Brutal Planet Writers Speak: BEST SHOTS OF 2022!

I love going to concerts. I love the music and the energy. As a photographer, I also love the challenge of shooting moving subjects in ever-changing light. Some shows can be extremely difficult to shoot for a myriad of reasons. I thought it would be interesting to go back through my photos and pick my ten favorites from 2022. Some of these might not be the most technical shots, but they have a story behind them that I’d love to share with you.

#10 Bruce Fitzhugh and Arthur Green of LIVING SACRIFICE

Living Sacrifice doesn’t tour much anymore. When I saw they were playing a few shows in Texas I reached out to the band about doing photos for them and flew down to Austin. This was the first time I saw them live in nearly 20 years and watching them brought back so many memories. Bruce doesn’t look or sound like he’s aged at all. Although this might not be an impressive shot, seeing them play again actually choked me up a bit. I was honored to take pics of one of my all-time favorite bands.

#9 Max Cavalera of SOULFLY

Last March, Soulfly played at the Cabooze in Minneapolis. I have always found this venue extremely hard to shoot in. The lighting is always extremely low, and there is not much room for photographers– making it susceptible to being hit by the wild crowd directly behind us. I managed to crouch down low and get this picture of the riff-master as he screamed without a microphone. Soulfly usually has interesting stage props and framing the gas mask in this shot was an extra bonus.

#8 Cory Marks

If you’ve ever seen Cory Marks, you know that he is an energetic frontman. He is constantly pacing the stage and interacting with the crowd. To my surprise, he noticed me and started walking right toward me. He bent down and sang right into my lens. It was a special moment.

#8 Zoltan Bathory and Chris Kael of FIVE FINGER DEATH PUNCH

I really enjoy watching Five Finger Death Punch perform live. This heavy-hitting quintet rocks the lights, smoke, and pyrotechnics. They are also some of the most fun musicians to interact with while taking photos. You can see evidence of this in this particular photo.

#6 John Connolly of SEVENDUST

This is one of those action shots photographers love to capture. As Lajon screamed out the lyrics to “Trust” I watched John jump up in the air and land in perfect timing. The only problem was that John was on stage left and I was taking photos on stage right. I missed it. I rushed over to the other side of the stage and prayed John would jump again. He did and even though I had to turn my camera for a vertical shot, I was so happy I grabbed the second jump.

#5 P.O.D.

Before P.O.D. started their set at the Haute Spot in Cedar Park, Texas, I was visiting with a guy I was standing next to at the side of the stage. Turns out we both lived in neighboring cities in Wisconsin. Not only that, but he was the manager of the venue. He invited me to join him on the balcony at the back of the venue to get some different shots of the band. It turned out to be a great opportunity when Sonny held his fist up in the air and the crowd responded by doing the same. Between the engagement of the fans, the bright lighting, and the unique photography opportunity from the back of the venue, I think this made for a cool shot. 

 #4 Dave Stephens of WE CAME AS ROMANS

I saw We Came As Romans earlier this year at the Varsity Theater in Minneapolis. The band typically has a ton of colored lights that are constantly moving. This photo happened by accident. I managed to push the shutter in the fraction of a second that the colored lights weren’t present and a single white beam was shining down on Dave. A perfect silhouette in a split-second moment. 


Sometimes Ivan is angrily pacing like a tiger in a cage, and other times he stops to passionately belt out lyrics. When I last saw FFDP in Minneapolis, I managed to get this incredible photo of Ivan in one of those passionate moments. I love how the lights and smoke form a natural frame around his profile. It almost looks like a storm.

#2 Waylon Reavis of A KILLER’S CONFESSION

I had only recently heard of this band and when I saw they were playing at a venue a few miles from my house, I thought I would go check them out. Waylon Reavis, donned in face paint, shifted in and out of the lights and smoke as he sang and screamed. I was very pleased with this shot and I love how the purple lights illuminate the smoke, and how it builds a natural frame around Waylon. 


This has to be my favorite shot of the year. I was standing just to the left of center stage when the band started playing their 2014 hit “1000hp” and the pyro was flying. Sully Erna is an excellent frontman and I love how this picture captures his aggression as a vocalist.