Chris Casella (Photography, 1993) is an accomplished freelance photographer whose work — much of which focuses on bands and musicians — can be found in places such as Decibel, XXL, Guitar World, Revolver, and Spin. Casella has lived in Columbus, traveling to make images, for more than 20 years.
“I couldn't do what I do without it being a true love of the medium and the act of making images. It is what drives me and makes me want to grow and continue to get better at what I do and what I am pursuing, which is the joy and accomplishment it can bring,” Casella said of his work.
We recently asked him to share three of his favorite works, and tell us just why they’re particularly special to him. “Some of these may not be what I would call my best images, but they certainly are important to me, and help me remember where I had come from to get to the point they were taken,” Casella said of his selections, which you can find below. Find more of his work here.
There are a lot of reasons why this image means so much to me. It could be that the planets aligned and the pillars of fire had a symmetry that is unusual for a live event. Maybe it was that I had been granted all-access, given respect and a nod that I was worth the trust of people I admired who didn't have to include me in the world of their yearly touring festival. Maybe it was sitting in a parking lot of a crappy part-time job and getting a phone call asking if I could submit some images from a photo editor I respected. I know that part of it was the accomplishment of my first centerfold in a national magazine, making me feel that it was possible to be something more than just another photographer who loved music and took pictures.
President Obama 2010
I think this image was for me about the excitement of the event and that I had never photographed this President or any President before. The moment of being there, documenting, seeing that many people in a non-Presidential election year crammed into the Oval (at Ohio State University) to hear someone speak. I was used to 20,000 or 30,000 music fans, so this was new for me and this experience made me jump at the chance to photograph him again on the eve of his reelection at a rally held at Nationwide Arena in Columbus two years later.
Porter Robinson - Electric Daisy Carnival 2013
I had never seen this many people anywhere for a music festival, let alone stand behind a headliner and try and capture the atmosphere. I was chosen from a list of two photographers for this job. It was a sort of achievement to win out on the merit of my work. It was an achievement to have to handle the logistics and come through for Red Bull on the biggest shoot I had done to that point. I also got to fly in a helicopter for the first time as part of the assignment, so that has to count for something.
I could go on and on about my images and what each one means to me and what significance they have, from celebrities to food to portraits. This is just a drop in the bucket of the memories I have that push me forward in photography.