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Shot by Cones Gives The Weeknd and Post Malone Polaroids: Digging Through the Greats

Each week, Green Label invites a visionary photographer, filmmaker, designer or artist to dig through their folios and tell the story of their favorite works. This is: Shot By Cones.

My name is Sam Conant. I am a photographer from Philadelphia, PA. I have been photographing the underground hip-hop and mainstream hip-hop scene here in Philly for about three, four years now and do not plan to stop any time soon. I just turned 21 this October and released my website, shotbycones.com, that I have been working on building and collectibg images for for years.

After working with most of the up and coming hip-hop artists in Philly, I started to work a lot with DJs in the city, such as DJ Swizzymack, Dirty South Joe and others. They were the ones who started to invite me up to New York and to travel with them for some shows, which showed me a whole other side of photography. It was no longer something that I was doing just to document the things I and the people around me were doing; I finally fell in love with the art of photography. Ever since I started working with rap artists, I'd been envious of the way that they were able to express themselves. To me, photography finally became my way to express myself and show people what I was doing.

I graduated from a great high school, called Germantown Friends School, in Philadelphia, and then spent one year at the University of Colorado. While I was out at school it really took me away from the hard work I had done to establish myself as a consistent photographer here in Philadelphia, so I realized I had to come back to Philly.

About a year ago, I started taking a lot of Polaroid photos of the artists that I work with. This has now developed into a collection of over 400 Polaroids with “Cones” scribbled in the corner, and as of the past couple months I have been getting the artists to sign the other side as well.

Ever since I started hip-hop photography, I have always been inspired by other photographers. Brook Robbins and his Who Shot Ya? website was something that I actually constructed my website around. The amount of archives he had in there, of the earliest shots of A$AP and other Beast Coast movements, were just crazy to me, and that's the way I have always looked at my first work with Grams and Swizzy. Brock Fetch is another photographer I have looked up to, especially when it comes to shooting Polaroids. I saw how he was able to quickly take these shots and give them right to the artists, so it made sense to me to use the photos like a business card. I also realized nobody in Philly was doing that, so now if you ask pretty much any Philly artist they have at least one Polaroid from me.

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