Neil Krug: An Unexpected Influence

How an artist emerges is not something that is often considered when referencing the body of art itself. Neil Krug is one of the most sought out American music photographers of today. After working with musicians such as Lana Del Ray and Cage the Elephant, Neil’s colorful, grainy, and exposed style, has set the tone for not only the aesthetic of music photography but so much more. Krug is entirely self-taught, claiming that he failed his only photography class in junior high school.

PHANTOM: Stage One, courtesy of artist’s  instagram

PHANTOM: Stage One, courtesy of artist’s instagram

In referencing a year of turmoil and hardship, Krug, in an interview with Scandinavian Traveler states,  “It [2013] was one of the worst years of my life, for a number of reasons. It was a very ugly time. In the end, I just had to decide what it was I really wanted to do next. Instead of giving up I decided it was time to get really serious.”

Today, Neil shoots with a variety of different mediums even ranging from film to military surveillance cameras. This experimentalism is arguably a result of the desire to be self-taught, fueled by his innate curiosity. Without his process of experimental and, quite frankly radical nature, Neil Krug’s style would not exist and the photography realm would be without so much of his impactful work.

Art is collectively in a constant state of evolution. When one photographer takes the leap to begin experimenting and venturing beyond the rules, it is only then can an entirely new movement or aesthetic emerge. It’s important to remain thankful for all the failures, that is how we gain our unexpected influences.

PHANTOM: Stage One, courtesy of artist’s  instagram

PHANTOM: Stage One, courtesy of artist’s instagram

By Kayla Mcmillen
Kayla is the founder of
QUEER SPHERE and FOCUSED FILM.