Chris Cuffaro: Photography Is My Life

“I love and live to create.”

Ask Artists with Julia Travers
5 min readMay 24, 2021


Featured work: Nirvana, from the “Greatest Hits” series

The arc of Chris Cuffaro’s career is truly meteoric, and it’s far from over. As he journeyed from his early days as a Northern California teenage rock fan shooting local shows to his immersion and establishment in the entertainment industry, he created an incredible portfolio of shots, which have graced many album covers, publications and gallery walls. His rich and diverse star-studded catalog spans the worlds of modeling, acting, music and sports, and is home to the striking visages of Dustin Hoffman, George Michael, Iggy Pop, The Game, The Red Hot Chili Peppers and many others.

As Cuffaro pauses with Ask Artists to reflect on shooting so many successful performers for the last 50 years, he is embracing one of the most current and innovative intersections of art, blockchain technology and digital asset authentication: the NFT (non-fungible tokens). NFTs use blockchain technology to securely record the singular ownership and authenticity of a work. They are now part of major deals carried out by the NBA, Grimes, Decentraland, Chris Torres, Jack Dorsey and others. Cuffaro is auctioning some of his famous works as NFTs on the KnownOrigin platform. The auction began with portraits of Alice In Chains, Chris Cornell, Michael Hutchence, Nirvana and Scott Weiland. The black and white pieces are part of Cuffaro’s, “Greatest Hits: Top 40,” collection. Scroll on to see more of his beautiful work and hear about the, “I do not wait for shit to happen,” philosophy that has served him so well.

More featured works:

5 Questions for the Artist:

1. What is photography to you?

To keep it simple, my life. I’ve been shooting for 50 years now. Doing what I love for this long makes me proud and grateful. I fell in love with photography at a young age and never looked back. I love the way it lets me express myself, create and, most of all, have fun. My goal from day one was and is to create the greatest body of work I can. So far, so good.

2. What did you make in the past, and why?

I made lots of great photos ‘cause it was fun. I don’t do anything if it’s not fun. I love what I did, but honestly I’m more excited about what I’m gonna do. I don’t wanna spend my life talking about what I did. I want to keep creating new work until I’m done.

3. What are you making now, and why?

These days I’m shooting as much as I can, writing a TV series and planning exhibitions. It’s just what I do. I love and live to create. I get up every day and do everything I can to make shit happen. I do not wait for shit to happen. It’s not easy, but I don’t do easy.

4. What are your hopes for the future?

First, good health for me and everyone! As you get older you learn that health is everything! Second, more exhibitions! I love sharing my passion for music and photography with everyone. Third, get this TV series on TV! It’s the best thing I ever created. Last and always: have fun.

5. What else would you like to say?

As I always say: thank you. I know I’m lucky to do what I love all these years. None of it would have happened if it was for my closest friends and the support of so many. I’ve been blessed to have so many great teachers and mentors that put up with me and helped me. I work hard for them. All I can say and do say is thank you!

Artist Supplied Bio:

Over the past 50 years, Chris Cuffaro’s signature work with a galaxy of A-List actors, models, athletes and musicians has helped them define their public image while establishing his reputation as one of the most respected photographers in the entertainment industry. Drawn to the excitement of music as a teenager growing up in Northern California, Chris began his career by shooting local rock shows for fun. He quickly graduated to headlining acts and, since moving to Los Angeles in the early 1980’s, has worked with a massive catalog of performers in the music and entertainment industry.

He has shot the best of the best in the music world including ground-breaking bands like Jane’s Addiction, Pearl Jam, the Red Hot Chili Peppers and Nirvana, George Michael, Iggy Pop, No Doubt, Henry Rollins, Elvis Costello, Fiona Apple, Scott Weiland and Soundgarden. These images have regularly appeared in Rolling Stone, Spin, RayGun, Vibe, Musician as well as on the covers of more than 300 record albums and CDs.

Along with his significant commercial and editorial contributions as a music photographer, Chris’ portfolio also includes an equally impressive group of A-list actors from Johnny Depp to Dustin Hoffman, sports icons from Kobe Bryant to Wayne Gretzky, and television shows from, “American Idol” to, “So You Think You Can Dance.” His images have been in Entertainment Weekly, US, Stuff, Maxim, Premiere, British Elle and W.

In the last few years, Chris has presented multiple exhibitions celebrating his iconic music photography. He started with, “Greatest Hits: Los Angeles,” and then followed up with, “GH: Martini Ranch,” “GH: George Michael,” “GH: Grunge,” “GH: Pearl Jam,” and “GH: Michael Hutchence.” He is currently working on his Greatest Hits documentary and expanding the exhibition worldwide.

You can also find Chris Cuffaro at,, and on Twitter, Instagram and Facebook @CuffaroPhoto.

Learn more about the Ask Artists interview series and submissions.

Julia Travers, Instagram



Ask Artists with Julia Travers

I’m Julia Travers (she/they), a writer and artist who runs the Ask Artists interview series. Find interviews here along with other stories.