How this Photographer Made it in the Music Industry

Many young photographers dream of getting a big break taking photos for a record label or popular music magazine. In 1968, Jim Cummins, a then amateur photographer, saw that dream become a reality. After taking photos as a fan at a concert in Madison Square Garden, he decided to send some of his favorite pictures to Atlantic Records on a whim:

When Cummins called the label to see if they had received his photos, they informed him they wanted to use two of the photographs for cover art on an Aretha Franklin album and on a Sam & Dave album. The label also gave him steady work photographing over 100 more album covers in the course of the year that followed, leading him to steady work as a concert photographer in one of the music industry’s most revered eras. (Via PetaPixel)


Carlos Santana Playing at Woodstock

Cummins, now 69 years old, decided he wanted to restore the 2,500 photographs deteriorating in his New York City basement. After digging the images out, he began the long process of sorting the photos with the help of Bob Pokress, the owner of an image restoration company.


“The hardest part of the process was deciding which of the photos to work with first. An embarrassment of riches—they are stunning, and most of the photos—the ones that aren’t album covers—hadn’t been seen,” explains Porkess.

After making the selections of which images which will be restored first, the photos will undergo their transformation to new again by hand, one photo at a time.

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