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Thursday, April 17, 2014

Jason Stoff: Meet the 2014 Best Music Photographers in St. Louis

Posted By on Thu, Apr 17, 2014 at 4:16 AM

John Mayer - JASON STOFF
  • Jason Stoff
  • John Mayer

Earlier, you helped us select our ten favorite concert photographers in St. Louis. We got well over 100 nominations, after which our panel of judges narrowed the field to just ten. In the coming weeks, we'll be introducing you to each of the finalists and having them share some of their favorite concert photos while answering a few questions about their process and passion.

See also: The Ten Best Music Photographers in St. Louis: 2014 Nominees

How and when did you get involved with music photography?

I've been shooting concerts around St. Louis for six years. The first few years were the photographic equivalent of woodshedding -- shooting lots of photos, sharing a few, getting advice on how to get better. Learning the ins and outs of how light works, how certain gear works, how to frame a photo, etc., all takes a ton of time and practice.

In 2009, Michael Tomko asked me to photograph the Lot Music Festival, which used to be held outside of the Schlafly Tap Room and I met some RFT staff, who asked to see my work. Soon after, I was working as a freelancer for the RFT.

Local Natives - JASON STOFF
  • Jason Stoff
  • Local Natives

What are some highlights of your professional photography experience?

I was asked to photograph U2 at Busch Stadium in 2011 -- I had to skip out on the second day of Pitchfork Music Festival to make it in time. The sheer scale of that kind of show is staggering.

Truthfully, though, I get a kick out of the artists I've photographed, no matter how big or small, commenting on the work I've done. That's a great feeling.

Where can people find your work (exhibits, album covers, publications, etc.)?

I run Encor.es, a website that explores the intersection of music and visuals. That's the best place to keep tabs on my perspective on photography and writing, as well as interviews and quotes that explore the way music and visual mediums collide.

I'm also the photo editor for Eleven Magazine, so my work is often mixed into the Eleven pages alongside many other extremely talented photographers and writers. That job also entails a lot of behind-the-scenes scheduling and organization, which is less public-facing but no less important for a photographer to be versed in.

Of course, I also do photo work for the Riverfront Times almost every month, providing slideshow images for RFT Music.

Purity Ring - JASON STOFF
  • Jason Stoff
  • Purity Ring

What is your favorite part of doing music photography?

I love the challenge of trying to capture the magic of a live show in small moments of frozen light. When I know I've got a shot, that really nails that feeling. There's a natural high there.

Continue to page two.

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