In our first installment of Visuals, Dorje de Burgh took us on a highlight tour of his career in music photography thus far. This week, Ellie Pritts gives us a peek at some of her favorite shots that have never been published before.
First, we asked her for a bit of background:
"I was born and raised in Chicago, IL and recently relocated to Austin, TX. I'm currently working as a Production Artist for Apple here. Aside from photography, music is a huge part of my life and I've been playing classically since I was about 8. I started on violin but switched to the cello and fell in love. I thought I was going to be a musician when I started college."
What got you into photography, and music photography specifically?
"I took my first photography class when I was 14 over the summer at a local college. My father went to school for photojournalism so I was always around it and once I started learning darkroom processes I became obsessed. I continued shooting film and developing prints on my own for about 5 years before deciding to drop out of college and start my own business, which necessitated a digital camera. I sort of fell into the whole music photography scene. At the time I was shooting anything and everything for experience. I had answered a Craigslist add for someone to photograph Ben Kweller's performance at The Vic. Shooting music was a natural pairing for me and I just stuck with it."
Anything you want to say about your cover shot? I had the hardest time shooting their show...crazy lights and Michael never stops moving! But when you get one, it's awesome.
"I know right?! This is one of my favorite photos I've taken and I was super surprised to have captured that moment correctly, haha. It's from Passion Pit's performance at the House of Blues in Chicago in 2012."
"This is from a shoot I did with artist Noname Gypsy for WBEZ Chicago General Admission. She's an up and coming rapper from Chicago who is featured on Chance The Rapper's acclaimed mixtape Acid Rap. When we first started the shoot she was very serious and did not smile, after the first few shots she admitted that she is normally much more smiley and I encouraged her to just be herself. The rest of the photos were great and she looked very happy. This is one of the very first photos I took, before she loosened up. I love the vibe of this photo and that's why I chose it; she has a lot of attitude."
"I photographed Pell for Noisey. This photo didn't make the cut, I think because it was pretty similar to the ones that got chosen. Pell was great to shoot, he's really expressive and goofy. I'm not sure what he was trying to do in this photo but he started cracking up, so the smile is genuine. I love mid-laugh photos."
"This is a pretty recent photo from a shoot I did for Reuben's record label during SXSW. This shoot almost didn't happen on account of rain, another band had just cancelled right before him. But Reuben was totally cool with shooting in the rain and we got some great somber, gritty shots that work well with his vibe as a musician. I could tell he was not 100% comfortable in front of the camera (and who is, really?) but I thought it was charming and I got a lot of good photos of him sort of breaking character between poses."
"This is a cool story! Sir WJ was my Lyft driver one day and we quickly bonded when I told him I was a music photographer. He played me some of his music during my ride and I was legitimately impressed. We exchanged business cards and he got in touch and scheduled a shoot soon afterwards. He already had all the locations in mind, wardrobes for each, etc. He was super prepared and needed almost no direction during the shoot. He had everything already in his mind, which was really cool to be a part of. He's definitely a visionary. This shot is from the roof of the church he attended as a kid and I loved it because of the big cross in the background."
"I shot James (The Range) for a fashion feature during Pitchfork for Noisey. This is a test shot before the actual shoot started, I was just testing my flash. I did not use this photo because I ended up really liking the ones from a distance with a different lens. I recently went back and found this shot again and edited it for fun."
"This is from a shoot I did for Interview Magazine. Vic was still up and coming at this point and I'm happy to see he's featured on Kanye West's newest single and doing really well! He was very energetic and easy to photograph. Towards the end of the shoot he was basically just playing around and this is one of those shots. I like this one because he's just being himself."
You can find more of Ellie's work at the links below, and she also gave us a quick scoop on new project:
"I'm really excited to be working on my first iOS app right now. It's called Hippo and it will be available for beta testing soon! It's an on-demand photo editing service for Instagram addicts (like me)."
Check out full size images in the gallery below, and tuned for our next installment in the series!