(Not) Photographing Neutral Milk Hotel

“At the request of the band: NO PHOTOGRAPHY OR VIDEO RECORDING ALLOWED. This includes cell phones.”

The request was clear. The band had asked that no photograph be taken during the concert – understandable: Nothing more irritating than hundreds of phones and cameras held up high above our heads. And yet… I took some photographs of Neutral Milk Hotel playing at the De La Warr Pavilion, thus committing an offence. Why? Read More →

Photographing Eef Bazerlay: With all my heart

‘Give back what you took from me’

A game of give and take: The artist gives the song – the fan received it, takes it and appropriates it. This is exactly what I did with the song ‘With all my heart’ a little while back: Read More →


We Real Cool

The #RealCoolNCATBS photographic competition was a good opportunity to open my super deluxe limited edition of Push The Sky Away. The white carton box had been sitting on my shelf for a few months now. I couldn’t bring myself to break the seal, as the exhilaration of discovering was stronger than the knowing what was inside. But tonight is an exciting time. I have decided to enter the #RealCoolNCATBS photographic competition: ‘share a picture of what this track means to you’. Read More →

Mon miroir, ma clef d’or, mon cheval et mon gant

My first international exhibition was part of the 2012 Rencontres d’Arles (France), in which I exhibited four photographs of internationally acclaimed popular music artists: Lykke Li, Peter Murphy, Micah P Hinson and Dan Mangan. At the exhibition preview, I spoke with curator Vanja Karas and it quickly became apparent that it was my photograph of Peter Murphy who got me in the final of the Photography Open Salon 2012. Vanja, as she confided, is a ‘big fan’ of his music. Read More →

Sorting out my EOTR photos: ‘What gives this mess some grace…’

‘What gives this mess some grace unless it’s kicks, man, unless it’s fiction’

Okkervil River (Sheff, 2007)

Let’s get the numbers out of the way… 800 average shots per memory card and five cards over three days… that would make 4,000 photos… 4,000 shots and only 46 have ended up posted online under the banner ‘End Of The Road Festival 2013’. How come some ended up in the final selection and others didn’t? Read More →

Friends of P.

‘If you’re friends with P.

Well, then you’re friends with me…’

The Rentals (Sharp, 1995)

Apart from Anton Corbijn who reportedly ‘made’ artists successful (Quirins, 2012) it is usually the fame of the artist that has facilitated the photographer’s commercial success: Would we know of Kevin Cummins without Joy Division, Steve Gullick without Nirvana, Pennie Smith without The Clash, Glen E. Friedman without Fugazi, or Autumn deWilde without Elliott Smith? Read More →

‘The force that marks the routine’: positioning my photographic practice

The notion of truth in photography can be examined according to three photographic functions (Short, 2011: 11-19): recording of truth (literal depiction to create a sense of personal history or identity), telling a story (documentary), constructing altered realities (decontextualized and re-presented reality). I had always convinced myself that my photography fell into the first two categories; I’m not so sure now… Here is a first attempt at positioning my photographic practice among my contemporaries. Read More →

‘It’s harmony in my head’: A very particular set of circumstances

I sometimes enjoy taking photographs of the gear onstage or the roadies completing sound check. The aim of these photos is to check that my camera settings are appropriate, especially in terms of exposure and white balance. But invariably I end up really liking these photos because they give a different mood and view on artists. However, I am aware that these photographs do not necessarily represent artists the way they are traditionally represented in the media. If context usually informs interpretation of an image then I must argue that, for me, context can distract the interpretation process. Read More →

‘Something’s Happening Here’

Cut a (not so) long story short; my name ended up on the guest list to photograph the band It’s A Beautiful Day. ‘Who?’ I heard me say. An hour before making my way to the venue I googled the name and read that they were part of the San Francisco music scene, i.e. think… 1960s, Jefferson Airplane, psychedelia and progressive rock. Personally I can’t think along those lines and I felt it was far too late to investigate further. I would turn up, have a drink with the lovely acquaintance who had put my name on the list and see what happens. I thought that it would be an interesting experience to take photos of a band I had never heard of, and a band that plays music I don’t know much about – psychedelia and acid trips have never been part of my musical landscape.

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Photographing Simone Felice

What we witnessed on the night, embodied in Simone Felice’s performance, was as Guibert (1981) and Arnaux and Marie (2005) wrote: ‘something beautiful, too beautiful’; ‘if the image had been taken, it would probably be framed – untrue – unreal’; ‘this text is the despair of the image, and worse than a blurred and hazy image: a ghost image’; ‘where aesthetics are sought, meaning is lost’. What I saw, listened to, felt, and photographed on the night cannot be easily pieced together with images, and in fact, with words either: Fragile and passionate vocals, precise musical arrangements, lean yet sensuous arms, banter and wit, laughter and tears… Read More →

‘Context and narrative’

It seems that photographs are taken most seriously when they have a clear narrative conveying a well-thought out concept; when each photograph that we dare present to the public or our esteemed peers has undergone obsessive scrutiny; when our images have been carefully selected for their size, their shape, their sequencing and constructed meanings and symbols; when the function and purpose of our photographs prescribe our practice. But why? Read More →

‘Kicking Against The Pricks’: photographing Nick Cave

I was so pleased that Nick Cave allowed photographers in the pit for one song only. A practice that, had it been another artist and had I been given a photo-pass, I would have probably been annoyed at, truth be told. Of course, how are we supposed to do our job in six minutes? But what kind of job is this anyway? Read More →

The day I met Don McCullin…


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Salgado, Broomberg and Chanarin: Lessons learned

Completely unexpectedly, I found myself in London with a few hours to spare… So I headed to the Photographers’ Gallery – surely there would be something interesting to see there. In the tube a poster promoting Sabastiao Salgado’s exhibition ‘Genesis’ at the Natural History Museum caught my eye – enough time to go to Oxford Circus, then South Kensington. Out of the five photographers exhibited at the Photographers’ Gallery, I felt particularly drawn to the work of Adam Broomberg and Oliver Chanarin. But I’ll come back to them later. Let’s start with the easy bit: Sebastiao Salgado. Read More →

Photographing The Felice Brothers

Thursday night I went to see and photograph The Felice Brothers at London’s Shepherd’s Bush Empire. I had photographed them before on two occasions: In 2010 at the End Of The Road festival and in 2012 at The Haunt in Brighton. In 2012, I was lucky enough to speak to the Brothers before the concert. They all signed my photo of Jimmy resting on his accordion which I had taken in 2010. It was a wonderful moment. I told them how much I love their music – that all too rare and magical contact between a fan and their favourite artists will remain as vivid in my memory as if it had happened last night. Sadly on the night the Brother’s glow was under serious threat. As mysterious and extraordinary as a firefly, the Brothers’ glow survived, probably because I believed in its mysterious powers. Yet, all conspired to take the magic away. Read More →