For our final photo retrospective for Supernatural Spring Break week, Kim has put together her thirty favorite photos from Supernatural cons over the years. I have no idea how she was able to do this, because narrowing it down to 30 from so much incredible beauty? I would give up. If you’ve ever stood behind her and looked over her shoulder in a convention hotel room at 2 am and watched while Kim edits her shots and tries to decide which of the hundreds (from one con) to post, then you get what I mean.
Most of the time, my contribution on those late night editing sessions is to periodically distract her by exclaiming OMG GUH!!! when she gets to a particularly gorgeous one. Kim, for some reason, does not appreciate this.
So I’m paying her back by NOT rearranging these photos before this posts. You’re the photographer, Kim, so you get the final say on which of your photos bring you the most joy. I’m just grateful for every single photo you’ve taken, and that you put together the color photo spreads for both Family Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done. The books would not be nearly as pretty if it wasn’t for your contributions, and the photo and art contributions of other talented fans you coordinated too. (Also you wrote a powerful chapter!)
So here, in order of ability to spark joy, are Kim’s Supernatural cast faves – along with her commentary below and some of mine I couldn’t resist adding. Enjoy!
Lynn: And Misha Collin’s blue blue blue eyes too!
#29 – Nashville 2019. I love their riffs.
Lynn: Me too. And their smiles. Jensen Ackles and Rob Benedict aka Robsen definitely sparks joy.
#28 – Louden Swain concert in Austin, Texas, 2020. I’m pretty sure this is “Rock Song.”
Lynn: The Swain show in Austin as 2020 began was one of the last times we got to see them play and be with our fellow SPNFamily. It was a charmed trip in so many ways, and the Swain show on my birthday was the perfect way to celebrate. And, I’m in my feelings already…
#27 – Saturday Night Special, Nashville 2019. She just has so much fun at these concerts, and it shows.
Lynn: Kim Rhodes putting her inner rock star out there at the Saturday Night Specials is one of the best things to come from Supernatural conventions.
#26 – Literally the best emcee Ever. Dallas, 2019.
Lynn: Hands down. I remember Richard Speight, Jr.’s very first con and how his personality came through loud and clear. When Creation had an actor cancel for their next con and were wondering who could replace him, I said they should call that Richard Speight guy (who we’d interviewed for our first book) because he was a natural for the convention stage. They did, and the rest is history. And the conventions became something they might not have without Richard’s guidance and incredible ability to improvise onstage at the drop of a hat.
#25 – I could not have asked for a better angle. Perfect smile. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: You cannot look at Ruth glowing like this and not smile.
#24 – Hey Matt, if you ever want to do an ad for watches, let me know. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: I don’t even wear a watch and this ad would work on me. Matt Cohen, beautiful inside and out.
#23 – MOOD. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: Briana Buckmaster can sing you off a stage, but she is also amazing in her ability to be real and genuine, and to pull that out of everyone around her too.
#22 – Mike is often tucked into the shadows on the stage, but in this case, he has stepped right into the edge of the stage lights and I love it.
Lynn: Mike Borja may be off to one side alot when Louden Swain plays, but his pounding bass line and his incredible musical ability to jump into playing multiple instruments when called for make him foundational to the band. I’ll be forever grateful to him and Rob and Billy for coming to the book launch party for Family Don’t End With Blood in LA and playing so many tunes, and for every Swain concert over the many years.
#21 – Just look at those eyes. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: I could go on and on and on about Jared Padalecki’s gorgeous eyes. Heterochromia is I think the word for how multi-hued they are? Whatever it is, they are undeniably beautiful – and always seem to portray so much emotion too. Part of why Sam Winchester can make me feel so much.
#20 – The tousled hair, the hands gripping the mic, the soft giggles. Oh and the sweat on his neck. You’re welcome. Pittsburgh, 2016.
Lynn: You had to point out the sweat on his neck, didn’t you?
#19 – This is #19? Yep. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: And speaking of beautiful eyes. ..
#18 – Again with the stare. Again, right into my soul. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: I’m always amazed at Kim’s ability to hold her camera steady at times like these. The combination of handsomeness and piercing stare is ALOT
#17 – that little lip bite tho. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: It’s the little things that make photos so evocative. And these actors’ ability to portray so much with just their facial expressions that made Supernatural so powerful.
#16 – this was the first time I died because of leather. ‘Whipping Post.’ Saturday Night Special, Nashville, 2016.
Lynn: I’m not going to ask Kim what the second and third and fourth times involved. This may have been one of those photos that I interrupted Kim’s editing with a loudly (and involuntarily) uttered four letter word in a con hotel at 2 am.
#15 – Nothing better than good friends jammin’ together on stage. Saturday Night Special, Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: I love when Billy Moran and Richard Speight, Jr. rock out together onstage! I will never understand how Supernatural managed to cast so many talented actors who are also such talented musicians, but I will be forever grateful.
#14 – it’s kinda like capturing the face of God. Hawaii, 2017.
Lynn: I imagine Kim just sat here staring at this one for a while before she hit post. For reasons. Rob Benedict reasons.
#13 – This one is from my private collection. I absolutely love Kim in black & white. This shot just emanates Peace. Pittsburgh, 2018.
Lynn: I’m shocked that Kim is sharing from her private collection – but glad! This one of Kim Rhodes is absolutely gorgeous.
#12 – Again, just look at his eyes, so many shades and hues and little flecks that bounce off the lights. Jacksonville, 2016.
Lynn: Beautiful Jared. And another very effective way of selling watches. Kim, you need to get on that.
#11 – Speaking of eyes… Jacksonville, 2016.
Lynn: Oh yes. Definitely one of the over-Kim’s-shoulder exclamations when this one popped up onscreen. In fact, I may have had that happen right now in my kitchen too. I mean… WHAT?! Is he real??
#10 – The last con before we knew. I don’t remember what sparked this playful crying hug, but I know this photo became every emotional for me when I heard the news the Show was ending. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: I’m emotional now too. That last con when we didn’t know we were nearing the end, in retrospect seems so filled with innocent joy and the blissful feeling that somehow this would never end. I wish I could go back and experience that again, but the photos are the next best thing. I miss being witness to these moments of the cast supporting each other – for real.
#9 – That smile just melts my soul. Charlotte, 2018.
Lynn: Everyone’s soul. I’ve said this before, but I will be forever grateful that Rob is still with us and we all get to smile back.
Lynn: I love that he’s looking at the audience of fans, and you can see on his face how much love and appreciation he feels. It’s not faked, it’s genuine. Of course it’s a convention and it’s a job, but it’s also something they seem to genuinely appreciate and a connection they genuinely value.
#7 – Those eye crinkles are just priceless. Pittsburgh, 2018.
Lynn: He looks so mischievous here. Wonder what he’s thinking? Hmm…
#6 – and speaking of eye crinkles… Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: Matt Cohen smiles with his whole soul. I remember his very first con, how he was determined to try to hug every single fan he met, out of a sincere desire to connect and an instinctive reciprocity that has never faded.
#5 – Love this shot of Rob. He’s just so happy. Saturday Night Special, Dallas, 2019.
Lynn: Another one that you can’t look at without smiling back. Thanks, Rob.
#4 – This performance was so incredibly powerful, so emotional. Briana nailed it. #Queen ‘The Joke.’ Saturday Night Special, Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: It’s hard to explain to someone who has never experienced the SNS at a Supernatural con, either in person or on video, just how emotional the concert is. Performances like this one are why. God, I miss it.
#3 – My all-time favorite photo of Jared. He’s serious, yet still so soft. It is photos like this one that remind me just how smart and sensitive and caring Jared is. Nashville, 2019.
Lynn: What she said.
#2 – My all-time favorite photo of Jensen. The lips. The arched eyebrow. The shadow of his eyelashes. Those Eyes. Pittsburgh, 2017.
Lynn: I get lost in talking about his eyes, but those eyebrows do not get enough credit. Dean Winchester is such an incredibly complex and nuanced character in part because Jensen Ackles can portray a whole page of emotions with one expression. And those eyebrows really help!
#1 – I’ve said it before, and I’ll keep saying it – this is the single greatest photo of my 25+years as a photographer. The colors of the stage lights are perfect. The way the light bounces off his hair, creating shadows on his face. The crinkled nose and the closed eyes and the perfect little smile. All of the emotion. It just all came together into one perfect little moment in time, and I captured it. And I am so damn proud of it. Saturday Night Special, Dallas, 2019.
Lynn: You should be. I’m no photographer, but I understand the visceral power of a photo to capture and convey all the emotions of a moment, and this one does just that. Mr. Billy Moran in all his glory.
Hope you’ve enjoyed this trip down memory lane with Kim Prior and her beautiful photos. Stay tuned for more of our Supernatural Spring Break celebration!
You can read equally powerful chapters written by most of the people pictured here in Family Don’t End With Blood and There’ll Be Peace When You Are Done, with their personal stories of how the show and the fandom have changed their lives, and what Supernatural’s legacy will be to live on. Info at peacewhenyouaredone.com.