Well, amost 13 years and tons of polaroids later, Jonathan Mannion is one of hip-hop’s most integral gatekeepers via his large library of photographs that he has shot of almost every hip-hop artist imaginable. He has shot almost all of Jay-Z’s album covers and most recently shot the inside photographs of Lil Wayne’s The Carter III album artwork. Aside from being the go-to guy in hip-hop photography, Jonathan is set to soon release his first book entitled Signature featuring signed polaroids from some of his most memorable shoots. I’ve been looking forward to do an official post about Jonathan and his work because as some of you may know, I’m a photographer and this guy is really someone I’ve looked up to for years. I’ve been following his work since I was bascially in middle school. Check out his work at: www.jonathanmannion.com and peep the quote from his website in regards to the upcoming Signature project due out in December 2008:
Over the last 10 years, Jonathan Mannion’s catalogue of work has surpassed anything he could have ever imagined. From iconic behind the scenes shots of the late Notorious B.I.G to shooting all but two of hip hop megastar Jay Z’s 11 album covers, his lens has documented some of the greatest artists in hip hop, R&B and sport, capturing awe inspiring images and inviting you into the personal world of celebrities and personalities you might otherwise not have access to.
All you have to do really is pick up a hip-hop album cover of the last decade and see Mannion’s name. He is also credited as the photographer of choice for a multitude of magazines, from XXL to the Fader – his work is everywhere.
From starting out photographing the then unknown to the now major superstars, Jon has been able to capture images that have now become synonymous with these artists and the urban industry.
Its definitely been a long time coming and by defining images of the ever-evolving urban culture, its time for Mannion to document his work and publish a selection of some of his most famous photo shoots and highlight some of the proudest moments of his career.
In a book that will include an in depth photo documentary of a selection of powerful portraits captured on Polaroid film which the artists themselves signed, autographed and left personal messages; the book will also include commentary and exclusive one-off interviews conducted by acclaimed Rolling Stones journalist and author, Anthony Bozza.