Born in Brooklyn, New York, in 1952, Gary Gershoff was destined to take pictures. As a young man, his father was an avid photographer with a darkroom and constantly recorded family events with movie cameras. By 1964, Gary shot his first subject, the World’s Fair in nearby Flushing Corona Park.
Gary played drums in a high school rock band - music was already a constant force in his life. He also began to explore photography seriously after purchasing a used Minota SR1 camera. With no exposure meter built into the camera, Gary learned his exposures for Tri-X film from the instruction sheet included in each box. While attending community college in Queens, Gary took week-end classes at The New School in Manhattan, learning all the basics of photography, developing film, and printing. He went on to Richmond College (now the College of Staten Island) to study film-making and film history with directors Jiri Weiss and Jan Kadar of Czechoslovakia, and noted theatre and film director John Hancock.
In 1977, combining his love of music and photography, Gary began going to shows at a club called My Father’s Place in Roslyn, Long Island, and shooting the acts including Hall & Oates, Chuck Mangione, and Tom Waits. In that same neighborhood was a music paper, Good Times. Armed with a small portfolio, he showed it to one of the head writers, Kurt Loder (of eventual Rolling Stone fame and MTV). Gary was appointed a contributing photographer and began to get steady assignments shooting concerts in the New York metropolitan area. The exposure led to Gary’s work being published in rock magazines Hit Parader, Circus, and Creem.
In 1979, through a mutual friend, Gary was introduced to one of the leading rock photographers in New York City, Richard Aaron. He worked as Richard’s assistant until late 1980, when Richard decided to move to Los Angeles. Gary then picked up some of Richard’s record company clients including RCA , Epic, Mercury and Polygram.
In 1981, a former Epic Records publicist began working for a new music cable venture, MTV Music, and asked Gary to be their first still photographer. He shot artist interviews in the MTV Studios as well as concerts.
Gary also syndicated his photographs through Retna photo agency, resulting in his work being published both nationally and internationally in leading publications including Time, Newsweek, Rolling Stone and TV Guide. His live concert photo of Liberace graced the cover of People magazine when Liberace passed away.
Gary continues to shoot both live music performances and celebrity entertainment events exclusively for Wireimage and Getty Images. In his spare time he records and demos his own songs, and is an affiliated writer with the performing rights agency, BMI.