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Through The Lens:

Photo by YUNG D Ʌ N K

Y U N G D V N K  LinkTree | IG

How old were you when you first picked up a camera? 

The first time I picked up a camera that was mine was when I first started photography in 2019. I was taking pictures of local bands and rappers in Memphis and it kind of took off from there.

What drew you into the world of live music photography?

I was drawn in because I have a background in promotion and graphic design. I used to make flyers for events in Memphis. I originally wanted to blog about different bands and artists so I would take pictures of them hoping to create promotional flyers, etc. The photography was better than expected at live shows so I stuck with it and I now use my pictures to document what’s going on.

Is there one show you shot that’s defined your style to date?

I can’t think of one specific show that I’ve shot to define my style. My photography has its own swag. One thing people tell me about my style is that my photos stand out.

Do you have a favorite band that you like to shoot, and why?

I am glad I’ve gotten the chance to shoot Mortiferum, Gatecreeper, and some of my favorite death metal bands. It’s one thing to shoot them, but to meet them at shows at get to know them as people is a good experience.

How do you capture the emotion and energy of the band and the audience?

You have to be into the artist. This is easy for me because when I shoot and enjoy the band’s music Ima snap photos and turn up in the pit at the same damn time. Some people go to shoot just for clout and don’t really listen to the type of music being presented at shows, but when you generally like it and the vibe is there, you can capture the energy and emotion because everyone is as hype and into it as you are.

How important is the venue for your photos? What’s your favorite venue to shoot bands at?

I don’t really care about what venue I’m in just as long as I’m allowed to do my thing. Growlers in Memphis is my favorite venue to shoot at. I kind of made my name in that venue with some photos I’ve taken there.

Before Isolation, do you think that you took going to shows for granted?

I didn’t take it for granted, because you always have to have a backup plan. Nothing is going to last forever if you do not have control over it. I knew that, and the time without shows allowed me to sit back and get a plan together. So, no; I don’t take it for granted at all.

Did you find another creative outlet during isolation?

Yeah, I started my own podcast the Yung Dvnk Podcast, and I also was still doing photography, just for local rappers or promo shoots for bands, since there were no venues.

Could you share three photos that mean the world to you and the story behind them?

    Gatecreeper, 2021

I’m a huge Gatecreeper fan, so I was hype when they came to Memphis and played. This shot of Gatecreeper means something because they showed me a lot of love that day. Chase Mason, their vocalist, gave me a photo pass to come shoot them and I got to meet and hang out with Gatecreeper and do my thing with the photos.

     Ingested, 2022

The story behind this photo was that Ingested was in town and I wanted to go hard on the photos. I listen to a lot of their songs and I wanted to do some sinister shots for them. I think I did my part.

Jarhead Fertilizer, 2022

I like this shot. I was hype to see them live for the first time. They showed major love and support for my photography, too.  We kicked it during and after the show and I’m tight with those guys, so shout out to Jarhead Fertilizer. 

Written By

Sentient 51423

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