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EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY LIKE A ROLLING STONE - JIMMY STEINFELDT - ROCK AND ROLL LENS
EVERY PICTURE TELLS A STORY
LIKE A ROLLING STONE - JIMMY STEINFELDT - ROCK AND ROLL PHOTOGRAPHER
By Cowboy Surfer
Jim Steinfeldt grew up in the Minneapolis/St. Paul area during the vibrant music scene of the 1980's during which time legendary artists such as Husker Du, Prince, Jimmy Jam and Terry Lewis, The Replacements, Morris Day and later Soul Asylum
came to be and inspired the young photographer to "capture" these pivotal moments in musical history through the lens of his camera. Utilizing a new film technology developed by Kodak (Kodak 1000) that allowed for better low light concert photography, Steinfeldt set out to capture the "moments" in time he was witnessing for all posterity. Little did he know at the time and armed only with his $100 Minolta, this led to an illustrious career as a professional photographer meeting and shooting such legendary stars as Michael Jackson, Madonna, Bob Dylan, The Rolling Stones, Eric Clapton, Jerry Garcia, Johnny Cash, Frank Sinatra, Stevie Nicks, Rod Stewart, Slash plus many others which are eloquently displayed in his luscious new book featuring his best shots over his 30 year career as a Rolling Stone photographer and freelance photo artist.
The book titled "Jimmy Steinfeldt - Rock N Roll Lens - 30 Years of Music Photography and Stories" is a beautifully crafted hard cover photographical journey into the magical world of concert photography as witnessed by the author over the last 30 years. There is a stunning photograph of the late great Michael Jackson on the cover. Each priceless photo is artistically framed in a unique color to accent the photo creating an art gallery effect. Jimmy Steinfeldt is not just a photographer, but also a compelling story teller as the images contained within his book come to life with each passage. Each photo is accompanied by a story and a few of the artists wrote personal anecdotes to the photographer which adds a special personal touch to the book of photos. His ability to visualize a shot and capture the moment is uncanny. Each shot has a life of its own and gives one the sense of "being there".
The book showcases the talent and creative energy of a man who takes the art of photography to the next level. The meticulous attention to detail is readily apparent the moment you open the book as you notice that each photograph is gorgeously framed in a variety of colors, each picked out to accent the photo being displayed making each photo a work of art unto itself. As you turn the pages, you are transported into the essence of each photo experience with some insightful anecdotes and quotes from some of the musical stars being portrayed. This adds a personal element to the book adding connection and perspective to these visual gems. For every sale of his book, Jimmy is donating One Dollar to the Make A Wish Foundation. The book is for sale online. For more information you can visit his website located at:
I had the pleasure of sitting down with Jim Steinfeldt recently at his amazing studio retreat up in the hills above Laurel Canyon overlooking Hollywood. We spent some time playing disc golf, throwing down some guitar jams and marveling at his museum quality collection of old movie posters printed on colored rocks. Jim spun some 78's on his 1930's jukebox as we sat down to talk.
Cowboy: How did you get your start as a photographer?
Jim: I used to take my camera to live shows to try to capture the amazing moments I was experiencing during the vibrant music scene that exploded onto the Minneapolis area in the post disco era of the early 1980's. I got excited one day when I found out that Kodak had developed a new higher speed film that allowed me to capture great shots in a dark environment without much lighting. At the time a new music magazine burst out onto the scene called SPIN Magazine published by Penthouse mogul Bob Guccione and his son Bob Jr. They were looking for prints of George Thorogood for an upcoming spread and as luck would have it, I had just filmed George at a recent show and had taken some great shots which were then published in Spin. With that publishing, I was able to parlay that into an audition with Rolling Stone magazine who ended up using some classic shots I had taken of Madonna. With that, I was on my way as a professional photographer and gained access to to some of the biggest stars in the music industry.
Cowboy: What was your primary motivation for becoming a photographer?
Jim: My primary motivation was my love of music and live performance. I wanted something tangible to remember the concerts I saw.
Cowboy: How did you get your start in the business?
Jim: I got my start in the business by getting published in SPIN magazine and soon after Rolling Stone. Then I got hired to do photos for artists such as the Go-Gos and Johnny Cash.
Cowboy: How did your relationship with Rolling Stone come about?
Jim: I had some photos published in SPIN Magazine. I personally contacted RS and they asked me to send them some photos which I did. They ended up loving them and that established our relationship.
Cowboy: Who was your most favorite/least favorite people/bands to shoot?
Jim: Stevie Ray Vaughan was among the kindest artists I've worked with-generous with his time. Some of the funny experiences I had with artists are mentioned in the book.
Cowboy: Can you impart some anecdotes about your experiences in the music business?
Jim: One of the highlights for me was when Johnny Cash took a ride with me in my brand new Mazda RX-7. I'll never forget that.
Cowboy: What other types of photography have you done besides live performance shots?
Jim: I also shoot Fashion, and Stills for films, and Ads for Corporations.
Cowboy: What is your favorite type of shot?
Jim: My favorite shot is one that communicates what the subject is thinking at that moment.
Cowboy: What is your favorite film to use?
Jim: My favorite film for concerts is 1000 speed Kodak negative film.
What is your favorite film and digital camera?
Jim: My favorite film camera is the Nikon F4 and my favorite digital camera is the Canon 5D.
Cowboy: What haven't you accomplished that you would like to in the world of photography? What is on the horizon for Jimmy Steinfeldt?
Jim: Goals I have include photographing Fats Domino one of my heros and doing the next cover for Rolling Stone and SPIN magazines.
Cowboy: What was your favorite thing about putting this book together?
Jim: My favorite thing about putting together Rock 'N' Roll Lens is that people will get to see and enjoy a 'moment in time' of great concerts.
Cowboy: Thank you so much Jim for giving me your time and sharing your personal thoughts and experiences from your amazing career. How can people find out more about you and purchase your stunning book?
Jim: Your welcome! It has been a pleasure. People can visit my website at www.JimSteinfeldt.com for more information about me, my career and how you can purvey a copy for yourself or as a gift to someone who appreciates good Rock n Roll photography. Also one dollar from every purchase will go to a very worthwhile cause, the Make a Wish Foundation which I support.
My final thoughts on JIm Steinfeldts book of Rock n Roll photography would be to grab a copy for yourself and marvel at the incredible shots he has taken over his long career. The book is a unique and artistic portrayal of one mans vision and journey through the magical world of music. His talent and eye for capturing moments is unparalleled. If you are lucky and able to, you should have your photo taken by one of the best in the business!