Music Photographer Interview: Aly Mae

Interview by Yising Kao, Photos by Aly Mae

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Against The Current


What inspired you to start doing photography?

I got inspired when I came across Ashley Osborn’s Instagram account one day and it was so awesome to see such a hard-working woman in a male-dominated industry. This is one of the reasons why I decided to pick up my camera and start shooting at concerts. I have also always loved music and going to concerts and I thought why not find a way to capture those moments through photo rather than a grainy phone picture.

Do you have any advice for aspiring music photographers?

Start off by shooting at local shows in your area, this will give you the opportunity to shoot without needing a photo pass and it is a great way to create connections with other photographers and artists/bands. Find a publication to shoot for right off the bat, this will help get you some wonderful opportunities to shoot some of your favorite artists/bands. Don’t be afraid to “shoot your shot,” meaning if there is a popular artist/band you want to shoot but don’t think you’ll get approved, it never hurts to try because you’ll never know what the outcome could be. Don’t be discouraged if you get lots of no’s because there will be other opportunities that will come your way. Network with other photographers in person and on social media because you’ll never know what kind of opportunities may come and also, you’ll make friends who will be supportive of your art. There is no need to spend a ton of money on expensive camera equipment at the beginning because it isn’t about the gear who makes the photo, it is about the photographer behind the camera and the story they are able to capture through the photos.

What are some of your goals?

My short term goals would be to shoot photos of The Maine as they are my favorite band, learn videography because I think it could open some doors to greater opportunities, learn photoshop because I think it would be good to have some basic knowledge of that application for certain clients and also learn more about selling merch. My long-term goals would be to go on my first tour because I think it would be a really cool learning experience, I would get the chance to meet new people all around the world and also it would give me the opportunity to create art consistently. I would also like to work on finding my editing style as I am still learning everyday about editing in Lightroom.

Who are your photographer inspirations?

My inspirations are Ashley Osborn, Guadalupe Bustos, Jake Chams, Carmin Edwards, Beth Saravo, Matty Vogel, Christian Sarkine, Jawn Rocha, Maggie Friedman, Lily McLaughlin, Karyssa Leigh and Brandynn LP. I admire all these photographers because they all have their own unique style and have all worked really hard to get to where they are today.

What other types of photography do you practice or want to get into?

I also shoot portraits occasionally when I am not shooting concerts and I have shot band promos for a local band and I am hoping to shoot more band promos this year...I would like to work on taking more portraits because I feel as I don’t do enough of that kind of work and now would be the perfect time to do so with all the nice weather. I would like to get into travel photography because the world is such a beautiful place and I want to be able to capture the beauty of a specific place, whether it be somewhere I visit or right in my own backyard.