Music Photographer Interview: Sarah Rodriguez

Interview by Yising Kao, Photos by Sarah Rodriguez

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What inspired you to start doing photography?

My mom inspired my photography interest from the very beginning! She was always taking photos with her camera (that was eventually handed down to me), and I was always the kid who brought their little hand held camera to playdates just to take candids or do photoshoots and such. Fooling around with a little camera eventually led to me borrowing my mom’s camera and doing photoshoots with friends, and experimenting more with photography! As for concert photography, I think Brad Heaton was my main inspiration because his photos are so different from what I usually see, with his weird angles and odd perspectives. He made me want to try to shoot concerts!

What do you hope to convey through your work?

With my photos, I want people to be able to feel the indescribable feelings that you feel at concerts (but through a photo). Whether it be capturing a special moment of the artist/band onstage or portraying the emotions of the crowd at a show, I want to show how special live music is. There’s truly nothing like it!

Who are your photographer inspirations?

My main three photographer inspirations are Adam Elmakias, Brad Heaton, and Ashley Osborn. Adam is honestly just the king of photography and I’ve learned so much from him and his blog, his videos and tutorials, and his photography magazines. Brad’s photos are so different than anyone’s that I’ve seen, and he really makes use of all of the perspectives you can have at a show. There are so many angles that he covers that I didn’t even think were possible. Ashley is such a legend- her photos of concerts are obviously insane but I love how creative she is with posed photoshoots as well. She inspires me a lot in that aspect because mastering a directed photoshoot is definitely something I need to work on.

What’s your favorite concert you’ve shot and why?

The first thing that comes to my mind is Warped Tour because that was just the best experience. A few months before Warped, I had no clue if any publications would want me to shoot for them, and I didn’t really know how anything worked in the photographer world. But, I worked really hard to build up a portfolio and applied to some magazines, which led to me applying to shoot for warped tour, and I got approved! It was such a big surprise and I was so excited- I got to photograph so many of my favorite bands within one day so it was the best! Another show that comes to mind is New Politics on their Spring 2018 tour. I photographed their Philly show and I basically knew nothing about them before the show. They have an incredible energy that was so fun to shoot, and I was blown away! I hope I get to see them again soon. It’s insane how many bands I’ve become a fan of through through shooting their shows! :)

Benjamin Langford-Biss of As It Is