A few weeks ago,photographer Eric Mooney had the chance to answer a few questions for half&half between juggling his busy schedule touring with Halsey and The Kooks. Check out what Eric has to say about the life of a music photographer on the road, where he draws inspiration, and more…and check out some of his photos at the end of the interview
What got you started with photography? and how did you get into concert photography?
My Dad has been a photographer my whole life. I’ve always had a camera in my face on holidays or vacations. When I turned 16 I started messing around with his camera and taking pictures of my friends. But almost exactly a year ago, I went on a trip to Portland, Oregon with two of my best friends. We were living in Los Angeles at the time and needed a little vacation. The whole trip was planned around The 1975 concert at the end of the weekend. This concert was the best show I’ve ever been too, even still to this day. I was front row and the only thing separating me from Matt Healy was a microphone.
After the show I met the band and their tour photographer. We all hung out for a couple hours. A seemingly menial experience… this moment changed my life. The show, the lights, the people, meeting the band, and then finally their tour photographer. I was shocked that this was an actual job. My whole life I’ve wanted to be a rock star but never had any musical ability. I thought, ‘This is my chance! I can finally live like a rock star!’. I went back to LA… dropped out college and began taking pictures of small bands and my friends. A year later I am where I am now and I couldn’t be happier with the shape my life is taking.
How do you describe your artistic style?
People tell me my photos are Gritty, Angsty and have a ‘Rockstar’ feel to them. Which I love that people interpret my work like that. However, I don’t really consider myself to have an ‘Artistic Style’. I’m not a big fan of labeling art. I take photographs of people and moments and try to tell a story with them.
What is your favorite thing about photography?
My goal as a photographer is to capture moments and emotions. I want to immortalize people. Make them last forever. Photography is the only medium in art that can encapsulate a moment forever. I like that. It makes me feel powerful.
What has been your favorite tour to go on?
My favourite tour was my first tour with Action Item. I had so much fun with those boys, running around the country and doing crazy shit. It is definitely something I’m going to remember forever.
What would be your absolute dream job?
To go on tour with The 1975.
What inspires you?
Music, People, Places, Things, Experiences. It really depends. I’m always trying to be aware of my surroundings and pull inspiration from ANYTHING.
How long have you been into photography?
About 4 -5 years. However, I’ve only been shooting professionally for a year.
Do you have any advice for people aspiring to be in your shoes?
Don’t give up. I’ve traveled the country with my camera and I’ve done a lot of cool things. But it by no means pays the bills… yet. I’ve been denied, turned down, lost jobs, and have had plenty of struggles in the past year. It hasn’t been easy. But if you love what you do, have a goal, and determination, you can do anything. Just never stop taking pictures and eventually someone is going to notice you.
What are some plans you have in the future?
Starting my own magazine is my biggest dream, which I plan to do very soon.