Photographer of the Year
During the winter of 2012, Amanda Koellner started writing for Consequence of Sound. Her first assignment was an album review for Chiddy Bang. She wasn’t too into it, but she trekked on, penning review after review until she eventually shifted into live coverage — an area that clearly put a smile on her face. Who knew this young Master’s student from Northwestern’s Medill School of Journalism would become one of the site’s go-to photographers.
This year, Koellner’s been working full time behind the lens. She shot Bonnaroo, Outside Lands, Hideout Block Party/AV Club Fest, and various concerts for CoS, as well as Pitchfork, Lollapalooza, Riot Fest, and additional shows for various other outlets. Her eye is unique and she’s now developed a style that is truly her own. What’s more, you can tell these aren’t just gigs to her but adventures she cherishes. Just follow her on Instagram.
Lately, she’s been cutting her teeth as an editor for Alarm Press — a Chicago-based independent publisher that issues books and magazines on music and design. Over the last 12 months, she’s written a cover story on Phantogram, sat down with Sharon Van Etten to chat Goose Island, and traveled all the way to Tokyo for Design Bureau Magazine to cover Japan’s largest design exhibition.
Quite often she works alongside veteran Chicago photographer Joshua Mellin, who also contributes to Consequence of Sound. Although they’re quite dangerous left to their own devices, the two pair up to form the sharpest creative team anyone can find in the music industry. If there’s something hip going down in the Second City, don’t be surprised to see their eyes and ears nearby.
Bottom line: We love success stories. It doesn’t get better than Amanda’s this year.
Amanda’s favorite moment of 2014: “For last year’s top photos recap, I wrote about shooting our beloved Paul McCartney from the crowd at Bonnaroo (as I attended with just a media pass, no photo). My favorite moment this year echoes that experience, as it happened at the same festival (truly one of the greatest places on Earth). This time, however, I was equipped with a photo pass, Jack White was headlining, and I practically skipped into the photo pit at the main stage to photograph a headliner for the first time. We only got to stay for two songs, but there’s no feeling quite like that of briefly existing right between one of your favorite artists and 80,000 other people, if only for a few moments.”