Very serious photo by  Ryan Bennett

Very serious photo by Ryan Bennett

Elliot Mandel is a full-time photographer based in Chicago and specializing in live music performance, artist portraiture, event coverage, and editorial projects.  As a child, he picked up a cello long before a camera.  His intimate knowledge of music and the delicate atmosphere of a performance inform his sensibility as a photographer in order to create images that tell stories and illustrate the emotion of live music. 

Mandel’s clientele includes many of Chicago’s finest ensembles, Grammy-winning and nominated artists, elite concert presenters, universities, and non-profit organizations.  His photos have appeared on album covers and alongside artist profiles and reviews in notable publications of international, national, and local circulation, including Gramophone Magazine, Sports Illustrated, the Wall Street Journal, the Chicago Tribune, the Chicago Sun-Times, and Chicago Magazine. His jazz photos have been shown in exhibits at the University of Chicago and at the U.S. Embassy in Vienna, Austria. He still takes cello lessons at Chicago’s Old Town School of Folk Music.  


Currently on View

A Command Performance - Jazz photography on display at PurePoint Financial, 852 N. State St., Chicago. September 2018 - August 2019.

Past Exhibits and Events

Chicago Jazz & Blues: A Photographer's View - Juried Exhibition, Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, September 22 - December 8, 2017. Awarded "Best Image at a Club." 

Featured Artist - Black Music in Chicago and Vienna: Roots & Routes. Symposium presented by the U.S. Embassy Vienna, University of Vienna, Austria, and Fulbright Austria. AmerikaHaus Vienna, Austria. June 27, 2016.  

Chicago Jazz: A Photographer's View - Juried Exhibition, Logan Center for the Arts, University of Chicago, September 23 - October 25, 2015.

Chicago Distance (solo) - Pianoforte Chicago, November 6, 2015 - January 6, 2016.

Select Clientele

98.7 WFMT FM

Alliance Française de Chicago

Avalon Quartet

Bach Week Festival

Bella Voce

Bitter Jester Creative, Inc.

Cedille Records

Chicago a cappella

Chicago Children's Choir

Chicago Philharmonic

Chicago Writers Conference

Collaborative Arts Institute of Chicago

Eighth Blackbird

Fourth Coast Ensemble

Fulcrum Point New Music Project

Harris Theater for Music and Dance

Haymarket Opera Company

International Music Foundation

Lake Forest Symphony

Music Institute of Chicago

Music of the Baroque

National Flute Association

Northwestern University, Bienen School of Music

Poetry Foundation

Rimland Services

Sharing Notes

Spektral Quartet

Third Coast Percussion

University of Chicago Presents

William Harris Lee & Co. Fine String Instruments

Special thanks to Lawyers for the Creative Arts for their in-kind legal support of Elliot Mandel Photography.