The W Hotel Times Square has partnered with premier DJ photographer Rukes to give dance fans a taste of life behind the lens. Titled "Inside The Booth," Rukes' innovative exhibit features live and candid photos of some of EDM’s biggest stars, old and new, with the opportunity to listen to the artists' music while taking in special moments at the same time. When choosing the photos for the show, Rukes (real name: Drew Ressler) told elektro, “I pretty much tried to balance out each DJ [featured in the exhibit] with not only epic ‘Rukes’ photos from behind-the-DJ, but also some behind-the-scenes shots as well as standard performance and candid shots.” Laughing, he added, “I tried to avoid making an exhibition with nothing but hands in the air shots." The W Hotel celebrated the show with a star-studded opening party.

The Disco Fries kicked things off behind the decks and set up a great vibe for the night. Walking through the exhibit, Drew reflected on the timing of the opening. “EDM is crossing over to the mainstream more than it ever has in the past, thanks to people like David Guetta, Calvin Harris, Skrillex and Deadmau5," he said. "I think it’s time people who are just finding out about EDM to see where all these artists came from.” Drew’s work is noteworthy in part because it offers a glimpse into the beginnings of some of these influential artists. “A majority of the artists I have taken pics for had just started working while I was starting photography, so I have the early years of some DJs well documented.”

When Funkagenda came on, the party really started going. Dropping featured exhibit artist tracks (as planned between Rukes and Funkagenda) was a nice touch. Looking around the Living Room lounge at the W, we were in awe of both the behind-the-booth and behind-the-scenes moments caught on camera. From a shot of Dirty South surrounded by fireworks, to Kaskade crowd-surfing, to a candid moment between Deadmau5 and Skrillex, each photo offered something unique to the viewer. We put on the Sol Republic headphones to listen to the music accompanying each photo, and the pictures became instantly more alive.

Drew walked around, taking photos of his own opening, revealing that “it feels a bit strange, I still can’t believe it’s happened." He added, "While the exhibition is up for a month, it just feels like a usual tour stop and checking out someone else’s exhibition.” But this is only the beginning for Rukes, who already predicted, “I think it will start hitting home by the second or third exhibition, especially if I do one in LA that I could easily visit regularly.”

Check out Rukes Photo's HERE.