The Streets Talk

Mike Skinner AKA The Streets by Katja Ruge/The Hell Gate- image is copyrighted, not for use without permission

Mike Skinner is set to release a memoir this March about the Streets’ rise to fame and abrupt end. Read all about it here on the Guardian site. Nice to see that he’s going to be very busy in 2012 with his new project D.O.T . Images of Mike Skinner by Katja Ruge are available for licensing here.

Where It’s At

Autumn De Wilde’s Beck book is out now on Chronicle books. There was a a good interview with her recently in the NY times Mag. While the article focuses mostly on the Beck project, what was more intriguing for us were the parts where De Wilde divulges how she interacts with who she’s photographing-

“The people who didn’t love being photographed — word got around that I made it easier on them.”

“If I need to have a good conversation with someone instead of taking a picture of them, I’m going to have that good conversation,” she says. “Because I know they’re going to repeat themselves and I’ll get that moment later, in some other way.”

This is what separates someone from being an okay portrait photographer to being a great one.


Baron Wolman: The Rolling Stone Years

Little Richard at KPIX-TV, San Francisco, 1967 © Baron Wolman, photo courtesy of aCurator Magazine

Kudos to aCurator magazine for showing just how remarkable the work of Baron Wolman really is. Baron was one of the first Rolling Stone photographers and his photos “showed musicians as they really were”. Baron’s book Baron Wolman: The Rolling Stone Years is out now, published by Omnibus Press. To read more about the book and Baron’s book tour go here.

Be sure to check out aCurator’s full screen magazine feature on Baron. Every picture does indeed tell a story.

33 Revolutions Per Minute Book Review

The Clash by Ian Dickson/The Hell Gate- image is copyrighted, not for use without permission

The NY Times published a good book review yesterday on “Protest Songs” entitled 33 Revolutions Per Minute by Dorian Lynsky. It’s the kind of subject matter that lends itself to critical thinking and debate- sometimes it’s good to slowly digest a book and put on a quasi-academic hat.  This isn’t pool-side reading,  it’s something to sink your teeth into and argue over with your super-geeky music friends. The review is very well done and left me wanting to read more- here it is in it’s entirety. Our  favorite songs mentioned in the review are Fight the Power by Public Enemy, Strange Fruit by Billie Holiday, White Riot by The Clash and Ohio by Crosby Stills Nash & Young. A slew of other incredible songs are also noted and discussed.

To view a gallery of various Hell Gate photos of artists mentioned in the book review go here.


Heart and Soul

Photo by Katja Ruge/ The Hell Gate, image is copyrighted, not for use without permission

Over the coming months The Hell Gate will be using the blog & our sister site, our licensing business, to introduce a series of original photo essays & features built around music photography.

To give you a feel for what The Hell Gate is determined to love & support in equal measure please see below a feature by Katje Ruge Fotoreportage23″ – from her book published in 2007 documenting specific places of significance to Ian Curtis/Joy Division, along with portraits of people that were close to him or influenced by him.  It is this kind of photo essay that makes us get out of bed in the morning.


We won’t shy away from talking about music photography, the state of the wider licensing business & the realities that go along with all of the rapid changes that have impacted how we do business.

There certainly have been changes to the way labels, management & the wider media appreciate content & are prepared to pay for it.  Maybe some of the work clogging up licensing sites in subscription deals is a pale imitation of music photography & should be classified more as “indeterminate shots from indeterminate events” – Maybe our print media is infinitely less interesting because of its use. Maybe a photographer deserves to get paid…

Maybe there was a golden age where photographer income & access was high. Speak to those “golden age” guys though & they’ll tell you they were sharing moments with friends – hungry, unpaid moments in the studio and on the road.

The Hell Gate doesn’t see the music scene as broken & we can absolutely guarantee that there’s still remarkable talent dedicated to this craft doing whatever is necessary to get the shot and tell the story.  Their talent will pay them & their work stands up to anything you want it too. We work with these remarkable people every day. Our clients have also been encouraging us to stay true to what we are delivering- you’d be pleased to know that many creatives in high level positions working for well- established companies are longing for something different- something that The Hell Gate is offering and will continue to do so.

We are  dedicated to supporting our photographers’ projects. No indeterminate live photo calls, no bland candids & publicity material.  Please support their work & please share some of these essays with your world.