Music Photography Blog

by Adam Elmakias

A Public Pat On The Back and Thank You For Your Support In 2013

2013 was awesome. I had so much fun. I traveled a lot–a lot more than I had planned, but things never go as planned and that’s is what keeps it all interesting. My main goal was to make touring my full-time job, meaning I wanted to be on the road and photographing bands’ lives every day–and I wanted to make a living off of it.  I also know the only way to get better at photography for me is to shoot as much as I can. I shoot more often when I am able to shoot what I enjoy, and when I am on the road I literally shoot constantly all day (about 1-2k images a day). My previous year as a photographer was very photoshoot dense, and honestly, I just got worn out. I had to switch it up.

In 2013 I snapped over 200k images, about 1.5% of them get put to use. The rest I spend a lot of money on hard drives storing for later use. I just recently consolidated by hard drives, but I was up to like 28 different hard drives. For a digital file they sure do take up a lot of space.

I photographed…

A Day To Remember – 116 times

All Time Low – 65 times

Pierce The Veil – 85 times

Of Mice & Men – 21 times

I didn’t have as many photoshoots this year, which cut down on my published works a lot. However, magazines started coming to me when they needed shots of the bands I toured with for spreads and articles, so I did have some of my live work published, as well as a few setup photoshoots. The main thing I don’t like about photoshoots is that I don’t get to a) edit the images or b) choose the images. With my live stuff I am very picky, so it keeps style quality control tight.

A collection of various spreads I had this year in Alternative Press Magazine
A collection of various spreads I had this year in Alternative Press Magazine

I can’t remember where else my images were published. People also publish a lot of my images without asking me which is a battle I ended a long time ago, but if you find any photos of mine, let me know! Would love to see the product.

Random spread in Drum magazine I didn't even know existed
Random spread in Drum magazine I didn’t even know existed

Rock Sound was really nice to me in 2013. They let me shoot a few covers and also published a ton of my live work- more than I have ever had published. They also pushed my T-shirt and helped me in a lot of ways. Owe them a few drinks and maybe a new car by this point.

One of my biggest accomplishments was getting published in Alternative Press this year. I mean, I do get my photos published in there a lot–in fact I attribute getting into music photography mostly to AP. That magazine was all I read when I was in high school, and I dreamt of being one of those photographers. The first published a photo by me when I was still in high school, and it made my life complete.

Envy On The Coast by Adam Elmakias for Rock Sound Magazine
Envy On The Coast – My first photo published in Alternative Press

I vividly remember when they agreed to hire me on and let me shoot my first article… I about lost my shit. Props to them for putting trust in me when I was 18 and giving me a chance. Let’s be honest, if I met me at 18 I probably wouldn’t have done the same. Anyway, AP published an article about me last year and it really hit home. Much respect to the magazine for keeping up with me, continually hiring me, and always supporting me and my work regardless of my change in style.

Adam Elmakias feature in AP magazine
My feature in AP

If you want to read more articles like this one, check out my press section on my website.

Blogging has always been the main part of my career. I am not exactly sure how much it really furthers my career, but I love doing it and will continue to do it as long as I enjoy it. I always wonder if there are people who come to the website and don’t look at my blog. I hope that doesn’t happen, because I shoot so often there is no way that all of my work can fit into a few portfolios. I host about 99% of my images on my Smugmug site, the same company I use to sell prints – and it counts my images views. According to my Smugmug my images were viewed 22,835,544 times in 2013. That’s a bit.

total monthly image views
total monthly image views
2013 total image views
2013 total image views

Meeting new people is a highlight of my job, and I am going to try and meet more next year, and take pictures with them! Here are a few people that I met this year that inspire me.

This is Matt Swaggart, he is the man behind Holdfast Gear. I love and use his products every day, and respect that he is a self-made entrepreneur that also supports a nice family. He came out to one of the shows I was working in Tulsa, Oklahoma in 2013. He is a badass.

Adam Elmakias and Matt Swaggart of Holdfast Gear
Me and Matt Swaggart in Tulsa, Oklahoma

This is Alexey Makhov, an awesome photographer from Russia. I met him while I was there this year, he was shooting the same show as I. he introduced himself to me and we kept in touch. I ran into him again later in the year while he was out on a tour in Europe. Respect his drive and how much he shoots. I know he will continue to grow and do

Adam Elmakias and Alexey Makhov
Me and Alexey Makhov in Germany

This is Kane Hibberd aka Kanye lens, one of the main music photographers in Australia. I only like him cause he his my polar opposite when it comes to hair. His photography is okay 😉

Adam Elmakias and Kane Hibberd
Kane Hibberd and I in Australia

This is Danny North. I have only been following his work for this past year but I like it. I was introduced to Danny through Todd Owyoung. He is from the UK and shoots a lot of festivals there. He is looking at himself instead of the camera in this selfie, cmon Danny, get your shit together.

Adam Elmakias and Danny North
Me and Danny North in London

Tom Welsh, or Get Deluxe, is a the video guy from Europe who also takes killer photos. I met him for the first time this year in January. He is a great guy and does top of the linework. He is very good at doing tech blogs and I have learned a lot from talking with him. Can’t wait until I get to tour with him again.

Me and Tom Welsh in our Media area in Maryland

This is Guillaume, a Brussels based portrait photographer. I had hung out with him once before, but it was good to actually get to spend more than 20 minutes hanging with him. He also was nice enough to photograph me, and I am a huge fan of his work/ style so it was quite the treat for me. His has a nice B/W blog over at

Adam Elmakias and Guillaume Kayacan
Me and Guillaume Kayacan in Brussels, Belgium

Again these are just a few of the people I met. I met so many. I am going to do a better job of keeping track next year. I promise! It’s a tad bit nerve-wracking saying hi to photographers at shows. Maybe I’ll start tonight.

Throughout the last year, I have had more images on merch than ever before.  Mostly with A Day To Remember, Pierce The Veil, All Time Low, and I one Tonight Alive shirt. Hopefully, a few of you guys have some of these shirts. I think most are available at Hot Topic.

adam elmakias photos on band merch
photos on band merch

In addition to having my images on other shirts, I also made some merch of my own! I was super excited about this, and it kinda just came about one day while I was hanging with Kyle Crawford. Honestly, almost all my good marketing and merch ideas come from speaking with him. I sold them online and on tour, and I will continue to do this next year while I am out on the road.

Tonight Alive repping some AE FACE T's, I told the band I would never use their image to sell my shirts, so don't buy it because they are wearing it- but I am stoked they support me
Tonight Alive repping some AE FACE T’s, I told the band I would never use their image to sell my shirts, so don’t buy it because they are wearing it- but I am stoked they support me

I also did my first signings this year on Warped Tour with nonprofit Invisible Children. That was fun, overwhelmed by response.  Thanks for coming and saying hi. I took a few group pictures with you guys when I could before the signing started.

signing groups at Warped Tour
signing groups at Warped Tour

In addition, I got to meet a bunch of you before and after shows.

Good meeting you all :)
Good meeting you all 🙂


Front row fans in Helsinki that covered their body in my name, badasses
Front row fans in Helsinki that covered their body in my name, badasses

Posted about 600 more on my facebook –

A few people commented on how much they liked my marketing this year, which I thought was awesome. My main gig is definitely photography, but I love the marketing aspect of it so much. It’s been fun promoting my own brand and doing what I can with it, because the possibilities are endless! And it carries with me regardless of what I am doing with my photography. Also, I get to interact with way more people this way as well. I didn’t have any accessible role models when I was a kid, so I try my best to be one, and also be accessible. It gets overwhelming but I do put a lot of time every day into talking to people on Facebook, Tumblr, Twitter, Instagram and writing postcards back to people who send me letters in the mail.

I learned how to live on the road constantly. I had toured in the past, but I always came home for a few weeks in between stints. I thought I toured a lot before, but now I know what touring full time is really like. Home for only a few days here and there, not seeing home for months at a time–it can be hard on the body. I remember when being out for a week was a long time. Now a short run is four weeks. I admit, I did go a bit crazy at times, but a simple call home or to one of my best friends always helps keep me sane. As cliche as it sounds, I did take a few walks on the beach listening to some music here and there, or just late-night strolls around whatever hotel we were staying at. Little things like that gave me some time to myself, some time to think and just let it all settle in. It can get quite overwhelming otherwise. Luckily I try my best to surround myself with good people and continue to do the best work I can.

Regardless of my goals every year, my main goal is to a) have fun and b) constantly learn. Last year I did this and I will work hard this next year to make sure my main life goals stay fulfilled.  Why the fuck does every honest thing in life have to sound so corny?