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Behind the image

David Bowie, by Janet Macoska

By 17 February 2021No Comments

“I have been photographing rock & roll professionally since 1974. I discovered my love for rock & roll when The Beatles came to America in 1964, when I was ten years old. At the same time, I discovered my Dad’s camera in the front closet and started photographing my dogs, the kids in the neighborhood… My Mom subscribed to LIFE magazine and I wanted to be a photojournalist who could tell stories about people, famous and not-so-famous, through their photography. Cameras can get you anywhere! My first published photo was a shot of Sonny and Cher at a local radio station. I was 12 years old. Teen Screen magazine paid me $2.00 for the shot.

The discjockeys at the Top 40 radio station in Cleveland, Ohio realised that I was a very serious 12-year-old, who could contain my inner fan in order to be professional and get the job done – no drooling and hysterics. That’s worked for me my entire career. When I’m in front of a rock hero, like David Bowie, I’m as calm as can be. Sometimes I don’t even hear the music. It’s an inner radar that creates a perfect connection and tells me when to click the camera. Classic film photography, remember, is about waiting for the shot… the music, the lights, the moves, the expression. Anticipation. You can’t check your shot. It’s either on the film or not.”

“My next chance was a 1976 concert. I was able to purchase a front row centre ticket and photograph him. You’d think it to be a perfect opportunity but having him standing right in front of me was very overwhelming and I was oddly timid, waiting for him to be engrossed in a song before I snapped away.”

This photograph is available to purchase from the Iconic Images Store, for full details click here.

View more from the Janet Macoska’s archive here

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