MEET THE TEAM | John Cotter

I’m a multimedia journalist, writer, interviewer, photographer, and video editor. I’ve been lucky enough to interview people like Daniel Kaluuya, John David Washington, Bo Burnham, and many more music/film industry stars. I also run my own media page called Media Mayhem on TikTok and YouTube.

MSM: How did you get your start in music photography? 

JOHN: As a hungry journalist, I was able to cover Lollapalooza 2019 and was able to take pictures at the festival. I remember scrambling to see just what the hell “shutter speed” and “aperture” were, but mostly just capturing the multitude of moments that were swirling around me. Years later, I started mixing my love of writing/interviewing at live shows with photo/video and have been following my artistic passions ever since.

MSM: How long have you been doing photography in general? 

JOHN: While getting some experience in 2019, I really started taking it seriously August of 2021.

MSM: What’s in your gear bag? 

JOHN: Inside my gear bag is a Nikon Z6ii, a 35mm f/1.8 Z lens, a Nikon AF-S Nikkor 70-200mm f/2.8, my memory card holder, literal handfuls of batteries, star filters, an FX filter, and my lens/sensor cleaning kit.

MSM: What advice would you give to anyone wanting to go into music photography? 

JOHN: People want to take photos at concerts and of their favorite artists for many reasons. But ultimately, you’re there because you love music, and photography is a fantastic way to artistically express what goes on at a concert. My biggest piece of advice is to not stop there: write, post about it on social media, and make yourself a jack of all trades. If you’re able to write well about a concert, that just doubled your chances to be able to photograph a show. So, expand your horizons within the space that you love and you’ll find so many ways to be able to express yourself and the music that you love.

MSM: Who would be your dream artist to shoot? 

JOHN: My dream artist to shoot is Playboi Carti, full stop. I got to see him backstage at Lollapalooza 2021 and it was easily one of the best days of my life. He’s really innovating within the live rap performance in a way that I haven’t seen before.

MSM: What is your favorite live show that you’ve attended? 

JOHN: The best live show that I’ve ever attended was, well, Playboi Carti’s Lollapalooza 2021 set. I’d worked so hard to access to the festival that year for Carti alone, and I managed to get backstage access which really solidified within me that I just want to do more and more within the live music scene. Close second and third are Radiohead in Chicago in 2018 and The Weeknd in Chicago in 2022.

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