Abbey Braden Raymonde is a NYC-based music ambassador— a DJ, presenter, label consultant, gig-thrower and devoted festival-goer. None of this, however, would be possible without her introduction into the music industry as a photographer, which officially began when she stepped into her first darkroom the summer of 1989. She basically hasn't stopped shooting since. She moved to Brooklyn in 1997 to attend Pratt Institute and soon photographed her first band by complete accident. Members of Wu-Tang Clan wandered into a rave she happened to attend, and when they grabbed the mics she grabbed her camera. She sold the photos at school the following day.
Abbey founded Punkphoto.com in 2004 when asked by an indie record label to provide exclusive photographs for their own use. She saw it as an opportunity at the dawn of the New Media. The rock photography market was dominated by traditional agency photogs (i.e. 40 year old bros in photo vests), and bands needed shots for their rapidly-expanding online presence without the hassle. Six weeks into the project, she licensed photos to The Hives and was scooped up by their US label, Interscope Records. Abbey forged ahead to provide a streamlined exchange with the artists and labels themselves, and gained an insider's view of the music industry as a result. Publications took notice and commissions by Rolling Stone and Alternative Press soon followed, and Punkphoto soon found its footing as one of the first ever music blogs dedicated to concert photography.
Alongside shooting for labels, Abbey cut her teeth in the Brooklyn indie scene serving as the first official staff photographer for Stereogum.com and joining the 'SUP Magazine family (where she remained for 7 years). She found a home with the Ice Cream Man crew during festival season, and eventually started booking showcases with friends (having the good luck to present some of the first ever Sleigh Bells, Pains of Being Pure at Heart and Yeasayer gigs). Not having a day job meant she often had to interview bands on top of photographing them, which led to a radio stint with The Hype Machine, and eventually Virgin Mobile On Air where she booked artists, hosted a daily radio show and presented Virgin Mobile Freefest (aka the best day of the year).
So there you have it. Ten years, countless photopasses and over 2 thousand band interviews later (for real), she has trekked around the globe - from Coachella to Oslo and Tasmania and beyond - all in the name of landing the perfect shot and getting the word out about good music. Abbey's been the House Photographer for All Tomorrow's Parties US since 2008, and her photos have been commissioned by The New Yorker, Rolling Stone, Dazed & Confused, SPIN, Decibel, Village Voice, The Guardian UK, Bob Mould's autobiography See a Little Light: The Trail of Rage and Melody and the City of New York along with record labels including Universal, Warner Brothers, XL, Modular and Mute. She's recently opened with vinyl DJ sets for London Grammar, Tokyo Police Club and Jungle. In any case she would like to take this opportunity to say that Bella Union is the best record label OF ALL TIME. Ever.