We had the good fortune of connecting with Kirsten Cohen Photographer and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Kirsten Cohen, we’d love to hear about how you approach risk and risk-taking?
Taking risks is how I started my career in photography. With music photography in particular, I saw early on that no one was going to offer me anything, So I just started seeking out opportunities and trusted that I was going in the right direction. Once I started doing that, the universe conspired and the opportunuties starting flowing. I just focused on what I loved about photography, and let the images speak for themselves.
I was originally really nervous about taking risks – especially with my work being such a part of my soul. I think a lot of artsits feel similarly, as we are our own worst critics. I learned that being transparent and taking the risks was really rewarding and worth the anxiety I felt. The truth is, I knew that this is what I wanted to do deep in my heart, and I just trusted myself. The creative part of my brain and my love for music really guided me. People really responded to my work and connected with the energy in my images, which was so fun! I never would have had that experience if I hadn’t put my work out there. I was really lucky early on to win a Rolling Stone photo contest- and things really took off from there. I will never forget taking a deep breath as I submitted the image that won it for me- it was literally like jumping off a ledge. But what a rush!!
Can you open up a bit about your work and career? We’re big fans and we’d love for our community to learn more about your work.
Thanks! Well, I really love live music and the energy that’s generated between the artist and the crowd. There’s really nothing like the moments created in those spaces. It’s inspring capturing images of people while they are in their creative element. Music photography is such a multi-sensory experience of sound, light, and vision that truly provides a rich and never ending source of fascinating moments. I’ve photographed in tons of venues and in lots of environments raning from small and intimate listening rooms, promotional band & artist shoots, and high energy live shows onstage. I am always drawn in, appreciative and respectful of the creative process taking place.
Over the past few years, my work has evolved- and so have I as a photographer. I have always enjoyed taking photos of live music, and that will always be a large part of what I do. I have also discovered how much I love capturing special moments in time with all kinds of people. Band and artist portraits, as well as family and senior photos, are rounding out my passions as a photographer. It comes down to a very simple thing- I love capturing the individual personalities, creativity, and passion of my subjects.
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
If you have never been to Red Rocks, you must go. We are lucky it’s open again!
Boulder Theater and Fox Theatre in Boulder are also some of the best places to see live music.
The drive up Flagstaff road to Lost Gulch is a favorite of mine. The views up top, as well as on the drive up & down are amazing. Right now, the Boulder foothills are absolutely amazing – everything is so green! I just did a shoot last weekend and was amazed at the quality of the color & light. It’s a gret time for outdoor photo shoots.
Pearl St. in Boulder is the best vibe. Since the pandemic, the street is partially blocked off for restaurants and has a European feeling. I kind of hope it stays how it’s set up now! Eat and drink anywhere down there for a great view of the Flatirons on a summer evening – great people watching.
The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
I am so thankful to everyone who has supported me through the years – Boulder Theater, Fox Theatre, E town, Colorado Music Party, Spokesbuzz, UMS, The Mishawaka for all the great photography gigs, Rolling Stone, SXSW, The Denver Post, Marquee Magazine, and all the great press opportunities. The numerous artist managers, artists, and bands who have trusted me to present them visually. I am really looking forward to getting back out there and documenting the return of live music!