Concert Photography by Jeff Kellem

Back in the 1990s, I specialized in shooting photos of performing musicians, publishing internationally and working with local and national bands. I worked with Boston musicians for promotional and CD artwork. My main specialty was capturing live performances. I photographed close to a thousand shows over five years including artists such as Letters to Cleo (@letterstocleo), Sam Black Church, Henry Rollins (@henryrollins), Helmet (@helmetmusic), Aerosmith (@aerosmith), Honkey Ball, Eleven, Merrie Amsterburg, 6L6, Mary Lou Lord, Mary Timony (@maryt_money), Helium, Paula Kelley, boy wonder, Tree, among many others.

A small sample of my Sam Black Church photos are online. Duncan Wilder Johnson filmed a documentary of SBC titled Leave Behind a Groove on the Earth: The Story of Sam Black Church. Some of my photos and the tour poster are included in the documentary. Photos of mine are also included in the companion book for film, Sam Black Church: Images from the Vault.

You can find some of my past photos of local Boston rock bands on the following CDs:

  • Letters to Cleo's Aurora Gory Alice (the Giant Records reissue) [underneath the CD]
  • Tree's Plant a Tree or Die (CherryDisc) [two on the CD itself]
  • 6L6's Not Even Warm (the CherryDisc reissue) [drummer's photo]
  • 6L6's Superstar (Summit) [drummer and guitarist's photo]
  • Sam Black Church's Superchrist (Taang! Records)
  • Wonderdrug's compilation Take Your Medicine

There have also been tour/promotion posters that use my photos. A couple include:

  • Sam Black Church's On Tour poster (stage dive shot)
  • 6L6's Superstar promotion poster

A sample of the publications include PIT Report (monthly, contributions in most issues), Zap (out of Germany), The Noise, ROCKRGRL, Boston Phoenix, Hypno, and Billboard. There was also supposed to be a photo of mine (Sam Black Church) in Guitar World, but I never saw it.

A photo of mine (of Sam Black Church at Avalon) appeared as part of a large mural about the nightlife in Boston at the top of the Prudential Center in Boston, MA, USA.

As we were able to get the Crohn's Disease better under control in the 2010s, after the third surgery, I've been able to spend some more time on my music work, again.

Some recent albums using my creative work:

  • Applied Cryptography by Tim Perkis & Scott Walton, 2016, pfMENTUM (photography)
  • Leave Behind a Groove on the Earth: The Story of Sam Black Church documentary, 2016 (photography)
    • Companion book for film, Sam Black Church: Images from the Vault. (photography)
  • The Hidden Cost EP by Corey Holms (@coreyholms), 2018 (type design)
  • Spinning in Space EP by Jeff Kellem, 2021 (photography, type design, music, recording))
  • Live concert album performed at CCRMA. Artist to be mentioned once release is official. Possible release in 2021, depending on marketing schedule. (photography)
  • Live concert album performed at Tom's Place. Artist to be mentioned once release is official. Possible release in 2021, depending on marketing schedule. (photography)
  • My type design work was used in early versions of album art for a major recording artist (~30 year career) in 2016. In the end, the artist chose designs that tied closely to an album from 20 years earlier, instead. So, artist not mentioned. Possible that the work may be shown at a future date.

I'm also working on a retrospective music photography/essay book and recording project with a focus on bands from 30 years ago from my collection. Aiming for release in 2022 to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the timeframe beginning for this photo block with new recordings by some of the musicians from my photography archive and related concerts to coincide with the release.