Jenny Jiménez Shows Us Her TIFFS

And unveils her favorite music photos of the last 10 years.

When she moved to Seattle from her native New York in the winter of 1999, Jenny Jiménez's only pal was her trusty 35mm camera."I had no friends. Like, nobody," she admits with a bright laugh. "It was really tough to fit in with the Seattle crowd. The one thing that made me decide to stay here was how on any given night, you could go out and see a great band. So I was like, 'Why not bring my camera and start taking pictures?'"First a means to document what she was up to in Seattle for her friends back East—the Sleater-Kinney, Built to Spill, Death Cab for Cutie gigs and more—the camera soon became a conversation piece. Jiménez began doing portraits for bands, then house photography for the Crocodile and the Showbox. Eventually her photos made it to the pages of Spin, Paste, No Depression, and numerous other publications—including, where she currently shoots a "Seattle People" slideshow once a week.That decade of work is collected in Jiménez's "Show Me Your TIFFs," a solo retrospective of concert photography and band portraiture—three dozen or so black-and-white and color images—on display now through December 14 at West Seattle's Skylark Café.Looking at Jiménez's photos, it's evident that while she has a knack for capturing the "money shots"—performers belting passionately into the microphone—her greatest gift might be her ability to capture the tiny details and in-between moments (the breath before the howl; a hand gripping a guitar neck; a cigarette dangling from the lips just so) that are often overlooked."You have to be one with the music and the experience and really feel it to understand where it's going," Jiménez says. "When Jesse Sykes is hunched over her guitar and her hair is swaying over the neck of the guitar—you get that last moment before the hair swings back, [and] you're like, 'Snap!'"The subjects themselves have taken notice. "After more than 20 years of looking at live-music photography, I rarely feel that it's compelling or has the ability to show what a live performance feels like," notes Damien Jurado. "Jenny is an exception to this rule. She makes those moments interesting, vibrant, and real."

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