Interview With Rock/Concert Photographer Adam Elmakias

Jared Leto of 30 Seconds To Mars at Rock For People Festival in Hradec Kralove CZE July 2nd, 2013

Adam Elmakis is one of the best concert/band photographers I know. He was kind enough to “sit” with us for an interview. I had no idea how demanding his job was.

DIYP: Can you tell us about your background and how you got into photography?

AE: I was born in California, and my parents moved us to Madison, WI when I was young. My family was normal-ish (I like to think). I got into photography in high school.

I started shooting in 2005 when I was a high school sophomore in Madison, WI. School wasn’t really my thing, but I took a yearbook class that I really liked. We were given an assignment to shoot self portraits, and when the school counselor saw my photo he convinced me to give photography a try.  Eventually I signed up for dpchallenge.com and shot around for that site, and the same teacher was able to convince someone from the community to generously give me a camera.  I’m very competitive, so it dpchallenge was a fun way to get inspired! You can see some of my early work there.

Most of my time outside of school was spent going to local shows, so I started bringing my camera to concerts for fun. Eventually I became friends with local promoters and was able to trade photos for free admission, and from there I scored gigs with online publications that allowed me to start shooting bigger shows from the photo pit.  My [parents'] house became a crash pad for touring bands, and we would usually do quick press shoots the next day around town. I went to college for a semester, but ended up deciding it wasn’t my thing. Was making pretty decent money doing press shoots for bands. So yea, stopped school, and started touring. [Read more...]