Photographer Remembers Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington in Special Photo Exhibition

Photographer Remembers Linkin Park’s Chester Bennington in Special Photo Exhibition
Chester Bennington of Linkin Park performs during CBS RADIO's two-night "SPF" concert at The Chelsea inside The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas, Las Vegas, Nevada, May 19, 2017. (Photo by Isaac Brekken/Getty Images)

Photographer Jim Louvau remembers his late friend Chester Bennington, lead vocalist for Linkin Park, in a special exhibition in California titled, “Celebrating the Life of Chester Bennington: A Photo Exhibition by Jim Louvau,” on what would have been Bennington’s 43rd birthday.

On March 20, Bennington would have turned 43, but he died by suicide on July 20, 2017.

The two met back in 2000 when their bands played a show together at the Mason Jar in Phoenix, Arizona, according to the Los Angeles Daily News.

Louvau wanted to celebrate the memory of his talented friend, but he first asked for the blessing of Bennington’s widow, Talinda Bennington.

Louvau’s idea was to showcase never-before-seen photos he’d taken of Bennington throughout the singer’s career in a gallery. He made it a ticketed event for fans with a portion of the proceeds going towards Talinda Bennington’s 320 Changes Direction suicide prevention charity. Talinda Bennington’s charity works to change American culture’s views on mental health, illness, and wellness, according to Daily News.

“This is a celebration of his life,” Louvau told Fox News. “And there’s no better way to celebrate someone’s life than on their birthday…. I really wanted to do something special for him, as a tribute to him, for his fans and for myself. It was my way really of saying thank you.”

The initial plan was to have a one-night-only event on Bennington’s birthday. However, the tickets sold out so fast that a second night was added. It also sold out. Hundreds of fans came to see the larger-than-life portraits of Bennington, and a DJ played familiar Linkin Park songs for the fans to sing along to.

“The best thing about all of this is that all of these photos have memories,” Louvau told the Daily News.

The exhibit includes the very first portrait Louvau ever took of Bennington. It’s a black-and-white portrait with Bennington looking stoic and gazing straight at the camera. The photo dates back to 2007, backstage at the Marquee Theater in Tempe, Arizona, reported the Daily News.

Louvau told Fox News he knew about Bennington struggling with mental health, but he was still devastated when he learned of his death.

“It was one of the worst experiences that I had,” he told Fox News. “You turn on the radio and there he is. … It’s something you kind of can’t get away from when you lose someone who was so successful. That definitely was the hardest part.”

Despite his grief, Louvau wanted to celebrate his friend. He also hopes that the photos in the exhibit will share an alternate view of Bennington with his fans.

“I hope people see the different sides of Chester in these photographs,” he said. “When most people think of Chester, they think Linkin Park. For me, Linkin Park is the last thing I think of. I remember Chester as the young, hungry musician who was super humble and who became a man willing to help his community. Each of these photos will always hold a different, special memory for me.”

ntd newsletter icon
Sign up for NTD Daily
What you need to know, summarized in one email.
Stay informed with accurate news you can trust.
By registering for the newsletter, you agree to the Privacy Policy.