Behind the Lens with Trevor Traynor
Capturing moments in a young artist’s life can come to define not only the way they are understood in the context of their present work, but also how they are remembered for the rest of their lives. While they might be comfortable in front of a microphone, tons of musicians get nervous with a camera in their face. It takes a special person to be able to make their subjects comfortable and coax personality out of them.
Trevor Traynor is a native New Yorker who knows how to do just that. His passion for musical performance has driven him to shoot some of the most striking images of today’s biggest talents, including Erykah Badu, M.I.A., Kendrick Lamar and Mos Def. When he's not shooting musicians, he takes photos in the subway stations of cities like Tokyo, Paris, and Sydney, playgrounds in Moscow. He's captured photos of children in Mumbai, Muay Thai fighters in Bangkok, and temples in Cambodia. Trevor's camera is a vehicle for him to travel the globe and learn more about the world. We sat down with him to listen to stories about some of the incredible photos he's taken in the music world.
Click through the images above to go Behind the Lens with Trevor Traynor and check out his website for more.
"I took this shot backstage before his XXL Freshman Show at the Regency in San Francisco. Kendrick was cool, calm, and collected. I hadn’t seen him perform before and when he hit the stage, it was explosive. The crowd went bananas."
"These dudes rock! I photographed Electric Guest during a live rooftop recording. After the set, we snapped some portraits. A great thing about a band like this is they respect the shooter and they are willing to push the boundaries to make interesting photos. This image was shot for Billboard Magazine in LA."
"I took this shot in the busy streets of Austin, Texas during the SXSW music festival. Yelawolf was skating around before his next showcase and it was nice to see the love and energy exchanged from him and his fans."
"You probably recognize Dash for his acting skills in a long list of classics like Romeo & Juliet all the way up to Silver Linings Playbook. This shoot is part one from a bi-coastal series with Dash inspired by his musical side. The man can definitely hold his own as a lyricist! Get acquainted."
Yasiin Bey A.K.A. Mos Def
“This is Mos Def performing live at the Independent in San Francisco. The men behind the scenes are Big Abdul to the left and the homie, Preservation to the right. These guys put on an amazing, spontaneous, and exciting show every time. Boogie Man!”
“What can I say that you don't already know about Erykah Bad? Badu is electric and contagious. Here she is performing live with the Cannabinoids at the SmokeOut Music Festival in 2011. I still have my Cassingle (cassette single), "You Got Me" by the Roots featuring Erykah Badu."
"Taken at the Treasure Island Music Festival in San Francisco. A photo pit at a festival is a sea of lenses blasting off as we all sway from side to side following the artist in hopes of getting a gem before the first three songs are up and the pit is emptied. This is my gem."