[Pictured center: Creeper; photos by: Bryce Hall, Jay Wennington, Whitney Newell, Benjamin Robson, Ryan Watanabe, Jawn Rocha]

Think about the posters taped or tacked onto your wall and the stunning live shots inserted into every issue of AP. While there’s amazing talent being captured centerstage, there’s also a talented artist on the other side of the lens.

So let’s adjust the spotlight and shine it on the photogs who capture it all. Here are 10 up-and-coming music photographers you should keep an eye on—and definitely give a follow on Instagram.

Read more: The 5 do’s and 5 don’ts of being a music photographer


Jay Wennington
[Pictured: Jay Wennington; photo by: Jessica Hope Bridgeman]

Bands he’s worked with: Creeper, Neck Deep, As It Is, Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes, Against The Current, WSTR
How long he’s been a photog: Almost three years; he went on his first tour in January 2015.
Education: “I am 100 percent self-taught with a little help from the University of YouTube.”

Creeper Jay Wennington
[Pictured: Creeper; photo by: Jay Wennington]

How would you describe your style?
That’s a tricky one! I’ve had my style described several times as being “raw.” I guess I take that as a compliment. I like to be a fly on the wall; my favorite music shots are usually those that are taken offstage, so I guess I would describe my style as photo-journalistic at the heart.

What’s a photog trope/stereotype you hate?
That all we do is roam in packs systematically searching for Wi-Fi? I mean come on, it’s nearly 2018. I’ve got me an unlimited plan. But more seriously, that people think we’re not valid crew members, looking for an easy ride and that we don’t work particularly hard. I can tell you, hands down, that some of the photographers I’ve been lucky enough to tour with during my time are some of the most hardworking people I have ever come across in my entire life.

What do you love about this music scene? What drew you to it?
We’re all living in some pretty trepidatious times, and for me personally, the DIY scene in which a number of my friends and I started in was a safe haven, somewhere away from the outside world, somewhere we were free to thrive, create, collaborate and ultimately cut our teeth in the music world. The warmth of these DIY scenes that exist all over the world, as well as the wider music scene, is ultimately what drew me to the scenes I now call home.

What’s one piece of advice a band has given you that you took to heart?
Don’t worry if what you’re making is good and your peers aren’t celebrating it. Chances are, they’re jealous. Far too many people would rather keep others down around them than build others up.

Follow Wennington on his Twitter and Facebook.


Matthew DeFeo
[Pictured: Matthew DeFeo photographing Wage War's Chris Gaylord; photo by: Luis Velez]

Bands he’s worked with: Silent Planet, Underoath, Being As An Ocean, Vanna, Bring Me The Horizon, Thy Art Is Murder, the Word Alive
How long he’s been a photog: Since 2011
Education: BA in photocommunications from St. Edward’s University in Austin, Texas

Matthew DeFeo
[Pictured: Issues' Tyler Carter; photo by: Matthew DeFeo]

How would you describe your style?
I use a 160-year-old photo process called wet plate collodion. It’s essentially a handmade positive image that is created onto a glass or black aluminum plate. To me, this process produces an image that you can’t replicate digitally: The image is grain-free and full of detail. It is a timeless way to photograph, and I believe the slowness of process really helps me connect with my subject, and produces an honest portrait. From start to finish, a collodion photograph takes around 20 minutes to produce. During this time, I prep the plate in my mobile darkroom, which is the trunk of my car. From there, I load the plate and place it into a view camera. The photo is then exposed and developed to produce the final image.

What do you love about this music scene? What drew you to it?
I grew up listening to a ton of bands in the heavy music scene. The music really resonated for me in a way that no other genre could compare. I admired the passion that went into the live performances and the camaraderie that was shared throughout the community.

For me, shows were always a safe place to go and be yourself and be in a room of like-minded people who share the same love for this music. That same feeling is actually one of the biggest motivations to photograph this community and convey it to a larger audience. It morphed into one of my biggest personal projects entitled “Stillwater.” You can check out that series on my website.

What’s one piece of advice you have for aspiring music photogs?
Find a style and workflow that sets yourself apart from the rest of the industry. Now more than ever the market is so saturated; you have to work extremely hard to get noticed. Try a different approach and keep up your relationships in the industry, and hopefully those bigger jobs will start making their way toward you.

Follow DeFeo on his website and Facebook.