Music photographers come in large numbers but not everybody has sauce quite like Gunner Stahl’s. If you’re a rap or music fan, we’re willing to bet that you’ve unknowingly come across or even shared some of his more well-known photos. Lil Yachty flexing his grill, Earl Sweatshirt making a phone call or Rich the Kid brushing his teeth. They’re not the most grandiose, over-the-top, or technically precise photos, but what makes them special is his ability to capture intimate images that reflect the unique traits of each artist. They are usually candid moments, removed from the artist’s public persona. Being able to capture music icons at their most authentic selves is what distinguishes Gunner’s photography from the rest — fans worldwide are able to see artists in a way that media doesn’t usually show.
Real name Jonathan Simmons, Stahl is based in Atlanta, Georgia and started taking photos at 18. Since he’s living at one of rap’s hotspots, Stahl has grown up and been friends with rappers and producers most of his life. He’s captured shots of rappers like Future, Kanye West, A$AP Rocky, Lil B, Kehlani, The Weeknd, Young Thug and much, much more. Check out a few of his notable photos above, which are part of the first leg of his three-city photography exhibition, Portraits 2013-2016.