A little less than two years ago I was shooting street portraits outside a club in Richmond, VA. Most of the people were going to or leaving the hardcore show that was going on inside, but all sorts of people stopped to have their photo taken.
One man seemed a bit different than everyone else. He looked like a hardcore fan, but was very composed and serious. I was a bit intimidated, but he was kind. He asked me what I wanted him to do. “I want you to show who you really are,” I said, “Help me make a photo that only people close to you would appreciate” He proceeded to do just that. After we finished he told me how much he appreciated me being direct with him, and after looking at one of the photos on the back of my camera, he confirmed that his expression was a refection of who he was, a true portrait.
The photo above is the result of that short session, and the subject turned out to be local celebrity Randy Blythe, lead singer of Lamb of God. I was shocked when I saw an article in the New York Times recently about how he was locked up in a Czech jail on manslaughter chargers. You can see that article here.
As it turns out, the incident in question happend only a few months before this photo was taken. Keeping that in mind, this image seems even more compelling.
Luckily, Randy is now back in Richmond. After reading this statement, it seems clear that he never had any intention of causing a fan harm. I truly wish him the best.