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The Photography of Rick Rodney


Rick Rodney is a Los Angeles native who grew up in the Valley and toured the world as the frontman of hardcore band STRIFE. He began documenting the moshpits, stages, and people he met on his travels and back home in Los Angeles. The quality of his compositions and his ability to find something special everywhere he looked led to photography taking over his life and becoming both his passion and his job. We've long admired his work for its tenderness, attention to detail, and no-compromise style no matter who he's shooting for.  Plus it's always a lot of fun to see the madness and brotherhood of a really good mosh pit. Please enjoy this interview along with a selection of recent works. 

Favorite taco spot?
I love the homie Steven Arroyo’s spot Esquela for the restaurant vibe. His food is insane, authentic Angeleno, and he has the best taste aesthetically. And the refried beans are the best I’ve ever had… Seriously. There used to be a truck called Tacos Tamix right by my building near Macarthur Park that make my favorite Al Pastor but they had to split (I think they’re down near Pico/Union now).

What’s the best hidden part of LA?
Hmm, that’s a tough question for me… I’m a native, and still find gem spots when I go out cruising for photos. I don’t have a specific “favorite” area necessarily. Although I DO love my neighborhood a lot. LA has so many amazing pockets- it’s hard to nail one down.

When did you realize you were a photographer?
Haha, another tough one… I guess around the time when photography transitioned from hobby to livelyhood? That’s not to say that one should only call themselves a photographer if they’re making money. But I suppose that was the time I started saying, “I’m a photographer” when someone asked what I did.

I don’t know, I’ve been taking photos ever since I first started touring with my band Strife in the early nineties. It was definitely a hobby then, and there was different sort of approach (or lack thereof) to it. I’ve learned a lot over the past decade or so and now try to incorporate everything into my work… Whether it be art or client based.

I can’t think of a better hobby, or job frankly.


How does instagram and other social media fit into your work?
I use Instagram a lot I guess. It’s an amazing outlet for something that’s free, and can ultimately reach so many. It has definitely helped in getting me work at times. But really, I just like to throw stuff up and see what people think. I have a Tumblr, Facebook, and Twitter as well but I’m pretty lazy when it comes to all that haha. I say use whatever means accessible to get your work out there.

When and where were you most happy?
I’m pretty damn happy right now hahahahaha… Life is good. I have a smart, beautiful and talented partner, two awesome dogs, and a great space to live and work in. I don’t really need much else.

What are you searching for?
What I think most photographers are searching for… THE SHOT. That one shot that just does it for them. I know that most (myself included) will go their whole lives in search of it- and that makes me love it even more… There is something to keep you going.

I hope that when I’m old I can look back and say “Wow, that is a solid body of work”. I don’t ever expect to get the one picture that makes me say, “I did it, I don’t have to keep going”. Photography is something that should always be evolving I think…

I plan to continue growing, not only as a photographer, but also as a person.

I always want to wonder and hunt and push, make mistakes and learn from them, meet new people that inspire, and possibly inspire people myself.

We’re living in the golden age of ___________________.

What makes a woman beautiful to you?
The same thing(s) that makes anyone beautiful or attractive: wit, humor, humility… intelligence, confidence, empathy, fearlessness… all the good stuff that make up good people haha. I usually look for things in people I wish I had more of… But I suppose you’re talking more about what “makes a woman beautiful” for making photos?

Mostly a fearless confidence with a killer sense of style- someone who knows who they are and isn’t afraid to show it.


What influences and inspires you?
The world around me to be honest… Being able to travel quite a bit I have access to the world through so many sets of eyes. I think one just has to keep an open mind, be respectful of your surroundings, and pay attention. I find myself getting inspiration from the strangest of places haha.

What keeps you in Los Angeles? What makes you want to leave?
Los Angeles has come so far in terms of culture, art, and community… The weather! HAHAHA… YOU JUST CAN’T BEAT THE WEATHER!!! Not to mention my family and friends are here. I would eventually like to check out living somewhere else but have no real plans as of yet… One day maybe. The South seems interesting to me.

So far, I don’t feel the need to split but we shall see x Rick

Please enjoy this gallery of recent work from Rick Rodney. Visit him online at and on Instagram:


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