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Music photographer Piper Ferguson interviews on Coachella exhibit

A featured artist in the Art and Sound: A Visual Journey into the Mind of Music exhibit showing at Gallery 446 concurrently with the Coachella Music Festival, Piper Ferguson is an acclaimed photographer and film director.

Laura Mvula (performing at Coachella this year) – Piper Ferguson's music photography in 'Art and Sound' exhibit
Laura Mvula (performing at Coachella this year) – Piper Ferguson's music photography in 'Art and Sound' exhibit
Courtesy of Jen DiSisto
Beck by Piper Ferguson
Courtesy of Jen DiSisto

She captures compelling, dynamic images of musicians such as Beck, Muse, PJ Harvey, The Strokes, Joe Strummer, Tom Petty, Marilyn Manson, Carlos Santana, Evan Dando, and Jakob Dylan, just to name a few. With clients including Vanity Fair, Filter Magazine, Mojo Magazine, Rolling Stone, NME, Universal Music, Anti Records, and more, she brings a rock and roll aesthetic to produce her bold images.

In this interview, Ferguson describes how photographs create emotion and what she enjoys most about Coachella:

L.C. How would you describe the ways in which your photography expresses the musicians' sound?

P.F. The style of the photos I take really does vary based on the band or individual I'm shooting – it's always so different. Songs and photos are meant to do the same thing, create a sentiment, an emotion in someone when they see or hear it. That sentiment or emotion can also vary from whatever mood you're in when you hear a song, go to a gig, or see a photo.

Interpretation is all pretty unpredictable really but, that being said, I would hope that my photos take someone down the same portal as a song does. I think that when someone sees a photo of an artist and hears the music, somehow they become married, and that image works for the sound.

L.C. What is your favorite aspect of Coachella?

P.F. My favorite aspect of Coachella as a photographer who has photographed every year except for one, is definitely being able to be in the front of the band and photographing them as they give it their all – feeling that energy between band and crowd, it's intensely palpable!

There is something seriously magical about this festival in particular. I've not been to a ton outside of Coachella, but I definitely feel something really special is happening from those stages every time I shoot a band or artist.

I also love seeing all my friends I've met over the almost 20 years I've been around the music scene in Southern California. It's always like a reunion.

Art and Sound exhibit is on display through May 4, 2014 at Gallery 446 in Palm Springs, CA.

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