Rock photographer transitions to family portraits

LITTLE HOCKING – A photographer who specialized in photographing women performers at heavy metal rock concerts has moved to Little Hocking where her new business is portrait and lifestyle photography.

Jill Kirtland of Jill Kirtland Photography is originally from Allentown, Pa., and photographed the rockers at concerts around New York City and Philadelphia and around the world.

From 2009-2012 Kirtland traveled around the world to interview and photograph female musicians and professionals for her book “Not Just (T*ts) in a Corset: Celebrating Women in Metal” that was published in 2014.

She has photographed more than 50 rock and metal concerts in New York, Philadelphia and Europe and among her favorites are Lita Ford, who was with The Runaways in the late 1970s, and Lzzy Hale of the band Halestorm, she said.

Kirtland, a photographer for 10 years who also has managed bands and was a tour manager in Europe, came to Little Hocking in June with her husband, Rand Kirtland, an interventional radiology physician at Marietta Memorial Hospital.

Husband Rand is supportive of her rock photos, although he prefers a different musical genre, she said.

“He’s very supportive of it, but he likes country music,” Kirtland said.

The Kirtlands have two children, Samantha, 2 1/2, and Claire, 4 months.

“That’s why I do family portraits now,” she said of their two children. “I get a lot of practice with them.”

The 40 acres of land she and her husband own in Little Hocking provide perfect natural backdrops and scenery for portraiture, Kirtland said. Lifestyle photography in the client’s home involves shooting candid, unposed photos of their lives, she said.

“That is more like what I want to do. I love capturing moments,” Kirtland said.

Kirtland in 2007 started an online magazine, “USA Progressive Music,” for progressive rock and metal. She interviewed many of her favorite musicians and honed her art of concert photography.

After managing several groups, she sold “USA Progressive Music” in 2010 and traveled the world interviewing female metalheads, musicians, fans, promoters and other behind-the-scenes women.

Rock concerts of the variety Kirtland has photographed are rare here and she misses shooting them, but she has developed friendships with the performers who stay in touch and many promote her book at concerts. Many times the fans will ask the rock star to autograph their photo in her book, Kirtland said.

“I still have a strong network in the music business and can always call in a favor to get a press pass to shoot a concert whenever I want to,” she said.

Kirtland also designs corporate e-learning and websites, which integrate her photography and visual arts background. She writes articles and occasionally does concert photography for a Dutch webzine, “Headbangers Lifestyle.”

The website for Jill Kirtland Photography is jillkirtlandphotography.com or facebook.com/JillKirtlandPhotography.

The website for her book, which is available on Amazon.com, is thewomeninmetal.com or facebook.com/WomeninMetalBook.