By: Gabriella Petrillo
Psychedelic lights of mystic purple, green, and oceanic blue hypnotize an audience dancing to the drop of a beat. Colorful butterflies in ballerina tutus and neon underwear zip through the dancers with electric wire and glow gloves. A typical raver—judging by the amount of kandi he/she has wrapped around their arm—trades one of them with another raver, a symbol of unity. We are all strangers; yet, we are all connected. This is the rave scene—and the white flash of camera by an aspiring photographer is able to tell the tale.
“My role is just to capture the great memories of people,” says New York-based EDM photographer, Ronnie Corado – “There are so many people that you meet in one night, and there’s so much going on – most people won’t remember the night. The most rewarding part of my job is when people tell me that they were able to relive the night just by browsing through my photo album.”
Since EDM has taken over America, photographers who devote themselves to the EDM scene, such as Corado, have been able to show the world the evolution of this music genre, as well as what it is actually composed of. “The camera shows something different than what the media tells the public,” explains Corado, who has contributed his work to the EDM community for three years. “People think it’s all about drugs and parties, but it’s really about people coming together, listening to music, dancing, and having fun.” Corado makes the point that without photographers, the scene would be mistakably misjudged by the rest of the world who do not know the positive philosophy the EDM community celebrates. It was with photography that the stillness of these moments captured on a film in a desolate warehouse would eventually be exposed to the general public through technology. Underground raves, which held only a few hundred people, were soon popular events of thousands (or even hundreds of thousands) of people attracted not only to the electronic dance music they heard on social media or through their friends (and now the radio), but to the ultimate lifestyle shown by through the lens of a camera.
EDM photography in itself grew out of nightlife photography, where artists captured current fashion, social, and behavioral trends on camera. EDM photographers, however, do not attend these raves to capture trendsetters in avant-garde, off the runway fashions. Corado says, “Nobody cares about what you wear, what you do, who you love, or how old you are.” So perhaps the most attractive aspect photographers shoot on their cameras is actually the very essence of why the EDM community has gained so many followers over the years. Photographers are the leaders who capture the escape of drifters, outsiders, and transients celebrating peace and love within this community. They are free souls like just like the ones they capture, and without them, most may not be able to relive that experience through any other documented past. In this aspect, a picture can most definitely mean a thousand memories.