the magazine. She is a big inspiration for me.”
With just over two years photographing music, Nicolita Bradley a presence and body of work that's impressive for any music photographer. Based in Seattle, Washington, Nicolita has stacked up an impressive resume, with publications and clients including Rolling Loud, Interscope Records, Atlantic Records and Amazon. Her work has been featured on Billboard, Spotify, Harpers Bazaar, and PAPER Magazine among others.
What I love about Nicolita's work is the cohesive and raw feeling of her work. Whether it's a small club or a massive festival, Nicolita's images put you there, showcasing the fleeting expressions and intimate moments that are gone so quickly in a performance, yet feel so iconic as a still image.
What's more, Nicolita has been fantastic about sharing the techniques she uses, such as in creating GIFs from a sequence of still images, which is such a great asset to the music photography community.
“I absolutely adore Beth. The portrait work she creates with artists is really intimate. She knows how to disarm a person and bring out their natural personality with ease. Working alongside her is a joy, her energy is contagious! She's a constant source of inspiration and a powerhouse behind the scenes fighting for women in the industry.”
“I've never met Muriel, but I can tell she has this vivacious energy to her. It's tangible through her work which I think is really special. Her mixed media work with artists is my favorite. It does more than tell the story, it takes you along for the ride.”
“Miranda's work consistently leaves me in awe. It doesn't matter who is in frame, she manages to captures everybody uniquely. She approaches each artist differently while still maintaining her personal style. Her work with Bea Miller and Shawn Mendes is some of my favorite. I find myself looking back through her work often.”
“Maggie is one of those people that has it. There's no definitive way for me to describe what she creates. She's always at a show and kills it every single time. I'm always motivated to try new angles and shoot more often when I see her work.”
Michelle Hunder is a music photographer based in Melbourne, Australia. Beginning her career in professional photography in 2011 Michelle has risen to the top of Australia's music and artistic scene to become one of the country's premier music photographers. Most recently, Michelle has just been named the National Live Music Photographer of the year at the 2019 NLMA’s in Australia, a most fitting way to end a year of touring the world as official tour photographer for rapidly rising music super star, Ruel.
Michelle's credits include two separate portrait series in the National Sound and Film Archive of Australia. In addition, Michelle is the brainchild behind the 2015 photographic book “RISE,” a detailed, photographic portrait series within the world of Australian hip-hop, and the co-director of the critically-acclaimed feature documentary, and portrait series, “Her Sound, Her Story.”
I love that Michelle's work feels equally at ease in the studio, in the photo pit and on stage. I personally feel that music photographers show a strength in either portraiture or events, but very seldom both — Michelle seems to excel at the two worlds with equal and rare skill.
What's more, I love the support for the music photography community that Michelle shows, both for her own scene in Australia and indeed worldwide across social media.
“I absolutely love the way Mackenzie photographs gigs, her photos always blow me away with their intensity and colour. She’s an absolute superstar and I cant wait to see what she does in coming years. Her photos of Post Malone on the last tour were some of my favourites and she took some killer shots of U2 which were really amazing too. Definitely one to watch!”
“So proud of Jess making the huge leap into full time freelancing last year, and she’s absolutely killing it!! Jess is one of those people that everyone loves to be around, as well as being a kick ass photographer. Ive loved to see how well she's done over the last few years, most notably her work on the Niall Horan tour and the bunch of festivals that she is on the team for. Ive also loved seeing more of Jess’s portrait work with artists and bands, she’s really working hard and has earned all her success!”
“Only just became familiar with Paigge’s work recently after she shot a Ruel show that I was shooting on tour and I really loved her work. She's super talented at both portraits and live work, and I've loved seeing her unique perspective on the stuff she shoots. She did some killer backstage portraits of Matty from 1975 that were just incredible, and I love her film work as well. She’s awesome, I am a big fan!”
Nicole Mago is a Brooklyn-based portrait and music documentary photographer. Working freelance since 2015, Nicole specializes in tour photography and creates much of her work on the road, working with artists across multiple genres. Selected clients include The Midnight, SHAED, verite, Ron Pope, and others. While not tour, Mago will often work with these same artists creating portraits, promotional work and album artwork, which is a testament to the relationships she forges with her clients.
Her work has appeared in Rolling Stone, Alternative Press and Kerrang! Magazine among others. Her selected client list includes Burberry, Live Nation, Verizon FiOS, Atlantic Records, Bloodshot Records, Brooklyn Basement Records and Photo Finish Records.
I love Nicole's work for the cohesive mood she creates in her images. There's a haunting, cinematic quality to many of the images she creates on the road, effortlessly blending rich black and white photography with accents of color across her documentary, portrait and live work. Nicole's environmental portraits on the road are images that I particularly love — they feel like film stills of quiet, perfect lighting.
“To The Front is a traveling pop-up art show that was created by Erica Lauren (@byericalauren) and Courtney Coles (@kernieflakes), designed to support women and non-binary artists/photographers within the music industry. The list of talent involved in this goes on and on!”
For 26-year-old Catherine Powell, music and photography have always been a package deal. Originally planting her feet in the alternative rock world, Catherine has branched out into every genre of music, shooting everyone from Taylor Swift to Drake; from Elton John to Metallica. Catherine also made the venture into celebrity portraiture at age 17 when she co-founded NKD Mag with Ariella Mastroianni. After Ariella left the company in 2013, Catherine continued to grow the brand into one of the largest digital publications around – toting an impressive global audience of over 90 million unique readers. She functioned as the magazine’s editor-in-chief and designer until October 2019, when she closed to publication after 100 monthly issues.
She has toured with notable acts across all genres such as MAX, flor, MKTO and more. In a true career turning point, Catherine began working with Kacey Musgraves in 2018 as she was gearing up to release her now-Grammy winning album, Golden Hour, and travels with her globally. She currently tours with multiple Grammy winning artists such as Dan + Shay, Maren Morris and Miranda Lambert. She has been published in Rolling Stone, Billboard, People and more.
I love Catherine's work for the sheer inventiveness she brings to her photography. She seems equally at ease sliding between massive arena shows and the grit of NYC icons like Irving Plaza and Gramercy Theater, while bringing her signature look backstage, on stage and everywhere in between. Her work with Kacey Musgraves in particular showcases the depth and power of photography one can create when you have total trust from your subject, a feeling that is stunningly clear from the intimate images she creates on tour.
“This girl can seamlessly go from huge arenas to clubs and it's so cool to watch. I love all her work with Winnetka Bowling League, and her Greta Van Fleet shots are going to be considered iconic one day.”
Jennifer McCord is a touring music and portrait photographer based in London, UK. Her work is deeply rooted in exploring and portraying emotivity as well as the intimacy of artists she works with.
McCord's list of selected clients include Universal Music, SONY, Entertainment One, Rock Sound, COMPLEX, Polydor, Sub Pop, Skull Candy and TOMS Shoes. In addition, she's worked on the official photo teams for Reading & Leeds Festival, All Points East Festival, Download Festival, Isle Of Wight Festival and others. Jennifer has worked extensively with Ellie Goulding as well as Architects, Half Moon Run, Westlife, Enter Shikari, Fall Out Boy, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, and more.
I recently had the pleasure of finally meeting up with Jennifer in NYC and it was amazing to talk to about music photography. The conversation reinforced that despite so many people having different paths to music photography, there are more shared experiences and bonds than not.
I love the dramatic plays of light and shadow that feature in so much of McCord's portrait work, as well as the connections you feel with her subjects. There's a deep, meditative quality to so many of Jennifer's portraits for me that transcend the conventions of photographing celebrity. I feel the mark of a striking image is always one that makes you want to look more, and her work has this hypnotic effect in abundance.
Her live work captures the big, crescendo moments of a show while feeling uniquely intimate, as if her subjects are living just for her lens. In rare form, Jennifer captures penetrating portraits and the visceral energy of live music with equal perfection.
Maggie Friedman is based in NYC and is a regular photographer for Interscope Records as well as other labels. She travels regularly for festivals and has shot on the official Bonnaroo photo team for two years as well as working Lollapalooza for Ladygunn among others. Her featured publications include Rock Sound, as their main US contributor, and Rolling Stone.
I love the style that Maggie brings to her work — from the toning and color work to the sense of space she creates in her compositions, her images feel uniquely hers. In a hyper competitive field like music photography where standing out is a massive challenge, Maggie seems to create signature images with ease.
What's more, Maggie seems to excel at always bringing home “the shot,” capturing those moments that live music photographers live to make — those moments where the lighting, the emotion and the moment align in perfect harmony.
“Emma creates a story with every image. Her photos have a timeless feel, I especially love her country work, especially of John Prine. I won’t be shocked if her work ends up in museums. It’s so genuine. Emma is a gem.”
“I’ve never seen work more vibrant in my life!! I feel like I’m looking through the most amazing kaleidoscope when I see her work. She takes clean and great images, and her editing makes them one of a kind. No one does color like Ruby.”
“Cynthia is the absolutely killer content creator for the Jonas Brothers. She does all their visuals and in my opinion was a huge part of the success of their comeback, along with running her own company! She’s the definition of a boss and I really look up to her. Seeing her work is always a highlight for me.”
“Corinne shoots a majority of Rock Sound’s covers now in her own studio. She’s toured with the likes of As It Is and Enter Shikari, and her drag work is some of my most favorite. She’s one of the most passionate and kind people I’ve ever met and always gives so much love out to others as well. Such a talent.”
“Skyler is constantly impressing me with her creativity and ability to think outside the box. She’s printed photos on maps, lyric sheets and more. Truly always pushing the envelope and she’s so young which is even cooler.
Katie Temkin is a photographer and motion graphics artist who splits her time between NYC and LA. Originally from South Texas, Temkin attended NYU for photography and learned motion graphics on the side during her studies. This combination of skills made Katia a rare talent with a jaw-dropping client list to match, creating everything from lyric videos thumb-stopping social media content to tour posters and promotional portraits.
Some of Katia's favorite clients include Jonas Brothers, Normani, Christina Aguilera, Kiana Lede, Hailee Steinfeld and Zara Larsson. In addition, she worked on campaigns and projects for brands like iHeartRadio, Virgin, Sony, Columbia Records, Republic Records, Netflix, Virgin EMI records and more.
I absolutely love Katia's work because of the seemingly endless creativity she brings to her work — from concept to design to photography and animation, every facet of her work is stamped with a style that's so completely her own. Any one of her individual talents as a concert/event photographer, portrait photographer and animator would be enough to make her stand out, but the fact that Katia combines these as a content creator is just jaw-dropping. Every frame Katia shoots seems to come from a parallel universe that's brighter, more glamorous and frankly just more fun than the one we inhabit. When you see her work, it's immediately understood why Katia is so in demand with the biggest names in music and beyond.
“I admire Ali in so many ways. I don’t even know where to begin. We both graduated from NYU & watching her work ethic & success over the years is so inspirational & empowering. Ali has an incredible gift to capture raw & genuine emotions. I like to describe being around Ali as being around a ray on sunshine. Her happiness and confidence are so contagious and it is very much reflected in her photographs. She’s my idol.”
Pooneh Ghana is a photographer and director based in LA specializing in live music, music portraits and tour photography. As photographer Victoria Sanders said of Pooneh: “Your favorite bands love her.” Which is no exaggeration.
Pooneh has worked closely with a pantheon of indie rock bands, including Cage the Elephant, Portugal. The Man, Jeff the Brotherhood, Foals and Jagwar Ma, among others. Her extensive client roster is peppered with iconic brands, from Red Bull, Vans, Fender, Jack Daniels, C3 Presents and Festival Republic to standards like NME, Rolling Stone, VICE and Billboard Magazine.
In an age of glossy, cookie-cutter music photography of arena bands photographed for three songs before getting the boot, one look at Pooneh's work tells you she lives in a wholly different world. And this is a world where she's royalty.
I love Pooneh'sphotography because her work combines the surgical precision of nailing the shot in her concert photography with the kind of raw grit and authenticity in her portraits and tour work that you simply cannot imitate or fake. Her images have this earned intimacy with her subjects and capture real moments in ways that elude so many music photographers. Pooneh is the real deal.
“Not only are Sarah’s photos mind-bogglingly stunning, but I love the stories she attaches to each photo she shares and reading her perspective of the world around her. She’s a true story teller and is able to capture whatever emotion she’s feeling through her photos so well. You can tell she’s really passionate about her art and also enjoys playing around with different film cameras, trippy photo effects, and just having fun with whatever medium she decides to play on that day. It’s always rad seeing what she creates in the music world with her shooting style.”
“Jackie is a dear friend of mine and it’s a true joy watching how she constantly reinvents herself as a photographer and videographer in the music world (but also in fashion, food, travel, she does it all so well). Her work ethic and ability to see things in a completely different way has been so inspiring to witness. She can make something as mundane as a brick wall look like art. I love her!”
“CJ’s just a badass!! Photographer, tour manager, graphic designer, and a true music lover, as you can tell when you look at her photos. She’s a road dog and is able to throw herself in any situation and really capture what it’s like to be in that moment with an artist on tour, or at a festival or wherever. She shoots a lot on film as well and her photos are all beautiful!”
A few caveats are in order. This is by no means a comprehensive list. The people in this list skew heavily toward photographers I know personally or who are friends of friends. I know a lot of music photographers, but I don't know everyone. That is abundantly clear even as I compiled this list of shout outs, and one of the reasons I hope that others will also discover some great talents we have here in the music photography community.
Some shout outs were added so I realize the number of photographers in this article has changed and isn't accurate reflected in the URL or title.
Between the photographers I've profiled and the photographers they've shouted out, I hope that we can take a moment to celebrate the amazing work that women are doing in music photography as the truly define this genre. This isn't a competition or a popularity contest — if anything, I hope that we can all view this list as just a very small slice of a huge community of music photographers that exists worldwide.
Please give these photographers a follow and some love on social, and I hope you've found a new music photographer.