Zek, Casper and Chloe are 3 music photographers who are trying to change the world, one photo at a time.
Written by Karan Teli
With Hip-Hop musicians being some of the most culturally impactful people in the world right now, nearly every step they take is documented. A brand can become popular just because it has been seen on A$AP Rocky or Travis Scott and posted on their Instagram pages. In the social media era, pictures are more important now than ever. The people behind the lens are under a ton of pressure to capture the perfect shot. London has had legendary music photographers throughout time and the new generation of photographers are looking to carry the torch and become even bigger and better.
Zekaria Al-Bostani (@zek.snaps)
Whether it’s artwork for Not3s or a magazine cover, Zek’s work is plastered all over the U.K. “I just wanted to see what the photography world had to offer.” Coming from East London, growing up listening to Grime and Hip-Hop, Zek wanted to “capture events, meet new upcoming artists and keep growing to the point where I can work with the superstars I listen too.” Zek started off his music photography career with Grime, attending open mics and boiler room sets, which seem a lifetime ago now that he has shot at festivals and on tour with so many artists. His work can be best described as versatile. It can range from intimate one on one moments with artists such as Skepta, J Hus, Nav and Fredo to capturing legendary moments. “My favourite moment is Smoke Dawg’s headline show in 2017, when Drake came out as a special guest. Just seeing Drake’s energy and presence, the whole place erupted. Skepta, K Koke, Giggs, Chip, Section Boyz all came out that night too. It was history in the making.” (This interview was conducted before the passing of Smoke Dawg. Zek personally reached out and asked that his condolences to Smoke Dawg be included in the article, as he believes this particular moment was a huge step for his career and is ever thankful. RIP Smoke Dawg). Zek has his eyes set on even bigger things. Coachella and Made in America are two festivals on Zek’s wish list. When discussing why these two in particular, Zek told me, “The line ups, the adrenaline of the crowd and the variety of different artists. Beyoncé at Coachella amazed me. To think one day to capture a moment like that and define greatness in music culture.” Being around the stars hasn’t changed Zek, as the Hip-Hop fan in him dreams of one day shooting for three artists that he grew up listening too; Eminem, 50 Cent and Jay-Z.
Chloe Newman (@clonewman)
Initially inspired by the “bling era” and 90’s music videos by the likes of Hype Williams and David LaChapelle, Chloe Newman’s style of photography is best described as bright and flamboyant. Colours, bright lights and powerful backgrounds are always included in Chloe’s concert photos, but they don’t distract you from the fact that the artist is the clear centre of attention. She uses the artist’s energy and the overall vibe of the show to capture the perfect shot. An example of this is in action is when she shot Travis Scott at O2 Academy Brixton in 2017, stating “there was so much smoke, I couldn’t see anyone. All of a sudden, he burst out in front of me and kicked over a mic stand. I felt like I was the only person there in that moment.” One of her all-time favourite moments is shooting Jorja Smith at the Institute of Contemporary Arts. “I think it was her second ever gig. I love looking back at those images and seeing her confidence grow visually in the shows I’ve shot her since.” Much like the best creatives, Chloe refuses to box herself in one lane. When describing her dream shoots, which include female icons Rihanna and Lauryn Hill, she told me “I like the production and set design Nike put into their events, so I’d love to shoot for them.” Speak it into existence.
Casper Masi (@caspermasi)
When you love music, but don’t have the confidence to make and create your own music, what would you do? For Casper, the answer was easy; “I decided to document music for fun.” Casper’s personal and vintage style of photography, mostly captured on a pocket-sized film camera, has led him to being around some of the most important and influential people with music and fashion, such as Virgil Abloh, A$AP Rocky, Jorja Smith and Skepta. But when asked about his favourite moment so far, without hesitation, he replied “dancing and shooting with Travis Scott in Paris. He’s one of my favourite artists.” Casper’s music photography career has taken him on tour with Rejjie Snow and Ebenezer, but that’s just the beginning for him. “I want to shoot a Frank Ocean and Stevie Wonder concert. Those are the dream shoots. Oh and XXXTentaction.” Casper answered this question before the unfortunate passing of XXXTentaction, but Casper kept his word. At Rolling Loud 2018, Casper shot two legendary photos of the late rapper. RIP X.