1. CULTS

1/18

At Chicago's Lollapalooza, photographer Brian Sorg and SPIN deputy photo editor Jennifer Edmondson created portraits of some of the festival's coolest performers. Here, Sorg talks about each shot:

For NYC-based Cults, Sorg wanted to contrast the band's monochromatic style with a splash of color, so he asked them to play with some smoke bombs that he'd hidden in his camera bag. "[Singer] Madeline [Follin] was worried about getting color all over her, and when her yellow smoke bomb started to bleed onto her hand, she tossed it -- this is that moment," says Sorg, who loved the couple's playful chemistry.

2. CULTS

2/18

At Chicago's Lollapalooza, photographer Brian Sorg and SPIN deputy photo editor Jennifer Edmondson created portraits of some of the festival's coolest performers. Here, Sorg talks about each shot:

For NYC-based Cults, Sorg wanted to contrast the band's monochromatic style with a splash of color, so he asked them to play with some smoke bombs that he'd hidden in his camera bag. "[Singer] Madeline [Follin] was worried about getting color all over her, and when her yellow smoke bomb started to bleed onto her hand, she tossed it -- this is that moment," says Sorg, who loved the couple's playful chemistry.

3. LYKKE LI

3/18

The Swedish songstress' live show is gorgeous in a monochromatic way, with Li and her band clad entirely in black, surrounded by hanging swaths of black fabric and bathed in white fog. A glen of trees backstage offered a natural, green contrast to her stark style. "She was very sweet and quiet," Sorg says. "We only had about five minutes, and she gravitated towards that wooded area."

4. TINIE TEMPAH

4/18

Right away, Sorg -- a Chicago native -- noticed the British MC's Kanye West t-shirt, and gave him props for donning it in Ye's hometown. "That's why I wore it!" Tinie said, adding that he had it custom-made. Sorg also loved Tinie's playful spirit. "He's a newer guy on the scene, and offered up ideas for the shoot without me asking," the photog says. "A lot of times, the new acts are so much more open to doing fun things in a shoot" -- like tossing around empty boxes of backstage swag.

5. SKRILLEX

5/18

The overtly energetic DJ was a bundle of nerves in his dressing room before his Lolla afterparty at the Congress Theater. "He just said, 'I'm going to do my thing, drinking, smoking, probably doing shots, messing with my computer. Just shoot,'" Sorg recalls. The mirror made for a dynamic image, thanks to Skrillex's trademark side-shave haircut.

6. ARCTIC MONKEYS

6/18

Sheffield, England's finest had a long night out before their Lolla set, and were a bit knackered. But Sorg loved their look, even if their energy level was a little bit low. "Alex's new haircut, with the vintage Triumph motorcycle shirt, the faded jeans -- they looked pretty damn great for being out so late," he says.

7. THE KILLS

7/18

It was dark and quiet on the Kills' tour bus. "They looked great," says Sorg. "Jamie [Hince]'s blue jacket against the mirror and the black leather sofa just popped to me." Hince and singer Alison Mosshart were focused on their flatscreen TV, which was somewhat bizarrely tuned to VH1 Classic's broadcast of Rock Star, the film starring Mark Wahlberg and Jennifer Aniston.

8. DEADMAU5

8/18

Sorg went on a wild golf cart ride with the headlining electronic musician, who was squeezing in a quick autograph signing before his Lolla set, which SPIN named the best of the festival. But the sight of another headliner made Deadmau5 -- aka Joel Zimmerman -- yell for the driver to stop, scaring the crap out of Sorg.

"He spotted Dave Grohl, and went over to shake Dave's hand, and his girlfriend gave Dave a high-five," our photog says. "I ran up to try and get a photo, but one of Dave's security people smacked my lens away. Oh well."

9. THE CHAIN GANG OF 1974

9/18

Sorg liked Kamtin Mohager's energy -- something he attributes to Mohager being a newcomer to the festival circuit. "He just started climbing on the fence, and we caught him here while he was coming back down," Sorg says. "I didn't want to be literal, putting the Chain Gang guy on a chain-link fence, but this was a great chance to get him doing something fun."

10. THE CHAIN GANG OF 1974

10/18

"I love smoking photos, so I was happy when Mohager suggested we should do a smoking photo," says Sorg. "That's my hand in there lighting it up." But before the shot, the musician paused for a brief moment of vanity. "'This Chicago humidity is making my hair so curly,' he said, then turned on his iPhone's mirror app to adjust his hair."

11. DOM / THE COOL KIDS

11/18

Dom was super cooperative and wanted to help get the best shot possible. But when the frontman tried to take a photograph of a nearby policeman, he found that subject to be far less cooperative. "The cop was a total dick and tried to take Dom's camera away," says Sorg.

With the Cool Kids, Sorg tapped into their mutual Chicago friendships as he snapped pics of them in and around their dressing room, in their fun, preppy "beach rap" attire. "I like how they're maturing, and getting more conscious of their image," Sorg says.

12. LIA ICES

12/18

While the sun didn't end up cooperating, this setup turned out to be a great one anyway for the leggy singer-songwriter. "We picked the spot because we had the sun behind her, blasting down, but it went away just when she sat down," Sorg recalls. "We knew she was tall, and wanted to be able to convey that visually, using the pose to show her long legs, her long hair, her long earrings."

13. MY MORNING JACKET

13/18

While MMJ had been driving all night to make it to Chicago, it didn't show -- even at 10:30 AM after their soundcheck. Tossing around an apple, the band members were playful, jocular, but Sorg was excited about how this one shot shows them all scattered. "They understood it was supposed to be candid, and were enjoying basically playing hackeysack with that apple," he says. "They seem totally together and tight with one another all the time, but it's interesting to see them disconnected like this."

14. BLACK LIPS

14/18

Atlanta's punk jesters were having a blast, prior to their set, when this photo was taken. "[Drummer] Joe [Bradley] had the Polaroid, and someone had shown him how to do double exposures with it," Sorg explains. "He was trying to do a double exposure of his eye, juxtaposed with the sun. It didn't work out, unfortunately. They were going on in half an hour, but they were still fucking around, making art."

[Guitarist Ian St Pe (left), Bradley]

15. BLACK LIPS

15/18

The shoot moved inside to their dressing room behind the Playstation Stage. "We loved the hideous pattern of the sofa against the concrete wall," says Sorg, who tossed the band a few sets of vampire fangs in the process. Only Ian St. Pe didn't install the plastic chompers -- but the dude's got grills of his own, so it's understandable.

16. THE VACCINES

16/18

Sorg decided to squeeze the tall-ish British rockers underneath the canopy of a small tree, and it went quite well, with all four members gazes' focused straight into the lens. "You don't always want people looking in the same direction, but this worked because their expressions are so identical, which is compelling," Sorg says.

17. TENNIS / PHANTOGRAM

17/18

Sorg shot both of these fashion-forward bands on the early side, at least by rock'n'roll standards. "[Tennis] were still trying to wake up, and this shot really captures that vibe -- Alaina's literally trying to get her eyes open," he says.

As for Phantogram, Sorg thought Sarah Barthel was one of the most stylish people he met all weekend, but here he wanted to highlight the duo's chemistry. This shot is about "getting a little closer with them and focusing on their interactions."

18. TENNIS

18/18

Sorg snapped this shot of Tennis as they headed to their backstage hangout. "That moment of them walking to another location, getting close to each other, was really special," he says. "Knowing they were a couple, I wanted to capture that."