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About

Founded in 2019, FromThePit is an annual curated exhibition of images of New Zealand musicians playing live in New Zealand.  More than anything it is a celebration of the craft and art of live music photography.

Each week dozens of photographers are huddled in to music venues up and down the country capturing photos of New Zealand’s vibrant music scene.  It’s a difficult and unpredictable environment to work in, but these photographers work tirelessly to capture the magic they see before them.

Part artists, part historians, but all music fans, they all strive to take the perfect photo which reflects how it felt to be at the concert and communicates the excitement of a live music event.

The exhibition is usually coordinated with New Zealand Music Month during May each year.  Where a print exhibition is held we also product an extended remix of the exhibition with bonus additional content as an audio visual version.

In some years the exhibition will be digital only, and available to view in a number of locations around the country as well as online.

FromThePit was designed and curated by New Zealand music photographers Dave Simpson and Reuben Raj. Chontalle joined the organising team in 2020 and Stella in 2022.

DAVE SIMPSON

Photographer contributor, Getty Images / UndertheRadar.co.nz
Website / Instagram / [email protected]

Reuben, Chontalle and Dave

Dave Simpson is a live event and people photographer based in Auckland. He strives to capture amazing photos of people doing their thing whether on stage or off. He is a regular contributor to Getty Images and UnderTheRadar. His editorial images have appeared in newspapers and magazines around the world including The New York Times, The Guardian, Rolling Stone, Billboard, Pitchfork, NME and have been used by brands including Prada and Carlsberg. Dave teaches street photography and is an associate of the Photographic Society of New Zealand.

CHONTALLE MUSSON

Photographer contributor, The Speakeasy, Ambient Light, Radio13
Website / Instagram

Chontalle Musson is a music and event photographer based in Auckland. She aims to capture people doing what they love, whether that is on stage or not. Capturing memories in images that will last a lifetime is why she picks up her cameras. Chontalles’ photography has been featured in the NZ Herald and on The Project TV, along with in music publications The Speakeasy, Radio13, Libel Music, and Ambient Light. She has also been involved in festival media teams for FOMO Festival and 121 Festival, as well as producing media content for Turn The Page for Eccles Entertainment for the Six60 Saturday Auckland show.

STELLA GARDINER

Photographer contributor, UndertheRadar.co.nz

instagram / [email protected]

Stella is a live music photographers based in Wellington, New Zealand. With a passion for indie rock, punk, alt-rock, noise performances, and Nick Cave, Stella relishes shooting festivals and gigs that are challenging so she can test her limits and develop her skill set. But that’s not to say she doesn’t enjoy shooting other music genres whenever the opportunity arises. Stella’s images have been featured in a number of online music publications as well as AudioCulture, Wikipedia and the Dominion Post. You can also find her work on album covers and gig posters!

REUBEN RAJ

Photographer, SomeBizarreMonkey / Radio13
Website Instagram / [email protected]

Dave Simpson and Reuben Raj (photo by Matt Henry)

Reuben Raj, or sometimes known by his moniker SomeBizarreMonkey, is a film and digital photographer. He constantly aims to capture moments of time on camera and his obsession with photography has allowed him to deliver assignments around the world including Russia, China, Singapore and most recently, the Middle East. His experience includes fashion, press and movie stills but music photography is where he started as a teenager and remains his most loved genre. Reuben is the founder and chief editor of NZ music media site & radio station, Radio 13 where he also hosts his own radio show about music and the people who cannot live without it.

Reuben moved overseas in 2020 and continues to support the exhibition in spirit from afar.