Home Arts A.F. Cortés Uses Photography as a Visual Mixtape

A.F. Cortés Uses Photography as a Visual Mixtape

A.F. Cortés
It’s just a quick frozen moment in time of Eddie. He’s another one who gives it all onstage. Even before the music really starts, he’s stage diving. That puts the audience at unease and puts them on a different level. He always plays the show among the fans. I’ve been photographing them since they’ve played in front of five people at a DIY venue. So seeing how they’re growing and becoming huge is really interesting. Now they’re touring all over Europe.

Bogotá-born photographer, director, and musician A.F. Cortés speaks with passion about the raw power of Brooklyn’s underground punk, indie, and hardcore scenes. These pictures are his visual mixtape.

“These are all bands that I listen to and care about. For one reason or another, they are important in music history. I’m not an event photographer. I document bands that I love. That is the reason I go to the shows and do what I do. I’ve been lucky that people have seen my pictures and they’ve been featured in a few places. For me, I could do this forever even if I keep all the pictures under my bed. For me it’s a memento of my favorite shows.

These photos are from the past three years. I started taking pictures and documenting the underground hardcore scene in New York. Because I was also writing and producing a TV series about a famous boxer in Latin America, KID PAMBELÉ.”

“Writing is a very lonely thing. Even when you’re writing with a group of writers, there’s a lot of time when you’re just by yourself. I kind of needed to be surrounded by people. I needed to do a different kind of work. So I went out in the evenings and took pictures at live shows.”

“My relationship with music started at a very early age, when I was 17 years old and I played guitar in a band. My plan A in life was to play in a metal band forever. When I finished high school, it was time to figure out what I was going to do with my life. I decided to go to college for graphic design so I could design the record covers, flyers, and posters for my band. For some reason I fell in love with design. I stopped playing in the band. And I started to work in advertising. But since then, I always had a close relationship with music.”

“I have several cameras. Most of those are regular Canon 5D or 7D. Nothing very fancy. It’s not about the camera that you use. You can get good photos with any camera. It’s more about who you have in front of the camera. You can have the best camera and the best lenses but if your subjects are boring, the pictures will be boring. It took me a while to discover that.”

Words by A.F. Cortés

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