Inside WRAL

Web editor's photos win international honors

Posted September 24, 2010

WRAL.com web editor Kathy Hanrahan has seen some of the greatest musical acts of our times and captured them with the lens of her camera.

The entertainment addict recently added International Award Winner to her résumé with a few shots she took of Fergie at the Black Eyed Peas recent concert in Raleigh. Hanrahan received an honorable mention at the International Photography Awards, quite an honor.

Fergie

So how did it all start for Hanrahan? A concert-lover from the start, she had a wonderful mother who took her and her friends to a wide variety of shows. Then she entered college at Southeastern Louisiana University as a business major and on a fateful orientation day her mother found an opportunity for her.

“Kathy, they will pay you to work for the school paper. You like to write, so why don’t you do this in your spare time,” Hanrahan related.

She headed for the newspaper office and saw a picture of Garth Brooks on the wall. She promptly told the editor, “I want to do that.”

Hanrahan got a press pass, but said her first concert pictures came out horrible. She had a cousin who is a photographer so he helped her out with a few tips.

Hanrahan’s initial photographic work was on film, and her first real show was Matchbox 20.

“I barely moved in the pit,” she said. “I was two feet away from Rob Thomas. I was drooling!”

The WRAL.com photog has been punched at Voodoo Fest capturing Eminem, shot (and we mean with a camera) John Mayer at the House of Blues back in the day and got sweated on by Stone Temple Pilots.

“I’m one of the few girls that shoot,” she said. “You really don’t get a lot of women in there. Just big guys.”

Hanrahan’s height of 5’ 5 ½” can be a challenge when in the pit thrown in a crowd of tall men at the bottom of the stage. One particularly “ridiculous” experience as she calls it was a Coldplay concert. The photogs were actually placed behind a pit of people rather than their usual position. Hanrahan used a security guard as a prop, teetered on her tiptoes and captured some amazing shots of Chris Martin.

She ended up with a degree in marketing with a minor in journalism. In her college career she took tons of concert pix and has now moved on to getting some major acts for WRAL.com including the Peas, Taylor Swift, Paramore, No Doubt and more.

“It’s always a good time,” she said. “I don’t mind having to leave after a couple of songs.”

Hanrahan is writing a book about her experiences entitled Pop Culture Junkie: Confessions of an Entertainment Reporter. She blogs on WRAL.com’s “RaleighWood: Pop culture with a Triangle twist” and has her own “pop culture junkie” blog.

*Thanks to my co-worker, Andrea Osborne, for this story.

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Inside WRAL takes you behind the scenes of the news business and the stories we cover.