As chief photographer for Rolling Stone magazine from 1992 to 2002, Mark Seliger knows a thing or two about photographing musicians. As singer-songwriter for the band Rusty Truck, he also knows a little about being one. In July, the band re-issued its debut album - now called "Luck's Changing Lanes" - and last month Seliger released "The Music Book," a beautiful coffee-table collection of some of his work from Rolling Stone. We caught up with him by phone in LA, where he was shooting a cover story for Vanity Fair.
Q. When you were culling the photos, did any of them surprise you?
A. The picture of Jay-Z and Sean Combs. I think it was one of the first great meetings that they had, hanging out together, and they were over there with their two-ways sending each other their information, and I just took out my camera and documented it. It's such a funny picture, it's such a moment with them. It's like seeing Mick Jagger and Paul McCartney the first time that they were hanging out having a cigarette or something. (Laughs). It was great.
Q. What's your favorite photo in the book?
A. I'm not really one that lives with my own photographs that much, but I'm particularly fond of the Kurt Cobain portrait.
Q. What's one mistake everyone makes when posing for a photo?
A. The great moments come
from letting your guard down. Don't act like you're having your picture taken, find that off-moment.
Q. So don't say "cheese"?
A. Right. (Laughs). But I always find a little stuffed animal in front of the lens helps, no matter what the age. (Laughs).