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


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.