Iris Konstant is a young music photographer, working shows and music festivals for the last year and making a name for herself. Under 21, Iris has had to juggle the normal struggles of working in the music industry as well as having additional struggles with her age. We took the time to chat with Iris about her transition from being a young fan into working in the industry. Check it out below!
Tell us a little about what roles you play in the music industry?
Currently, my role within the industry is that of a Live Events Photographer. Where my sole job is attending shows, taking photos, and writing about it later on. However, much like many other creatives I wear multiple hats and also work at a venue in downtown Nashville to sustain the passion. The first time I picked up a camera was back in 2017. In the beginning, I didn’t really think about Live Events Photography as being a viable path of employment. Back then, it was simply a hobby where I’d occasionally take photos of friends [who were artists]. But since the Spring of 2017, I’ve truly begun to envision my photography as an art and as a viable career path as opposed to a hobby. I’ve grown in ways I couldn’t have imagined in the course of a year, from taking photos on Vans Warped Tour to photographing Breaking Benjamin. It’s all kind of surreal but it wouldn’t be possible without my friends and the kick-ass ladies over at Banded PR and Photopassed who took a chance and accepted me and my lack-lustre portfolio.
Growing up, what were some of the bands that inspired you to begin your career in music?
Growing up, my parents were heavy into country music and I think in an act of rebellion I turned towards heavier music like System of a Down and Linkin Park. If you can imagine, my parents were pretty shocked and weren’t too approving of either. Especially when they first heard Linkin Park’s “One Step Closer.” Hard Rock music however, stuck with me throughout my adolescence and acted as a beacon in dark times; as those dark times subsided my childhood adolescence turned into my teenage years. Where I began to delve into the “pop-punk/emo” trend and discovered bands like Fall Out Boy and Hawthorne Heights. However, in retrospect, those “dark times” which marked my childhood never really subsided but instead hid like concealed baggage. It weighed me down for the longest time; but I was able to move on due to bands like Fall Out Boy, Taking Back Sunday, and Mayday Parade. The message within the music reached me and compelled me; thus, my work within the scene is an act of gratitude. A thank you to the scene.
How did you make the transition from being a music fan, to working in music?
My transition was a rather slow process; as the industry isn’t really friendly towards 17-year olds who know absolutely nothing about load-in or load-out. During those beginning years I received a lot of rejections from various people and outlets. Luckily, however, thanks to a volunteer position at a local radio station, I found a venue which was willing to teach me the ins and outs of being a stagehand.
What have been some of your most prized accomplishments to date?
One of my most prized accomplishments to date is probably really trite and lame, but a few days ago I received an email from Epitaph Records thanking me for the photos and review of Parkway Drive. To me having a major label call my photos fantastic was huge!
What are some of your “bucket list” artists to work with?
My “bucket list” artists to do photography for would be Fall Out Boy, Anti-Flag, AFI, and Enter Shikari!
What do you hope to accomplish with the rest of this year?
In the course of this next year, I hope to continue to form friendships with bands and help them further define their image through photography. Realistically, my goal for the next year is to be able to make a profit off of my photos; by either joining a tour or by being commissioned by an artist or a label.
What words of advice do you have to share with those who inspire to work in music one day?
Getting into the industry is the hardest thing you can do. It’ll take years of volunteering your time and efforts (trust me from personal experience) but don’t lose those connections that you make. One thing I tell all my mentee’s in Belmont University’s “Service Corps” is that you shouldn’t burn any bridges. That you should be honest in forthcoming in all your dealings, if you’re commited, you’re commited.
But in all honesty, this industry is a learning experience.
Nobody and I mean nobody, really knows what they’re doing.
Be sure to follow Iris on her social media platforms!