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Danny Clinch: Behind the Lens

Behind-the-scenes tales of iconic photo shoots with Bob Dylan, Tupac and more

Danny Clinch, Photographer, Behind the Lens, Photography

Courtesy of Danny Clinch

Danny Clinch has taken countless photos of musicians over the past three decades, so picking 16 images to represent his entire career was no easy task. "I thought to myself, 'Who do I have relationships with and who do I love musically?'" says Clinch. "I tried to mix young, old, men and women. I love shooting live shows, but I avoided live shots here. These photographs offer a little inside look that a lot of people don't get to see." 

Tupac Shakur

Danny Clinch

Tupac Shakur

"This is 1993," Clinch remembers. "Rolling Stone calls and gives me this photo shoot. I was told it was going to run a quarter page. It was one of my first RS assignments and in my mind I said, 'I'm going to shoot this as a Rolling Stone cover in my mind.' I was just dreaming.

"Tupac showed up and was very cool. I've done a lot of hip-hop. A lot of the musicians would come with sometimes 20 people, but at least five or six people would come to your studio and make themselves comfortable. Tupac showed up with one guy and they came up to my studio. He was really professional and he was very excited to be photographed for Rolling Stone. He understood the magnitude of that since it's not just a hip-hop magazine. It's the gold standard. He was really into it.

"At one point he was changing up his clothes so we'd have some options. I saw his tattoos and said, 'Hey, can I get a couple without your shirt on?' He said, 'Sure.' I shot a couple like that. The shoot wasn't really that long. I felt like we got it. We shot there and on the roof of my studio. Then three years later, the inevitable happened and it actually ran on the cover of Rolling Stone.