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This Is How a Grammys’ Official Photographer Works With Music’s Greatest Stars

2 minute read

In our latest First Take interview, TIME spoke with music photographer Danny Clinch to explain how he captures the essence of his subjects.

“I think that music means so much to people and as a photographer who photographs musicians and documents that process, I feel like I’m contributing to the history of that artist,” he tells TIME.

Born and raised in New Jersey, Clinch started his career as an intern for Annie Leibovitz and has since become known for his versatile range in capturing iconic artists from rock to rap.

Since 2003, Clinch has served as an official photographer for the Grammys, capturing intimate portraits of artists backstage, including Jay Z, Beyoncé, Madonna and Tony Bennett. “My approach is the classic, simple portrait of someone, there’s a lot of subtleties to making someone look good in that moment,” he told TIME in 2016, “It’s their moment, I want people to look good.”

Danny Clinch is a photographer and film director known for his images of musicians spanning a multitude of genres and has released four books to date: ‘Discovery Inn,’ ‘When the Iron Bird Flies,’ ‘Still Moving,’ and ‘Motor Drive.’

First Take is an ongoing video series curated by TIME’s photography editors. See the previous videos here.

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