The Manic Shine
I was recently contact by London band The Manic Shine to create images for them to use promoting their new album, due out in late 2016. The brief for the shoot was very loose…the band just wanted new, fresh, and unique images that would portray the changes in their musical direction. At first we struggled thinking of a location for this shoot. It wasn’t for a lack of not knowing locations to use, but trying to find a location that was truly unique for what they wanted. Fortunately, I had the thought of a launderette. Honestly, it wasn’t because their name contains the word shine, or even that this was to mark a new version of themselves. The coincidence of it all didn’t escape any of us though, and we ran with it.
After searching we all decided on the Barbican Launderette as the perfect launderette for our photo shoot. It was easily accessible, had old vintage washing machines, and was quite large. In all my years as a band photographer, I had always wanted to shoot in a launderette….but the opportunity had never presented itself until now. I knew I had to make these images epic (not that I don’t make all my band shoots epic)!
The nice thing about the Barbican Launderette is that it’s quite spacious. There was plenty of room for all of my equipment and all 4 band members…and the occasional customer to the launderette. We were able to stay completely out of everyone’s way and get on with our photo shoot.
It’s hard for me to pick a favourite from the set as I love them all. I would definitely choose from one of the images shot against the greenish/blue washing machines. All of those images just capture them perfectly. The band themselves were absolutely naturals in from of the camera. One thing I have noticed being a band photographer is that bands, for the most part, don’t need a lot of direction when they are in front of the camera. But, I usually give a couple of posing tips here and there to just make the image that much better. With The Manic Shine, I didn’t have to do any of that. They just naturally fell into scenes and poses that made for great photos.
If you are in a band, or area a musician or artist and want to look as awesome as these guys, give me a shout here and we will sort it out!
How it was done?
I always get asked about how I shot certain images, so I figured I would post a little bit of info on that here. First things first, I have a giant peli case that contains everything I need for my shoots (except my tripod and my light stands). It’s huge, no joke, and it’s full! Within this case I have 2 Elinchrom Quadra heads and 2 battery packs for them as well. If you know anything about Elinchrom Quadra’s you might be asking why I have 2 battery packs for 2 flash heads. Without getting technical, it’s down to the way that I use them when I use a three light setup…that’s it really. But, onwards and upwards! I also have a Strobies Interfit 180 with it’s battery pack. This is something I bought about a year ago, loved it and used it a lot and then I bought the Quadras. I was going to sell it, but found that it’s the perfect 3rd light when I am shooting indoors or not in bright sunlight…it’s just not powerful enough to overpower the sun. Then I have my camera and lenses…it’s a very full case.
So with all of that out of the way, you can see that I essentially bring a portable studio around with me. This helps me control the light, and I am very much a control freak when it comes to light…light is what makes or breaks a photograph, and I want to make sure it’s perfect. Normally when I am shooting a band, I tend to use 3 lights and at a minimum 2 lights. This is down to the way I shoot and I underexpose the background. The extra lights provide me with something to separate the subjects from the dark background. With this shoot though, I didn’t do any of that! I used 1 light. 1 Elinchrom quadra through a 42in octabox. This gave me 1 large, soft light source. It was big enough to light the entire band and soft enough to not make them look evil.
I found a long time ago that when I am photographing a band I place my light in the centre and shoot around it. This gives me butterfly/loop lighting on the singer, or anyone in the middle of the setup, and then the light falls off into rembrandt for those on the outside of the setup. I have messed around with other ways of positioning my lights for band shoots, but this works really well for me and the look that I want to achieve. That’s it really. One, large, soft light and then it was a matter of finding compositions that worked and running with it!
Hope you like them!
Remember, if you need promotional or PR photos you can contact me here.