All photography and content © John Raptis Photography 2020


17 Nov 2016

Metallica – Hardwired… To Self-Destruct

For most in my immediate circle, we grew up with Metallica. They weren’t discovered by us at a time when they had already made their mark on the world, but we found them way back in 1982 when record contracts were a figment of the band’s imagination and the only way they could get their music out was via the tape-trading circuit. The thriving tape-trading scene of the day reached fever pitch on a global scale when the No Life […]

12 Nov 2016

Deftones Live @ Festival Hall, Melbourne

Pittura Infamante Fuck yesterday was a long day. Worked away on several projects at work that started at 7:30AM. Next thing I knew it was 6PM. I felt ready to crash hard then but I drove home, grabbed my camera gear and headed to Festival Hall. 7:15 shot Voyager. 8:15 shot Karnivool. Sometime after 9, shot Deftones. Waiting outside the venue between bands and shoot just results in inhaling so much second hand marijuana smoke that my head begins to […]

05 Nov 2016

The Negative One

The Lord Of Flies Having a little too much time on my hands this past week, I decided on a little experiment. I went through my last shoot with Slipknot and had a look at all the photos that had been rejected. The not-quite-right ones that usually just get forgotten. I wanted to create monochrome versions and add a little dirt, grime and grease to them and see what we could come up with. Collectively, I think they make for […]

04 Nov 2016

Slipknot & Lamb Of God Live @ Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne

This proved to be a difficult gig to get judging by the amount of photographers who were patiently waiting for our contact from Live Nation to brief us on the evening’s plans. I was originally pencilled in to shoot this gig for another publication who were granted access to the gig in Brisbane but not in Melbourne. Just as I was to give up hope, I was approached by my new editors who run Silver Tiger Media and asked if […]

27 Oct 2016

Bullet For My Valentine Live @ 170 Russell, Melbourne

To be perfectly honest, I’ve never really heard too much of Bullet For My Valentine. For whatever reason, I get them and Trivium all confused. No idea why so tonight would be the first time I would encounter them and photograph their show. Joining them on this very exciting bill, where Atreyu and Cane Of Hill. Atreyu I was well aware of and I have a couple of their first albums. Cane Of Hill were a totally new experience. Arriving […]

19 Oct 2016

Scorpions Live @ The Palais, Melbourne

No One Like You Scorpions were a band that I had pretty much resigned to the fact to that I would never get to see live. In their illustrious 50 year career, it looked like they had by-passed Australia in all their world tours over those years. I count myself incredibly lucky to not only having witnessed this gig, but to have been able to photograph the band as well. Unfortunately, the Palais Theatre isn’t the most easy shoot for […]

15 Oct 2016

Rone – Empty

Walking into the abandoned (and soon to be demolished) Star Lyric Theatre this afternoon, my jaw literally dropped to the floor. Not only was I blown away by this gorgeous old abandoned silent-movie theatre but the overwhelmingly brilliant work of Melbourne artist Rone. Rone has the uncanny knack of always leaving me perplexed and astounded at the scope and realism of his amazing portraits which have adorned walls the world over. I had no idea that this derelict building even […]

14 Oct 2016

Lacuna Coil Live @ Max Watts, Melbourne

Heaven’s A Lie The gigs are certainly plentiful between now and the rest of the year. Tonight’s assignment was Italian Goth Metal legends Lacuna Coil. I’d consider myself a casual fan of the band and I have sporadically bought their albums over the years. My fave being 2002’s ‘Comalies’ opus. I am not 100% sure on the band’s touring history of Australia, but I do believe they have been here before a while ago. This current tour however, was their […]

13 Oct 2016

L7 Live @ 170 Russell, Melbourne

Got So Much Clit She Don’t Need No Balls! I was approached to photograph L7 for the promoters of the tour a few months ago but even if I hadn’t have been asked, I would sure as hell be clamouring for a pass to this one. I’ve been a fan of the band for as long as I can remember as has my girlfriend who extensively photographed the band back in their 1992 tour of Australia. Such a long, long […]

26 Sep 2016

The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride 2016

Gentlemen, Start Your Engines! The Distinguished Gentleman’s Ride is always a highlight for me on my annual photography calendar. Founded in Sydney, Australia by Mark Hawwa. It was inspired by a photo of Mad Men’s Don Draper astride a classic bike and wearing his finest suit. Mark decided a themed ride would be a great way to combat the often-negative stereotype of men on motorcycles, whilst connecting niche motorcycle communities together. The ride raises funds for research into prostate cancer […]

17 Sep 2016

International Batman Day

To The Batmobile… With September 17 declared International Batman Day, there were several scheduled events on a global scale set to celebrate the Caped Crusader. In Melbourne, supremo comic-book store All Star Comics had scheduled for a special-appearance for the 1966 Batmobile to be plonked in front of the store. As a keen fan of old Bats and especially the 66 era Batmobile (for which I have a healthy collection of toys and models of!) I wanted to check out […]

16 Sep 2016

Ghost – Popestar

Ghost have proving they are one of the hardest working bands on the planet. With an absolutely gruelling schedule of non-stop touring it seems the extensive time on the road is beginning to take its toll. Astute Ghost fans will have already noticed that rhythm guitarist ‘Omega’ is no longer part of the band. Guitar duties have been taken over by Ghost’s bassist and a new bass player, who happens to be female, has taken over the roll. Whilst the […]

28 Aug 2016


With a brief concerning a forthcoming photoshoot that needed to look old and feature and old church or chapel, Montsalvat came to mind! Here’s some test shots I did today in preparation…

15 Aug 2016

Greazefest 2016

For the first time since I have been photographing the event, I was there just as a punter today on a daily excursion with my young nephew. So it was refreshing not having to photograph the entire two-day event but just be there to enjoy myself and shoot the cars! The nephew was incredibly excited as it seemed his toy car collection (and he has many!) had just sprung to life! Anyway, here are some snaps of the cars for […]

27 Jul 2016

The Making Of The Urban Ballet

Dancing In The Street One of my most popular street photos is one I dubbed ‘The Urban Ballet’. It is one of my biggest selling street photos and is even featured prominently in a high-end architect’s organisation and is the cover of the second edition print of Fade To Black. It is a photo I personally enjoy, but how did it come to be? Was it orchestrated? Did I have any say in the positioning of all the subjects in […]

06 Jul 2016

The So-Cal Hoedown

This one came out of the blue but I can assure you, I was more than honoured to be a part of the 2016 So-Cal Hoedown in Santa Ana, California. I will be exhibiting some of my live music photography at the event sharing space with such luminaries as Justice Howard, Joe Coleman, Anthony Ausgang, Sailor Jerry, Freddy Negrette, Dirk Vermin, Missy Munster, Michael Kortez, Stanislav, Jeremy Gullotto, Jack Rudy, Skwerll, Alberto Vargas, Todd Robey! More info here. It promises […]

21 Jun 2016

Steel Panther Live @ Festival Hall, Melbourne

It Won’t Suck Itself! It had been a month since I lost shot a gig. Iron Maiden over in Perth felt like a lifetime ago and even though I was feeling a little rusty tonight, I was looking forward to this shoot for weeks! Festival Hall is a venue I do enjoy shooting at even if for the most part they escort you out of the building after your three-song shoot. Tonight with the cold weather in tow, they let […]

17 May 2016

Iron Maiden Live @ Perth Arena, Perth

If Eternity Should Fail Trust me, it wasn’t my intention to be chasing the slipstream left behind by Iron Maiden’s jet Ed Force One as they were headed to Perth. The Perth show would be the final gig in Australia on the current Book Of Souls World Tour and if I was to get any chance at photographing Iron Maiden, Perth was my last chance. (Either that or stowaway on Maiden’s jet and get to do it all in South […]

25 Apr 2016

Rites Of Passage Tattoo Festival 2016

Tattoo You I have managed to photograph every Rites Of Passage Festival event and it remains one of my fave tattoo exhibitions on the calendar. The first time I shot the event I was there as a mere punter but ever since that shoot, I now cover the event for both US and UK publications respectively. This year’s event was no exception and it proved to be another marvellous and successful outing for all concerned. I can’t share all the […]

16 Apr 2016

Record Store Day 2016

Vinyl Love I grew up in Armadale during the seventies. It was an affluent suburb within inner Melbourne and a block away from the Glenferrie Road shopping precinct. The area featured some amazing record stores over the years which I grew to love and also taught me all about music and pretty much defined my life to this day. Pet Sounds was the first record store I had ever set foot in and the very first record I purchased was […]