His photographs have appeared in the media on covers and pages of magazines and newspapers, books, television shows, feature films, Broadway show programs and billboards, vinyl, CD and DVD packages, etc....
With a body of work spanning almost 4 decades, Preston's photographs document moments of the music industry on the inside, behind the velvet rope, touring with artists and capturing the entire experience on film.
He has worked closely with Led Zeppelin, Bruce Springsteen, Queen, David Bowie, Fleetwood Mac, Madonna, and others.
Although Preston is best known in rock circles as Led Zeppelin’s U.S. tour photographer in the mid-1970’s, his rock-and-roll travels have also included touring Russia with Billy Joel, Europe and Japan with Bruce Springsteen, China with Wham! , South Africa with Whitney Houston, and South America with Queen. In 1985, Preston was chosen as one of the official photographers for the Bob Geldof’s “Live Aid” concert at London’s Wembley Stadium. In 1988 his association with Bruce Springsteen helped land him the job as official tour photographer for Amnesty International’s legendary “Conspiracy of Hope” tour, a 5 week world trek with Sting, Peter Gabriel, and Tracy Chapman appearing along with Springsteen's The E-Street Band.
Preston was also a key contributor to VH-1’s “Behind the Music” documentary series, providing still photos used in 50 episodes.
Preston has shot live performance CD and DVD covers for Springsteen, Madonna, Fleetwood Mac, Kiss, and others.
Neal Preston has done more than photograph musicians. In 1980 he began a long relationship with People Magazine. In addition to dozens of People covers, he has shot covers of Newsweek, Time, and Rolling Stone with diverse subjects such as Nancy Kerrigan, Richard Nixon, and Marvin Gaye.
Preston has worked at six Olympics, from the 1984 Winter Games in Sarajevo, Yugoslavia to the 2006 Winter Games in Turin, Italy. Preston has also photographed various other sporting events including heavyweight title fights, the World Series, NBA and NFL playoff games, and World Cup soccer matches.
In 1999 Preston became a member of Local 600 (Los Angeles) of the International Cinematographers Guild. He served as for the feature films “Almost Famous”, “Vanilla Sky”,and “Elizabethtown”. Preston also created key materials used in the films “61”, “Singles”, “Laurel Canyon” and “Pick of Destiny”, among others, and he directed various music projects, including a live performance video for Stevie Nicks and a 90-minute documentary on Alice Cooper.
In May of 2006 Preston exhibited his music photography for the first time ever, at the Morrison Hotel Gallery in New York City. That show was followed by a show in November 2006 at the Morrison’s new Los Angeles location. The November ‘06 show was highlighted by an opening night VIP fundraiser benefiting the Stevie Nicks Soldier’s Angel Foundation.
Preston’s work has been shown at varied institutions as the Smithsonian in Washington D.C. and the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, Ohio. In 2007 his photograph of Freddie Mercury was chosen as part of the permanent photo exhibit at the new Wembley Stadium in London.