November 2019 Creator of the Month: Edwina Hay

Edwina Hay has been delivering quality photos of New York City’s live music since 1998. With her archives project (which is one of the coolest things I have come across in a long time- it’s a remarkable part of our music history), and recent work, Edwina is proving to share the best content of the past and the present.

Hay gave For The Punks an inside look on her photography experience up to this day, archives project, and her resolutions for 2020. Read to learn more!

Introduce yourself to the readers of For The Punks!

My name is Edwina Hay and I’m a freelance photographer in Brooklyn, NY. I currently contribute to a few places (BrooklynVegan, BTR, The Photo Ladies, AdHoc, and Music Existence) and was a photo editor at Impose Magazine for three years.

Can you tell us about your photography journey up to today?

I always had cameras growing up (plastic toy ones and then cameras my parents used) and received a 35mm Minolta SLR camera as a high school graduation gift from my parents. In college, I took photography classes and chose visual arts as my minor. While pursuing my bachelor’s degree, I started bringing my camera and taking photos at the concerts I attended and have continued to document live music performances.

So on your site you have this archives project. It has to be one of the coolest things I have ever seen, honestly. Share a little background knowledge about the project. What made you think, “oh, this is something I want to do?” 

Thank you! I first created my website in 2006 and as I was figuring out the images I wanted to add to it, I realized that I had boxes of photo prints and negatives and thought it was a shame that I didn’t have these available digitally. I then bought a negative scanner to share those film photos online. As I began scanning, it became apparent how time consuming that process was so I had the lab scan the negatives for me when I developed new rolls of film so I don’t spend as much time scanning and editing photos. I hope to get these older images online at some point. 

Nic Offer of !!! at Siren Festival on July 9, 2003

What has been one of the most rewarding things about this project?

Fugazi posted recordings of all of their shows online and requested photos from fans to put on the site. I submitted photos I took of their concerts that I went to since I could scan them myself. I’ve definitely discovered shows I’ve managed to forget about and I’m sure I have rolls of film stored somewhere that I’ll find at some point and I will be completely surprised by what’s on them.

How has your archives project inspired and/or helped you with your current work?

I think it’s helped me manage my spare time better. If I take time off from shooting concerts, then I’ll go back to scanning film and publishing those galleries when I’m done editing them. As an example, I fractured my right leg and displaced ligaments in that ankle in March 2017 and couldn’t shoot anything while my leg and foot were healing in a cast. Since I was stuck in my apartment all day, I finally scanned some film I had of Rollins Band performing at Warped Tour 2001 and put them online for the first time. During that same period, I made an Instagram account dedicated to just my photo work. If I’m not making new images, I now try to revisit ones that I’ve already created that weren’t previously available on my website.

Dig deeper into Edwina’s archive project here. There are pictures of Weezer, Green Day, Pharrell Williams, and more that you don’t want to miss taking a peak at. If you’re interested in even more, click here and here.

The pictures in the gallery below date as far back as 2003 and as recent as September 2019.

Through all of your photography experience, what is the most important thing you have learned about yourself and/or photography?

Learn as much as you can by shooting acts in small venues with prime lenses.

If you had to set a New Year’s resolution right now, what would it be?

Try to spend more time on personal projects and push yourself to shoot acts in larger venues that you usually wouldn’t go to like theaters and arenas. I covered a show at an arena for the first time this year (Robyn at Barclays Center in July) and I’d like to make more of an effort to do so again.

Connect with Edwina!

Website | Instagram | Facebook