Shoegazing with Music Photographer Breno Galtier

To see more of Breno’s work, check out @brenogaltier on Instagram. For more music stories, head to @music.

Lollapalooza Brasil, 2015: St. Vincent is brandishing her fist, ruling the stage and outshining the magnesium glare of her throne. It’s one of many striking pop images from Brazilian music photographer Breno Galtier (@brenogaltier), who revels in iconic poses, unsung angles and the ground beneath our feet.

“Lollapalooza is insane!” says Breno. “Usually, you can only photograph the first three songs, so it’s always a little crazy. You work under pressure. St. Vincent was one of the coolest concerts to shoot — she has an amazing stage presence. When I saw her doing that move, with that perfect light, I hurried to catch that angle.”

Breno has been shooting music since 2012, with photos that feel like they’re literally leaping out at you. “I love to [photograph] musicians that move, jump and show excitement,” he says of his dynamic aesthetic. “But I love it even more when the lighting is great, because it makes it easier for me and lets me explore the venue without limitations.”

How much does a band’s style, sound or personality inform Breno’s photos? “A lot, but I don’t let the inspiration take over the picture,” he says. “When I photograph a concert, apart from the band’s musical genre, I put in my own style. It’s how I leave my ‘brand’ on my work. I like to shoot musicians [from] a different point of view, notice the non-obvious things and angles, exploring the band, but in a way that hasn’t been done before.”

For all of his aesthetic kinships — he cites fellow music photographers César Ovalle, Matt Vogel and Andy Barron as influences — Breno’s visual identity is singular. “I try to avoid clichés,” he says. “I don’t like to take obvious pictures. I like to play with all the resources that I have — from gear to the possibilities that the situation can provide me.” He also shifts our point of view: he often frames the rock star not as a headshot, nor an instrument, but as a pair of feet.

“When you’re at a concert, you hardly ever look to the musicians’ feet. But I love to pay attention to them!” he says, laughing. “I like to observe all the details that happen onstage and one of the coolest things is the moves that they do with their feet: stepping on pedals, dancing or just expressing themselves in a different way.”

— Nicola Meighan for Instagram @music