“There’s a very specific moment that it hits an artist on stage, and once it does – I get to not only WITNESS it, but attempt to capture it! “
Photographer Cheri Kern of PhotoPit Chicks Photography has shot Five Finger Death Punch, Motley Crue, Alice Cooper,Warrant, Sebastian Bach, Bret Michaels among others. When she is not lending her awesome talents at concerts, you can find her shooting nature,classic car shows, Harley’s, and a bit of macro and street photography. Recently, TonboMai had the honor of asking about her secret recipe for this translation of magic that she gives, in her own words:
Why the concentration on concert Photography?
“Even though I dabble a little in other areas, I almost exclusively shoot concert photography. Since I can remember really, I’ve always been an avid music lover, especially live music. I’ve always felt music at a very deep, some would say gut wrenching level. I’m one of those “live, eat and breathe music” people….. and yet to this day, I’m still unable to sufficiently describe the raw energy at a concert that I’ve always felt personally, as a fan. No matter the genre – whether it’s 80s power ballads, Lupe Fiasco, Grateful Dead or Five Finger Death Punch – – the energy of a live show gets me every single time — I don’t think I’ll ever stop coming back for more. I think I’ll be 80 and still want my rocker situated in front of a loud booming speaker where I can feel the bass guitar rattle my bones and I’m unable to think or do anything other than FEEL that song that’s being played.”
What is one great Take-a-way from shooting concerts?
“…… I didn’t realize just how reciprocal that energy actually is! Now at a show, I’m situated at the stage, in front of front row even, right smack dab in between the artist and the group of people who love them most in the world and – – there’s actually a transference of that energy (love) that I’d always thought was just ME feeling, It actually bounces back and forth, fans to band and then right back out again, there’s nothing like it – gives me chills, even right now. ”
What is your favorite part of photography?
“My favorite part of photography is capturing THAT on “film.” There’s a very specific moment that it hits an artist on stage, and once it does – I get to not only WITNESS it, but attempt to capture it! At that point, they can’t fight it any more, they can’t help but give it back to the crowd – they have no choice but to give in to it and take it all in, all that love and energy of thousands of fans hits them all at once and they’re rendered helpless . I call it the “arms wide open” moment and almost every artist I’ve shot has it and expresses it very similarly. The energy of the crowd becomes all-consuming, they’ll stop singing as the music pounds on, and their arms will raise up on either side of them until they’re stretched outwards like wings, usually their head will cock slightly back and they just let it happen and take it all in. And it’s beautiful. Capturing THAT moment is what I enjoy most about photography. ”
To date, What has been your favorite moment on film Capture?
” The first concert I ever shot was in June at Summerfest – Taylor momsen / The Pretty Reckless. Taylor’s pretty known for being a bit shrouded in mystery, always aloof and very closed off. I can’t tell you how many pictures I have of her sort of hunched a bit with all of her hair falling into her face There’s a air about her on stage that is closed off and she’s doesn’t hide that this is who she is, embraces it even. Guarded I suppose would be an accurate description of her stage presence. So there I am, my first concert shoot ever at the biggest music festival in the world, and just as it starts to hit me about the whole energy being reciprocal between an artist and their fans – – at the same time I see it start to hit her as well and she turned her back to the audience, threw her arms out at her sides & flung her head back and – SNAP! I captured my first “arms wide open” moment in the midst of my first concert shoot. That realization about the artist getting just as much out of the fan love as the fans receive with their music was it for me. I knew right then – that I’d just had MY “arms wide open” moment. I knew I was home. Ironically, despite hopefully always learning & growing in the art of photography, that shot of Taylor’s moment remains my favorite photograph to date. I highly doubt that’ll ever change, and that’s ok with me. “
Find out more about Cheri and see her awesome work by clicking below:)
Artist Photos are the property of Photographer Cheri Kern. You must have her permission to use them.