Some people spend years searching for their passion, discovering that one thing that drives them to late nights, early mornings and—in freshman Jenna Hynek’s case—punk rock concerts.
Hynek found her passion while crowded near a stage during a Swingin’ Utters concert. The concert began with 15-20 people in the audience and ended with upwards of 40 peo-ple packed into a small room. Hynek had to battle to keep her spot near the stage.
“Someone’s fist comes flying out of nowhere as I turn to look to my right. I got punched in the face and slammed up against a speaker,” Hynek said. “I looked to see who had just body slammed me, it was a middle-aged man who came flying out of the mosh pit with a mohawk and facial piercings. I ended up losing hearing in my left ear for about four days and at that moment I knew—I had sold my soul to punk rock and music photography.”
Hynek’s love of concert photography evolved from a love of writing. Since a young age she planned to become a writer, and after starting high school, she joined her school’s magazine where she learned to write with a purpose.
“I was around such creative and talented people the last four years of my life that I basically just started trouble shooting pictures at concerts one night just to see how it would work and I fell in love with it,” Hynek said. “Since September I have taken pictures at roughly 16 shows.”
Hynek has always stayed in and around the Omaha area. She stresses how phenomenal the music and arts scene is in Omaha, and that many musicians who got their start in Omaha make it a point to return.
The more recent concerts she’s attended include Jon Bellion and Asking Alexandria, her first metal concert, and her second time getting kicked in the face by a crowd surfer.
“I was in the front row looking in the tiny little viewfinder of my camera when something bumps my back,” Hynek said. “I turn around to look at what it was and it was a crowd surfer right behind me and all of a sudden POP! The surfer’s foot kicks me right in the face and gives me this horrible bloody nose.”
Although she only just discovered her passion for music journalism, and despite occasional hit to the face, Hynek hopes to turn her hobby into a career. She said that music is a big part of her life and no matter how famous the musician or how crazy the crowd, the experience is rewarding.
“I get to be around something that I love and watch other people have the time of their lives on stage while I have mine in the front row with a camera in hand,” Hynek said.
Hynek’s photos can be found on her Instagram @jmhynek.musicphotos.