Twenty One Pilots Cover and Feature Photography
Edit: The tear sheets I have uploaded have the text blurred out. If you want to read the article you can buy it here.
Rocksound, who doesn’t love Rocksound? Rocksound is one of the UK’s leading music magazine and a magazine that I have shot for a few times in the past. This time though things were a little different. Not only were we going to be photographing a band with smoke bombs and flares, and not only was the shoot going to be my first cover for Rocksound, it was also photographing Twenty One Pilots. If you haven’t heard of Twenty One Pilots and live in the US you have been living under a rock. In the UK, you will certainly be hearing about them soon enough. They are the hottest band on the planet right now with a number one album in the US and a massive, massive cult following.
When I first got the brief for the shoot, I was already a little nervous. Not because I was photographing Twenty One Pilots, or the fact that the shoot for was the cover of Rocksound, but because of the flares. Flares are bright! They are, after all, designed to be seen for miles and used as distress signals. I tried doing a little research to find out exactly how bright they were, but couldn’t find any reliable information before the shoot. This left me with having to try and figure out how to balance my flash with the brightness of the flare, and unfortunately I was going to have to do it during the shoot. Not ideal in any situation, but even less ideal when you have a total of five flares for the entire day. I couldn’t afford to take a long time to figure this out or we would be extremely limited in what we could do with the flares.
Thankfully, even though it proved one of the most difficult shoots I have ever done, it didn’t take me long to get the balance right and get the photos looking amazing. And yes, they look AMAZING! I think it’s safe to say that these are some of my favourite photos that I have taken to date. It’s not just because of the cover of Rocksound, or that they cover a massive 10 pages inside the magazine as well, or that it was Twenty One Pilots, but because of how they turned out. The images met the brief from Rocksound perfectly and are captivating, engaging, and simply look awesome…something an editorial image should do. They make you want to read the article, even if you have never heard of Twenty One Pilots before.
Besides the brief for the flares and smoke bombs, we also had the brief for the cover images. These were shot in an infinity cove to allow them to be composited onto the cover artwork. The brief for the cover images was simply that they wanted Twenty One Pilots to look like they would fit on a propaganda poster. Easy! I added a couple of lights behind Josh and Tyler to give the images a more dramatic look and then shot from a very low perspective. I call it the “superman” perspective as shooting up at your subjects (when done correctly) can give them a larger than life feel…a bit of a superhero feel. The lighting and shooting from this perspective really helped give Twenty One Pilots a larger than life lookl..something that tied in perfectly with the article and the look of the cover.
Enough rambling from me…have a look through the images yourself. I have included some behind the scenes images at the end as well so you can get an idea of what it was like to do this shoot.
Enjoy, and of course leave comments below and share as much as you can. 😀
Twenty One Pilots Rocksound Shoot Behind the Scenes
A few behind the scenes photos to give a feel for not only how I work on location, but to also give a sense of what it was like to be on this shoot with all the smoke and flares and general awesomeness. 😀
Special thanks to my friend Nedine at Fera Photography for assisting me on the shoot and taking the behind the scenes photos. Thank you!!!!