Over the last decade Jo Lopez has established himself as one of the great new photographers of his generation. Lopez has a rare gift that captures a mood or a moment, and frames it perfectly. It was in early 2014 that the Lopez gift went global. Rolling Stone magazine landed on the news stands, as it always does, but this time it boasted a cover shot that delivered a serious ‘wow’ moment.
Jo Lopez had caught Bruce Springsteen in full flight, doused in sweat and in the middle of a sea of adoring arms. The shot went down in the annals as one of the best covers the magazine had produced in its’ forty-year history … and Jo Lopez was the man that caught the magic.
Lopez started his life as a photographer as an eager seventeen year old who earned his stripes shooting at New York City’s Lone Star Café. Jim “Dandy” Mangrum spotted Lopez’s talent as he photographed his band Black Oak Arkansas. Lopez was granted total access to the southern rockers and began building an impressive portfolio.
Fast forward to 2014 and Lopez has become Bruce Springsteen’s go-to-guy for concert photography. Lopez began shooting Bruce and the E Street band in 2002, gathering an incredible number of shots as Springsteen transversed the globe on the Magic and Working On A Dream tours. Lopez gets music and consequently knows how to shoot it. It was at this time Lopez worked as the late Clarence Clemon’s horn technician and right hand man.
Lopez’s relationship with Bruce deepened on the Wrecking Ball and High Hopes tours as he captured the renewed energy and, in some cases, aggression, that Springsteen was bringing to the stage. Lopez’s work from this period includes live shots and portraits of Bruce as well signature images of the likes of Tom Morello, Little Steven, Clarence Clemons, Nils Lofgren, Max Weinberg and Roy Bittan.
Together Bruce and Lopez have shared camaraderie off-stage while Jo has photographed Springsteen everywhere from the back streets of Rio and LA to riding Harley’s in Australia. Lopez worked as stills photographer on the Thom Zimmy directed Hunter Of The Invisible Game video, and his Springsteen related work has appeared in countless tour programs, magazines and on merchandise stands.
Lopez’s portfolio is extensive and worthy of a formal retrospective. During his career he has photographed Bob Seger, Tom Morello, Prophets of Rage, Black Berry Smoke, Charlie Starr, The Rock and Roll Inductions, Eric Johnson, Doyle Bramhall II, Joe Ely, Eric Gales, Johnny Lang, Billy Cox and the late/great Mitch Mitchell as part of the Experience Hendrix Tour.
Eddie Vedder and Alejandro Escovedo have also been on the other side of the Lopez lens, as have Blondie, Lynyrd Skynyrd and Black Sabbath.
Prior to working with Springsteen on such an extensive level, Lopez worked with the Doors’ Ray Manzarek and Robby Krieger. Jo shot the pair in concert and completed highly lauded portraits of the duo.
Alongside his passion for rock and roll, Lopez loves to shoot ‘fashion’ … with a rock sensibility. He also likes to play guitar himself and is a massive fan of the Texas, Memphis and Chicago bluesmen.
Right now, Jo Lopez remains a photographer to watch.