Leica Store LA hosted a panel discussion with three noted photographers from 10 am to Noon on Sunday, March 29, 2015 in their second-floor gallery in West Hollywood. The program was free and open to the public. The photographers who showed work (both large prints and projected), spoke about their work and answered questions were Julian Wasser, Rob Hoffman and Andrew Stuart. About 150 persons RSVP'd and the gallery seating was filled to capacity.
Julian Wasser showed large black & white prints of his work, much of which has been done on assignment for Time. He made iconic photographs of memorable people and events, including many in the 60s through 80s, such as the Whisky-a-Go-Go with its packed Sunset Blvd sidewalk and billboard advertising Johnny Rivers, scenes from the Watts riots and Manson-family murders. Portraits of Marilyn Monroe, Gloria Swanson, Charles Aznavour, Steve McQueen, Sophia Loren, Jack Nicholson, the Beatles, the Beach Boys, and the Rolling Stones and others were also shown.
Rob Hoffman showed work from his tour coverage of Jay Z and Beyonce, including some evocative portraits taken during rare moments of quiet, as well as intense on-stage scenes. He vividly described the non-stop nature of the work of a tour photographer, with constant travel, no real "home" for months on end, and every spare moment on planes, buses and in hotels spent editing vast numbers of digital files.
Andrew Stuart described his transformation from the music management business to the business of music photography, illustrated with examples of his work with Mick Fleetwood, the Foo Fighters and others. He comments that he still has a place in his heart for film photography and tries to shoot a roll of film per concert, so he can provide a set of prints to the client as well as the principal digital output.
There were many questions from the audience for all three photographers, ranging across such topics as the business of music photography, how photographers' ability to work freely in public has diminished over the years, whether and how they photograph differently for print vs. internet, and what gear they use. The responses were candid and to-the-point.
Coffee was provided, and the Leica Store held a short "Leica and general photography Q&A contest" with Leica t-shirts among the prizes.
Photos of the event can be found on the Leica Store LA website, and examples of all three photographers' work can be viewed on their respective websites: