Get Creative: Derek Plank -Capturing the Energy of Live Music

derek plank's photos

Pic: Sam Yaffa & Karmen Guy of Mad Juana

Derek Plank graduated from Skidmore College in 1996 and moved directly to Steamboat Springs, Colorado where he began his career as a professional photographer on the mountain. After two years in the mountain town he was ready for more of a city so he chose to abandon his East Coast roots and move further west to San Diego. Instead of pursuing work in the business world, which his degree is in, he gravitated back towards the camera, started d photo photography and never looked back.

Glen E. Friedman’s book “Fuck You Heros” inspired him to capture the energy of live music, so he established relationships with San Diego bands, music venues and magazines and began shooting live shows all over San Diego. No Cover Magazine was the first local publication he shot for, then Revolt In Style, Where @, Modern Fix, Slamm, City Beat, Uptown Marquee, The Reader, San Diego Downtown Magazine, Music Matters Magazine and Krown Magazine. Some of his music photos of Sean Paul and The Kottonmouth Kings have appeared on the covers of Cannabis Culture and High Times. Those were interesting shoots to say the least.

derek plank's photos

Pic: Dave Grohl, Foo Fighters

Working with bands is his passion, especially shooting the live shows, but he also shoots models, events, food, buildings, products and a number of other things. His photographic eye and love of variety allow him to adapt to most situations. One of the more exciting events is the annual All About The Kids charity event at the Playboy Mansion that he’s donated his time to the past half dozen summers. While the models are fun, the most memorable moments always come back to the music.

One of which is when Ernie C from Ice-T’s hardcore band Body Count snuck him backstage after a Jane’s Addiction show so Derek could take some pics of Ernie with Perry and the guys. It was an honor to go back and shake Perry’s hand and thank him for the best live performance he’d ever seen. Over the course of the past twelve years, Derek has had the privilege of shooting almost all of the bands on his wish list. The Beastie Boys and AC/DC are two of the only bands he’s wanted to shoot but hasn’t been able to.

Some of his most resent music related work has been for Suburban Noize Records consisting of album photos for Kottonmouth Kings, Unwritten Law, X Pistols, and The Dirtball. He’s currently the Chief Photographer for Krown Magazine which can be seen online at Krown Magazine

What does the future hold? Derek has always wanted to document a band on tour. Telling a story through photographs has always been a passion. Some of his most memorable moments were when he had the honor of documenting the creative process of Director Fernando Apodaca filming music videos for Chris Cornell, Unwritten Law and Mad Juana. One of the photos featured here is of Sami Yaffa and Karmen Guy of Mad Juana. Sami is best known as the original bassist for Finnish rock band Hanoi Rocks. The other one is Dave Grohl of Foo Fighters with the Black Flag logo taped on his guitar. It’s difficult to choose only a couple of photos when so many thousands have been taken over the years.

More can be seen at DEREKPLANK.COM, but even that is not a complete collection. Derek still resides in San Diego and is available for hire.

derek plank's photos

Derek Plank

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