The man behind rock music’s most iconic photos discusses his process

Vice:

From Michael Jackson to Whitney Houston, Bruce Springsteen to Queen, few have ever captured legendary musicians quite like photographer and photojournalist Neal Preston. Over the course of his 48-year career, the New York–born, self-taught shutterbug witnessed the rise of rock ‘n’ roll and the global culture shifts that came with it.

You’ve probably never heard his name but I guarantee you’ve seen his images. I love the disdain he shows for present day, digital photographers and the bloodless way they talk about their work. I see a lot of his images and think, “Well, they couldn’t have been that hard to get” until I realize, he was shooting his iconic shots using a film camera. I could never get those shots.



  • John Kordyback

    He’s one of those photographers who disappears when the camera is up to his eye. It’s a knack all the greats have.

  • Kip Beatty

    He’s a great guy. If you ever have a chance to sit with him for a few minutes and talk rock ‘n roll, it’ll be some of the best minutes of your life.