In ‘Photographers Exposed’ we will get to know the people behind some of the most amazing photos. In this sixth edition we are proud to announce the official photographer of Fedde le Grand: Chelsea Werner.
Who? Chelsea Werner, photographer living in New York City and touring with Fedde Le Grand.
Your Job? Official photographer for Fedde Le Grand
Years of experience? 2
Other hobbies/jobs? I love to travel and listen to music, so right now I am basically living my dream. But even when I’m not traveling with Fedde, I find not able to sit still for very long .In-between tours this year I visited friends in Hong Kong, China, Thailand and Tunisia (always with camera in hand). I’ve also just started running this year and am training for my first half marathon.
Favorite Quote? Lose your dreams and you might lose your mind.
What was your first gig as a photographer?
My first official job in this scene was as the photographer for Fedde Le Grand and Sultan + Ned Shepard’s “Road to Ultra” tour. We had about eleven shows across the country and all traveled together on this huge tour bus. It was a cool experience to photograph such a wide variety of venues, and lots of cool backstage moments. It was also great because I also was able to get a lot of feedback about my images on the long bus rides. The best part about it was definitely making friends with Fedde, Sultan, and Ned; we made so many great memories. They were such a big part of 2013 for me so it was extra great to ring in the New Year with all three of them in Hollywood at Avalon.
What’s the most beautiful location you’ve visited for your work?
That’s a really hard one! I think I would have to say Dubrovnkic, Croatia though. I love to visit unique historic places, and Dubrovnik is truly just that. When I was there in 2013 Fedde Played at Culture Club Revelin, which is in a fort in the center of the old city. Before the show we were able to sit on the roof overlooking the city and the Adriatic Sea, it was stunning.
You work as a photographer for Fedde le Grand, how did you get in touch?
A friend of mine introduced me to Lee Grant (MC Gee.) Lee agreed to let me shoot some shows for him, because I was trying to get started doing nightlife photography. I went to photograph Lee at a few of Fedde’s US shows. After that, Lee showed the photos to Fedde, and Fedde invited me to join him for his “Road to Ultra Tour.” After Ultra, Fedde really believed in me and my talent and asked me to accompany him on tour for the rest of the year. Now, a year and half later, I am so grateful for all the opportunities that Fedde and Lee have given me, and of course am excited for another year of adventures!
Which gallery makes you proud the most?
I never really think that I have one gallery that I’m completely satisfied with, but I think I’d say “The SUN Festival.” I like this album because it feels like it has a good flow, and shows the hectic nature of touring. It was a great event to shoot, and also just a really fun day! My favorite photo is number 23. This is a special photo because I rarely see Fedde stand up on the decks, so when he does stand up there it really means he is feeling the energy and love from the crowd. That’s what I was trying to capture with that photo.
What is the craziest thing your lens has seen, but shouldn’t be visible for the outside world?
Shouldn’t this stay in the camera?! I will say the craziest party my camera (or I) has even seen is without a doubt at Guaba Beach Bar in Cyprus. This place totally took me by surprise. I spent the whole summer hearing from Fedde about the insanity that goes down there, but did not believe it until I saw it with my own eyes. Let’s just say there’s never a shortage of Jager …and if you really want to see the insanity, check out the videos by Alex is Dead, his camera is…let’s say…less shy then mine.
What is the most memorable thing that happened during your work?
I think the most memorable show for me was at Cacaobeach in Bulgaria. First of all, the venue is absolutely incredible. Its right on the beach and the crowd fills all the way to the water. Fedde played a six hour set starting at 1 am and going until 7. Photographically this was incredibly unique because I had so many variations of light to shoot. It was also a special show because one of Fedde’s biggest fans was there with us backstage and he danced non-stop for the entire set. It was great to pull energy from him and the crowd to create some really spectacular images.
What is your favorite lens?
Canon 24 mm 1.4. I try to use flash as little as possible, and this lens allows me get crisp shots in really low light.
Show us three of your favorite photos and tell us a little about it, why are these photos so special for you?
^ Canon 5D MRK III – 28mm – 1/80 f 1.8 ISO 2500
This photo was taken in Austin, Texas during South by Southwest. Sultan + Ned Shepard are two of the most fun DJs to photograph because they have such an amazing musical chemistry. I love this photo for that very reason; to me it is a perfect depiction of how much they love what they do.
^ Canon 5D MRK III – 24mm – 1/100 f 1.8 ISO 1600
This picture is really special to me for a lot of reasons. Sensation is an event I first heard about almost ten years ago and just imagined it to be the most epic party. When I started working for Fedde I was beyond excited to see Sensation Canada on our schedule. The whole experience of seeing Sensation for the first time was so incredible I must have taken 1000 pictures because I wanted to capture everything. What I found most fascinating though was the rotating DJ booth, and the insane room of wires where the ladder up to the booth is. I knew that I wanted to capture the moment of Fedde ascending into the booth, but since its extremely dark down there, with only one spot light, it was very tricky to capture the exact right moment, but when I did get it I could not have been happier.
^ Canon 5D MRK III – 14mm – 1/80 f 2.8 ISO 2000
This picture was taken at Mysteryland, Chile. There is a funny story behind this it actually. Fedde was headlining the event, and since it was my second time shooting the festival, I knew that the fireworks would go off directly after his set. I had been to the FOH already and knew that it wouldn’t provide me with the angle I wanted. I saw that in the back right of the stage there was a big light structure. We have a little inside joke on tour where Lee and Fedde always calling me a monkey, because I’m so short that I pretty much always have to climb on something to get the shot I want. This was a particularly aggressive feet because I climbed about 20 feet up on this less than secure structure. Right after I snapped it, security politely escorted me down.