Photographer Jonathan Mannion has been pursuing the perfect photo for over 20 years. In a new TED talk, Mannion shares how he fought to capture hip hop legends like Biggie, Jay Z, DMX, and a myriad of others. Always “chasing moments,” Mannion talks about going the extra step to get the photo that no one else has, building relationships with his subjects, and being passionate about constantly making quality work. Mannion also shares backstory about some of his favorite portraits, including climbing on stage at the Palladium to capture Biggie and Lil Kim, and convincing DMX to climb into a pool of blood.
Some of the photos mentioned in the video are available for purchase on Mannion’s website, including a limited run of contact sheets from the Palladium with Biggie and Lil Kim in 1995, as well as his session with Aaliyah in 2001.
Watch the TED talk in the player above.