Carolina Londono (Concert Photographer) Interview
Carolina is a friend I met a few years back at a show in Fort Lauderdale. She is going to college while working as a photographer and was willing to share some stories and her amazing photos (gallery above) with us.
NT: Where did you grow up in Florida? What influence do you think that had (has) on your work?
CL: “I grew up in Naples, Florida which is literally the most boring town for an artist and doesn’t have much of a music scene at all. I guess it has influenced my work in the sense of pushing me to be better and bigger than things that have come out of there. It was definitely a major motivation for me to move to a bigger city, which is why I’ve been in Miami for the past four years.”
NT: You’re majoring in Photography at Barry University right now, correct?
CL: “I am currently only working towards my Bachelor in Fine Arts in Photography, and I’ll be graduating this May. But I’ve been taking lots of graphic design classes as electives and have considered coming back for that in the near future.”
NT: You also do a lot of painting from what I understand, and I read that you paint shoes, is that true? How did you get into doing that?
CL: “My parents noticed at a very young age that I was always drawing and wanting to paint, so I’ve been in art classes for as long as I remember, even way before I picked up a camera. The shoe thing came up my freshman year of college – I had a friend who was going to a concert and wanted me to paint one of the bands’ album covers on his toms. I posted pictures online and immediately had different requests so I had a shop open for awhile. Unfortunately I had to temporarily shut down since I’ve been going to school full time so I’ve been drowning in work. I’ve had as many as 15 pairs of shoes to paint by myself at once which was basically a full time job, so I plan on hopefully opening that up again for the summer in time for Warped Tour.”
NT: When I first met you it was at a Bayside show a few years ago and I remember asking you how had that GIANT camera in the venue. You told me you work for A.P. magazine, are you still employed by them? (And who else are you employed by currently?)
CL: “Well I have been working for the Florida Alternative Press Representatives for about 4 years now, where I basically get to go to shows all over Florida for whatever AP needs. Usually it’s something simple like handing out flyers, or we’ll actually have tables set up selling magazine subscriptions depending on the tour. I’ve also recently become the creative director / photographer for a new online mag that one of my good friends started called Underground Sparks Magazine.
I’ve been all over the place with jobs since I moved to Miami because I do all sorts of things. I’ll do portraits and events as a freelancer under my own name, along with being an assistant wedding photographer for an older company, a shooter for a photo booth company, and a darkroom/photo lab monitor at my university. As long as it’s related to art, it’s most likely a job I’d love to do!”
NT: Getting paid to go to shows is pretty much a dream of mine, what have been your top 10 favorite shows?
CL: “Aw, man, this is such a tough question for me, because my love for shows is what branched into my love for shooting shows. I’ve always found that the shows I enjoy the most are the ones where I don’t work, and actually just show up with nothing in my pockets but my ticket and phone. My top 10 artists I try to see every time they come down to Florida would have to be Taking Back Sunday, The Wonder Years, Twenty One Pilots, Minus The Bear, Into it. Over it., All Time Low, Ok Go, Tigers Jaw, Koji, and Matt & Kim
There’s so many more, but these have been some of the most memorable artists for me.”
NT: What are the top 5 artists you want to see, but haven’t gotten to yet?
CL: “A tough one also, because I’ve been lucky enough to see almost every band I’ve wanted to within the past couple of years. It would probably be the bigger names, or bands that simply aren’t touring/active anymore. I’d say Arctic Monkeys, Vampire Weekend, Tokyo Police Club, The Kooks, and Death Cab For Cutie.”
NT: What’s the strangest interaction you’ve had with an artist?
CL: “I’m giggling just thinking about a few of my encounters! I’ll never forget my first Warped Tour actually working (first press pass I ever received) and I somehow managed to get an interview with We Are The In Crowd. I was so damn nervous that the whole thing was a blur to me, but once the interview was online everyone kept commenting “Jordan is totally hitting on the interviewer” and I was apparently oblivious to the whole thing. To this day I still haven’t watched it cause I can’t bear to hear my own nervous voice.
Oh, and there was that one time my photo pass got messed up and I had to knock on Silverstein‘s tour bus and I drew a blank when they asked me what I wanted.
Let’s just say this job comes with a lot of uncomfortable situations when you’re a naturally shy person.”
NT: Do you have any desire to make music yourself? Do you play any instruments?
CL: “I played the flute in middle school but I’m not sure if that’s even valid after so many years. But I haven’t really had that desire since I’m not the best writer, and I seem to throw all my creative energy into my photo stuff. I just prefer to capture a musician’s passion through my own passion. I guess I’m an artists’ artist.”
NT: What was first show you ever went to?
CL: “Believe it or not I didn’t go to my first show until I was 17 (strict parents and concerts just don’t happen in Naples.) It was All Time Low at Revolution Live in Ft. Lauderdale back in 2011. It was packed and sweaty as hell in there but it’s the reason I realized I wanted to start photographing concerts and quite literally changed my life.”
NT: What was the last show you went to?
CL: “This past week I actually drove up to Orlando to shoot Ok Go – and if you’ve ever seen their music videos I’ll tell you their live production is just as incredible.”
NT: What’s next for Carolina Londono?
CL: “Well I’m stoked to be graduating from Barry University with my BFA in photography in less than a month, with my senior exhibition focusing on concert photos made with alternative handmade salt/silver nitrate prints. As far as I’ve seen, no concert photographers have really taken ancient printing processes to display their work, so I’m hoping to run with that. For now I’m just excited to be done with school and finally have a little break before figuring out a career path. Grad school has been something I’ve contemplated for the near future, but we’ll see where life takes me!”
I want to give a BIG thank you to Carolina for taking time out of her extremely busy schedule to do this interview with me. Check out more of her work on Facebook, HERE! You’ll definitely be seeing more of her on Teal Cheese soon!