Amanda Starkey – Chris Cornell

Capturing Chris

I’ve been a photographer for about 23 years, specialising in live music. Eddie Vedder and Chris Cornell were the reason I chose to specialise in live music.

I live in Australia and sadly many of my favorite bands don’t come here for tours. So when Soundgarden toured with the Soundwave festival I finally got my chance to photograph them, after 15 years of waiting.

I’ll never forget the moment myself and fellow photographers walked through the pit area towards the stage. The atmosphere was electric and we felt like Gods, here to capture our hero.

I captured some of the best shots of my career that night and Chris was amazing. He just had it all: the voice, the moves, the connection with the band. It was a dream come true.

A few months later I had the chance to see his solo show. I’ve seen dozens of artists over the years, but Chris was the first and only artist that has moved me to tears during a performance.

I wanted to take my younger brother to the show, but he suffers anxiety and chose to miss out. I recall begging him to come and saying to him that it was a once in a life time chance, as we didn’t know when he’d tour again. How those words now feel like a dreadful premonition.

As a photographer I get to capture dozens of artists, but nothing has made me more proud than being able to capture Chris. His loss was the first artist I ever truly cried over. And I cried for days.

Thank you Chris for inspiring a young teenage girl to follow her dreams and become what I got a chance to become. Thank you for the lyrics that inspired me and lifted me out of dark times.  For your voice, that was the voice of my generation.

Thank you.


Chris Cornell