A Photographer’s View – Getty European Entertainment Picture of the Month – June 2014

Lorde, Shepherds Bush Empire, 5 June 2014For some time, Getty Images has run a monthly competition amongst entertainment photographers for the prize of European Entertainment Picture of the Month. In June, for only the second time, the top 10 shots were then put to an international, two week public vote.

I felt privileged to have my shot of Lorde, taken at her Shepherd’s Bush Empire show earlier in the month, amongst those top 10.

There were some outstanding images submitted, from all types of entertainment genres. My shot came fifth in the end and it will have been seen by thousands of people as a result of the competition, so it was great to have been chosen to be involved.

Gig Review – Extreme, Kentish Town Forum, 8 July 2014

Nuno Bettencourt, Extreme, Kentish Town Forum, 8 July 2014When I was a teenager, my best mate and I queued for hours to meet Extreme at a record store signing. From the day I first heard Pornograffitti I was hooked and I still am. I was one of only 3 photographers allowed to shoot their London Astoria show back in 2008 and I was delighted when I was accredited for this show, especially as they played Pornograffitti in its entirety. Even better than that, I spoke to their manager before the show and was given permission to shoot the first six songs.

Technically it was quite hard. Gary Cherone is an incredible frontman and is constantly on the move – at one point he put his hand on my camera and cheekily pushed it down so I couldn’t take any more shots. The lighting was dramatic, but there was rarely enough white light on the front to turn okay images in to great ones.

It was a rare treat being able to stay and watch the show after I’d finished shooting. The band were incredible and I just hope that they don’t leave it another six years before touring again.

Gig Review – Black Sabbath, British Summertime Festival, Hyde Park, 4 July 2014

Ozzy Osbourne, Black Sabbath, British Summertime Festival, Hyde Park, 4 July 2014Way back in 1992, I was a kid in the crowd at a legendary Guns n’ Roses concert. The support artists that day were Faith No More and Soundgarden. If you’d told me then that 22 years later I’d see them together on the bill supporting Black Sabbath I doubt I would have believed you.

Faith No More’s set was short but, to steal the song title, Epic. They’ve lost none of their edge, even though today was their first live show in two years. I was less excited about Soundgarden, probably because I’ve shot them before.

The whole point of being there was my second chance to shoot the mighty Black Sabbath. Those opportunities don’t come around often and it was touch and go for a while as to whether I’d get a pass, but it came good in the end.

Ozzy really cannot sing, but that isn’t the point of Black Sabbath. They command the right to be unique, and they too were epic. It was great to see Tony Iommi back in his stride. Technically it wasn’t the easiest shoot as the lighting was challenging at times, and if only the stage hadn’t been so high I would have loved to have got some clear shots of their new drummer, but you can’t have everything.