A Conversation with Aysia Marotta - Brooklyn based music photographer we can't get enough of
by sam keeler
When music photographer Aysia Marotta isn’t photographing your favorite band, on tour, or hopping between NYC and the UK, you’ll likely find her strolling through the streets of Brooklyn—camera in one hand and her dog George in the other. Marotta is a Brooklyn based photographer who has worked with bands including The 1975, The Japanese House, and countless more. We spoke with her about her journey with music photography, New York, and her view sexism in the music industry. You can read all about it below + check out (just a sliver) of her work below!
How did you get into photography and then specifically concert photography?
I remember growing up around photography. Both my grandparents and my parents always had a camera in my face when I was a child. I was always sneaking into my parents’room to grab their little Kodak cameras and camcorders and trying to learn all about them. I didn’t really get into concert photography until I was about 19 years old. I know that I was always interested in it, but didn’t really recognize it until I had moved back to New York for college. I was trying to start up my photography, when a friend who was studying music journalism, asked me to photograph The Maccabees at Music Hall of Williamsburg. Not only had I never heard of The Maccabees, but I’d never photographed a show (with permission) before. That night changed my life for the better.
How would you describe your style?
Describing my style is difficult for me, because I find that it’s not something that stays constant - which I’ve seen as both a good and a bad thing. I am constantly influenced by music and editorial photography from the 70s and 80s, and the sense of nostalgia those images strike up - so I aspire to have my work evoke the same emotions.
What has been one of your most memorable moments as a concert photographer?
I’d say one of the most memorable moments I’ve had as a concert photographer was my first night out on The Japanese House’s second headlining U.S. tour. We started off in Nashville, a place I’d always wanted to visit and Amber was playing in a venue where some of the greats had. The energy in the room was absolutely electric, and just getting to capture that from the stage was insane. I’ll never forget it.
If you could work with any artist (dead or alive) who would it be? Why?
My dream artists to shoot with will forever be Elvis Presley or The Rolling Stones.
What about NYC draws you in as a concert photographer?
When I moved away from New York as a kid, I was absolutely gutted. I always wanted to move back. When I got into music early on as a teenager, I knew I had to move back. New York, to me, is the epicenter of the music community and it holds a kind of magic that no other city’s music scene has. As a photographer, the venues are what truly draw me in. The history of them, and the sounds that have bounced off their walls. I wish we could do more to protect the music venues in NYC - there’s absolutely nothing like them.
Have you ever experienced any issues with sexism as a female working in the music industry? If yes, what is something you do to fight this issue?
Sexism in the music industry was such an elephant in the room that nobody truly wanted to acknowledge until this past year - but it’s still out there. I know many female photographers that experience it, and I have and still do myself. I will say that from when I started music photography until now, the inclusion of females in the industry has grown tremendously - but there’s still a long way to go. To the artists, labels, industry peeps: Bring women out on the road. Hire female FOH’s, tour managers, audio engineers, photographers, videographers, etc. We do great work, I promise!
Who are some of your favorite concert photographers right now?
In no particular order, I’m obsessed with Andy DeLuca, Daniel Prakopcyk, Sarah Louise Bennett, Emma Lilja, Meg Meyer, Natalie Somkeh, + Zoe Rain.
Give us a 5 song playlist of your current favorites.
Sad Boy - Wolf Alice Hemispheres - Otis Junior Digsaw - The Wytches Humongous - Declan McKenna White Whale – Colouring
What is one piece of advice you would give anyone aspiring to be a concert photographer?
There are a lot of things in this world, in this industry, that can get you down. Don’t let them. Just keep focus. Keep moving, keep shooting!
Sam Keeler, Author
Sam is a member of the Gold Hand Journalism Team
Tall, blonde, and slightly awkward, Sam is a creative currently taking a break from living in Portland to spend the summer in New York City. She’s fuelled by music, tater tots, dogs, girl power, and of course caffeine. You can probably find Sam taking photos of her latte art in a cute coffee shop or eating pad thai and binge watching any Shonda Rhymes show.