When people sometimes ask how I got into photography i don’t have an easy answer. My parents weren’t photographers, I didn’t own a camera at an early age, there was no defining moment. But thinking back, the genesis of my passion for photography was in music magazines.
As a teenager I was hooked on music. Loved going to shows and devoured all I could about my favourite bands. This is showing my age, but in that period of my life, there was no internet to speak of to help you read about your favourite bands. This was before Facebook, myspace, music blogs or Pitchfork. So along with the records I loved, it was music magazines that I devoured, collected, cut up and stuck on my walls and school books.
Without realising it at the time, it was music magazines that were the spark of my passion for photography. Seeing my idols captured in full flight on stage, or in glossy photo shoots. I never dreamed at the time that one day I could take pictures like that.
Today, if you ask me where I most like to see my work published i’d tell you without hesitation – in a magazine. Not on a gallery wall, not in a newspaper, not on a website, no – what I love is seeing my photos splashed across the pages of a magazine, as big and bold as possible.
I know it’s old fashioned. I know the medium is in decline. But for me – nothing quite excites me as much as seeing my work in a magazine.
So, this is all a roundabout way of saying how thrilled I was to have been commissioned by Q magazine in the UK to do a shoot for them. I grew up on Q. They fed my love of Britpop, U2, REM, Radiohead, Nirvana. I kept the magazines. Cut the covers off and blu-tacked them to my bedroom wall.
Q asked me to shoot Paramore – some portraits with an iconic Sydney backdrop, plus live shots of their performance at the Enmore Theatre.
I was more nervous about the shoot than i’ve been for a long time. It wasn’t working with the band that gave me anxiety – it was the thought of not fucking up my first (and potentially last) ever shoot for Q.
But despite the nerves, once we started it was a walk in the park. The band couldn’t have been nicer and easy to work with, it just felt easy and natural. It helped that the band have dealt with a few photoshoots in their time.
The live show that night was pretty spectacular, well lit, and Hayley worked the stage with incredible energy. Up there with KISS in the fun to shoot stakes.
And then as if the whole thing didn’t work out well enough already, Kerrang! also asked to run some shots too. So i ended up with multi page spreads in two iconic UK music magazines.
Pretty stoked with that.
You can buy the Q magazine here.