After showcasing our favorite concert photography hosted on Paste in 2016, we now turn to portraits. Though concert photography offers an array of technical and logistical hurdles, the challenges of a good portrait operate on a more intimate basis. Wedged between soundcheck and showtime, the space to snag a quick portrait is as much about finding a pocket of solace in a bustling venue as forming a five-minute bond with a road-weary troubadour who can’t wait to bolt to the nearest Cheesecake Factory. It’s an exercise in improvisation, articulating the beauty of music through the visuals of people in a startling short amount of time. Also: keeping bags of Doritos and Jack Daniels shots out of the frame. The photographers behind the gallery above transcended these barriers to capture our favorite musicians with style, class and vulnerability.