Corey Woodruff: Meet the Best Music Photographers in St. Louis

Corey Woodruff: Meet the Best Music Photographers in St. Louis
Photo by Corey Woodruff.

Before the Thanksgiving break, we introduced you to our ten favorite concert photographers in St. Louis. We got well over fifty nominations, and our judges narrowed the field to these ten folks. Over the coming week-plus, we'll be introducing you to each of the finalists in turn by having them share with you five of their favorite concert photos and answering a few questions about their process and passion. Up first is Corey Woodruff, whose work can be viewed (and purchased) from his web site,

See also: -The Ten Best Music Photographers in St. Louis: Meet the Finalists -On Safari at Bass Center VII -Now Accepting Nominations for the Best Music Photographer in St. Louis

RFT Music: If you had to guess at the ballpark number, how many concerts would you say you've photographed?

Corey Woodruff: 150 to 200. I have only been shooting for four years though.

What makes a great concert photo?

To me, a great concert photo conveys a sense of what it was like to be in that room, at that moment, with that artist. That's my ultimate goal--to do more than merely document the event. It's hard as hell to do, but it's always in the back of my mind when I am shooting a show.

What's the best thing about live music?

It's live! Anything can happen, and a great deal of what happens depends on the energy exchanged between audience and artist. I've been a performing musician since I was 10, so I know how An exuberant crowd and a silent crowd can evoke radically different emotions from a performer, changing the entire atmosphere of the show. I love that give-and-take.

What's the strangest thing that has happened to you while photographing live music?

Oh man there are too many to count. I have been flashed by girls in the crowd, kicked in the head by crowd surfers, had beer dumped on me and my gear, seen people pass out, seen people get knocked out. One of my faves was when I shot the Monads at the 2009 RFT Music Showcase and they unleashed a truckload of toilet paper on the crowd. It was a fabulous mess.

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