Bill Ellison: Meet the Best Music Photographers in North Texas

Categories: Photography

Bill Ellison Bill Ellison Flickr/

Earlier, we introduced you to our 12 favorite music photographers in North Texas. We got more than 50 nominations, and our team of expert judges narrowed it down to these 12. Over the next two weeks, we'll be introducing you to each of the finalists in turn by having them share five of their favorite concert photos and answering a few questions about their process and passion. Next up is Bill Ellison, whose work can be viewed from his website,

See also:
-Finalist Profile: Mike Brooks
-Finalist Profile: Mike Mezeul II

Bill, what's the best thing about live music?

I think it depends on what you want out of a show. Maybe you want to hear your favorite song by that particular band. Maybe you like to hear them do an unexpected cover, or hear them jam a long version of a good song. Maybe you've had a bad week, and you want somebody to rock your blues away. It's just fun to be in the room when magic sometimes happens, and the band and crowd find a special place together.

Bill Ellison Bill Ellison Flickr/

What makes a great concert photo?

Well, to me a great concert pic can be any # of things. It could be a good close-up of somebody, so you can see the emotion on their face, allowing people that had to sit in the back of the room to see what they couldn't during the show. Or, if there's a great light show, a photo can capture all of the effects of that. Or maybe the band is whipping the crowd in to a frenzy, so a a good shot of the fan's reaction is important.

What's the strangest thing that has happened to you while photographing live music?

A few years ago, Dale Watson made me come onstage during his set to take a photo of all the drinks that the bass player HADN'T consumed. The fans kept buying the band shots, and he (bass player) didn't want to get drunk, so he just set them on the floor behind his amp, full of liquor. He must've had 15 shots back there! Dale and the rest of the band DID drink theirs.

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