Born in Madison, Wisconsin, 21 year old Adam Elmakias has been shooting music photographs since 2006. Now based out in San Diego, Elmakias’ work has featured in publications worldwide including Rock Sound, AMP Magazine and Alternative Press and has worked with established brands like Macbeth and Glamour Kills Clothing.
In addition he has worked with an endless list of bands including Bring Me The Horizon, Deftones, All Time Low, A Day To Remember, Parkway Drive, Sum 41 and recently Yellowcard. In addition he worked with The Devil Wears Prada on the artwork for their recent ‘Zombie EP’.
Having toured throughout America on the Warped Tour and in Europe and such a vast and impressive portfolio, Adam spoke in detail to Alter The Press about his beginnings, his time on the Warped Tour, how to get noticed and much more.
Alter The Press: First of what inspired/influenced you into becoming a music photographer?
Adam Elmakias: I started taking pictures for my basic assignments in my yearbook class. A self-portrait I took caught the attention of my school counselor was working with at the time. I was a pretty troubled kid all throughout high school, so I was always working with my school counselor. He took it upon himself to make sure that I got into photography. He ended up giving me a free camera from dphallenge.com (someone donated it) and I used that for a moment and then I bought my own Canon power shot.
Once I had my own camera I started taking it with me to all the local shows I went to already to photograph them. The local promoter started letting me into the concerts for free as long as I photographed the show and gave them the images afterwards. For a broke high school student was a pretty win-win situation, as I had nothing better to do with my time. I never really had a moment where I was like “I am going to become a photographer.” I just want to have fun. I can’t handle day jobs, as I know most can’t and I just can’t justify spending the short stay I have on this earth doing anything I don’t enjoy. Most people seem to have their mind set on the fact that sometimes in life you have to do things that aren’t fun. I just can’t accept that either you don’t do the things you don’t enjoy, or you learn how to enjoy everything you do.