Legendary country singer Kenny Rogers passed away this past weekend at the age of 81. And while the music industry is mourning one of its brightest stars, fans of Rogers know that we lost more than a phenomenal musician—we lost a fantastic photographer as well.
Rogers will always and forever be known as a legendary musician first, but he frequently spoke about his love of photography, published several photo books over the course of his lifetime, and received a Lifetime Achievement Award from the International Photography Hall of Fame and Museum in 2017.
You can see him below, pictured next to one of his large format view cameras. “One of my favorite hobbies outside of music!” reads the caption. “Anybody else love photography?”
Rogers would often use his fame to amplify other people’s work, sharing beautiful landscape photography with his 137K followers on Instagrams—always with proper credit and ample praise for their art.
He also sat down with the Associated Press in 2014 to offer a tip on candid portrait photography. Earlier on in his life, he combined his passion for photography with his access to other celebrities and musicians to give celebrity portraiture a shot, publishing the photo books Your Friends and Mine and This is My Country.
“I met a guy named George Hurrell, who’s probably the best portrait photographer who ever lived,” recalled Rogers. “He came down to my place in Athens, GA, and he said, ‘I’m gonna tell you the trick. I call it the stolen moment.’ Keep your hand on the cable and talk to them about the happiest day of their life, or about the saddest day of their life, and when they react, take the picture.”
Scroll down to see some of Rogers’ own impressive photography, which he would occasionally post to his Instagram account.
Rogers’ family announced Kenny’s passing through social media two days ago, where they wrote:
The Rogers family is sad to announce that Kenny Rogers passed away last night at 10:25 p.m. at the age of 81. Rogers passed away peacefully at home from natural causes under the care of hospice and surrounded by his family.
His legacy, both as a musician and as a talented photographer, will live on. May he rest in peace.
Image credits: Header photo by University of Huston, captured in 1991, CC0