|Glen LaFerman creates the images for the sounds that mold our reality. The premiere music portrait photographer, LaFerman has defined the art form, peering beyond musical boundaries, and revealing the essence of the artist. With watchful eye, and imaginative vision, he has captured timeless precious moments of truth; Moments of lowered guard; Moments of vulnerability and humanity.
As an image maker for cultural icons, celebrated ad campaigns, and enduring cover art, Glen LaFerman has translated the raw intensity of the music makers into thought provoking themes, in a vast body of dynamic photographic moments.
Raised in southern California, with the rich colorful backdrop of the 60's, LaFerman recognized his insatiable passion for music, and pursued the path into this new and exciting aesthetic. A Beatles concert at Dodger Stadium was a life altering event, as the indelible images of the Fab Four inspired Glen to his calling. With his first camera (a 35mm Nikkormat), LaFerman explored the vibrant LA Music scene, frequenting the historic clubs of the Sunset Strip. Largely self-taught, LaFerman took a brief internship with, photo-biographer, Norman Seef, and was soon prepared to strike out on his own. For his first assignment, Glen shot Tom Waits live at the Roxy in '68. The photos were a hit with the record label, and a check for $500 made it official: Glen LaFerman, Rock Photographer.
thought, what a great way to make
a living. You get to hang with
great bands and talented people
everyday, listen to music, have
a blast and get paid for it in
the end ! " Glen
A series of assignments with the Venice Free Press provided LaFerman with the experience to develop his craft. Capturing images of the vibrant Venice Boardwalk, and its colorful community of artists, painters, and performers, LaFerman began to develop his unique style and vision. But it was the music that fueled Glen's passion, and focused his lens on the Sunset Strip. LaFerman began to concentrate, specifically, on the enigmatic guitarists of the time, exploring the mystique of the instrument, is quintessence as a symbol of rock & roll, and the fascinating complexity of its many master players.
- "During the 60's and 70's, I started to focus on the guitar. The guitar, and those who create art through it are a fascinating study. It's a pure symbol of everything we love about music." Glen LaFerman
The powerful synergy of sound and vision to escalate art into a higher realm is a trademark of the LaFerman method. Avoiding the trappings of photographic trickery, gimmicky styles and distorted lenses, Glen LaFerman has developed his personal aesthetic with esteem for the artists and reverence for the music. The resulting portraits have become a legacy of narrative themes and vibrant studies of the icons of the musical world.From the emotion-filled images of Kiss, Bon Jovi, Brian Wilson, and Guns N' Roses, to the sublime study of virtuoso players, Satriani, Vai, Malmsteen and Holdsworth, LaFerman's vision captures a glimpse beyond the persona, and into the person.
came to discover the unique style of
Glen LaFerman with his legendary Kramer ads featuring Edward Van
Halen. Far from the one-dimensional guitar advertisements of the
time, LaFerman's narrative image captures the essence of music's
power to inspire. A pair of young aspiring rockers perform for their
enthralled, adoring audience, within the dream-filled postered walls
of a boy's room, while Van Halen spies the scene from an open window.
A classic depiction of the rock dream realized, LaFerman's Kramer
ads sparked a new era of imaginative visuals. If, as they say, 'a
picture's worth a thousand words', then LaFerman's insightful essays
A 1981 session put LaFerman on the other side of the lens from the icon Rasta prophet, Bob Marley, again with miraculous results. Just months before the visionary artists' tragic death, the session captured Marley's complexity and emotional depth in moments of joy, anger, despair and reflection. Intensifying the emotional images though, is LaFerman's keen focus on both Marley's expressive face, and the perpetually dangling ash from the tip of his joint.
The defining elements of LaFerman's work are the refreshing intimacy with larger than life personalities, and a clever sense of irony. His celebrated ads of John McEnroe, wielding a guitar, beside a uncharacteristically sporty Edward Van Halen, with tennis racket in hand, is a lasting image of LaFerman's insight and examination of pop culture. As the rock of the 80's became an increasingly male dominated realm, LaFerman's devilishly steamy portrait of Lita Ford was an inspired juxtaposition. With guitar in hand, and back to the camera, Lita's empowering sexuality is the focus of LaFerman's shot, as her exposed fishnetted bottom seems to invite the status quo to 'kiss my ass.'
Throughout the 80's, LaFerman's signature vision and photographic style was a unifying presence in metal and guitar rock. LaFerman has created rich portraits for the likes of Poison, Winger, Ratt, Quiet Riot, and Whitesnake, as his images have been the cornerstone of major ad campaigns and album covers. For Alice Cooper's high profile comeback album, Glen LaFerman was brought in to create a series of press shots of the legendary theatrical artist. Glen's passion for the music was, again, a magical ingredient in capturing the volatile Cooper character with a visual sense of reverence. Upon inspecting of the photos, Cooper was so overwhelmed by the session, the album cover art would be changed to incorporate LaFerman's stunning portrait.
- "That's how Glen LaFerman works. He dives into his art head first, deep end, no water, no helmet. He loves music like a fat kid loves chocolate cake." Lonn Friend
At the heart of Glen LaFerman's inspired portraits is his consistent focus on the artist as the central subject. With his signature backdrops, settings, and unscripted candid approach, LaFerman elevates his subjects above the chaotic and cluttered camouflage of traditional rock surroundings, and concentrates attention on the individual. In a classic session with Slash, Glen captured the Guns N Roses guitarist in an uncharacteristically stark moment, with vodka glass raised in a vulnerable salute, straddling an elusive balance between bravado and sobering clarity. Such is the striking depth of Glen's portraits, which have been commissioned to adorn the hallowed interior walls of Hollywood's Rainbow Bar & Grill. The prominent display of LaFerman's classic portraits at the legendary Sunset Strip rock pantheon is a testament to his timeless art and inspired contribution.
- "Glen LaFerman proves his commitment and authenticity by capturing the soul, not just the image. He makes art out of still film. He is without argument the finest portrait photographer in hard rock music."