Melissa Ma­honey breaks the mold as one of the only fe­male pho­tog­ra­phers in a rock ‘n’ roll world.

Boston Common - - CONTENTS - Melissa Ma­honey –Robert Cocuzzo

As Aero­smith’s long­time pho­tog­ra­pher, Melissa Ma­honey has cap­tured the face of Bos­ton’s rock roy­alty like no one else has, and in a male-dom­i­nated in­dus­try, no less. But when gui­tarist Joe Perry asked her to take a por­trait of his fam­ily for his au­to­bi­og­ra­phy, Ma­honey had the rare op­por­tu­nity to re­veal a much more in­ti­mate side of the rock leg­end. “I wasn’t go­ing in to shoot your typ­i­cal fam­ily por­trait, be­cause they’re not your typ­i­cal fam­ily,” says Ma­honey. “They’re rock and roll. They’re sexy. They’re a lit­tle bit dark and mys­te­ri­ous.” Tak­ing what she de­scribes as an “An­nie Lei­bovitz ap­proach,” Ma­honey pho­tographed the Perry clan in pairs and in­di­vid­u­ally in their liv­ing room in Duxbury, Mass. When she got the per­fect shot of each per­son, Ma­honey then stitched to­gether a mas­ter im­age in post-pro­duc­tion. “Joe and Bil­lie [Joe’s wife] and their whole fam­ily are the epit­ome of cool,” she says. “They are au­then­ti­cally, ef­fort­lessly cool. Bil­lie is in­cred­i­bly pow­er­ful and strong.” Beyond the mys­tique of Aero­smith, which just re­turned from a world tour, Ma­honey also wanted to cap­ture the Per­rys’ tight bond. “Know­ing them, be­ing on the road with them, I’m in­spired by them as a fam­ily unit,” she says. “They have such a solid fam­ily.” That strength, Ma­honey says, em­anates from the deep bond shared by Joe and Bil­lie: “They’re def­i­nitely best friends and soul mates. And they’re def­i­nitely com­pletely in love with each other.” Clearly, it shows.

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