Saddened to hear of the death recently of Tony Joe Gardner. ‘TJ’ has been one of my inspirations as a concert photographer, although I can imagine the look he would have given me if I had told him that. I have no idea when our paths first crossed. Very possibly at an early Blues Caravan show or one of the many King King concerts in the area. I certainly remember meeting him for Thorbjorn Risager’s 2015 ‘Songs from the Road’ show for which TJ provided the cover photo for the accompanying CD/DVD and a beer mat that I still use.
I would see TJ and it upped the game for me to get good shots at the concert instantly. He wasn’t one of those ‘take a hundred shots in burst mode every two minutes’ shooters. Tony Joe would watch the musicians for some time like a boxer sizing up his opponent – and then move in for the kill(er) shot. Usually, with a short-length, fixed-focus lens, he would be right under the musician, snap, and gone. All in a few telling seconds.
Tony Joe himself has left us, but his photos are still here to enjoy on his WEBSITE (and not just concert images either, his talents went to landscape, portraits, studio and Urban)
NOTE: At the time of writing there is a collection page for his funeral costs on GoFundMe