Josh Eppard of Coheed and Cambria For Rhythm Magazine
I arrived at a warehouse in an industrial estate in the Wimbledon Park area of London on a beautiful, warm summer afternoon after walking for quite some time. My camera gear is all stored in an amazing Peli case on wheels, but even the ease of the wheels weren’t enough to keep me from being a bit out of breathe when I arrived. I was here to photograph Coheed and Cambria drummer Josh Eppard for Rhythm magazine and it was a shoot I was really looking forward to as Coheed and Cambria were a band I grew up listening to and had always been a fan of.
Once I arrived I was instantly on the lookout for interesting places to use for the photoshoot, and the service lift that I used to bring my case up stairs was already a major contender… and I hadn’t even seen the rest of the building yet! Once upstairs I dragged my case into the rehearsal room where Coheed and Cambria were getting ready to play Heavy Fest the next night. The room was buzzing with energy and excitement as everyone was running through their sound and lighting for the show. As amazing as the energy and buzz in the room was, I instantly knew this room wasn’t the best option for the portraits of Josh…and the images of Josh playing his kit was going to take some modifications as there was nothing but giant electrical boxes behind the kit. Thankfully the lighting guy had a couple of huge black backdrops that we hung on the wall to give us a blank background and to hide the hideous electrical boxes.
I then hunted down Josh to discuss what our shoot was going to entail…little did I know that we wouldn’t even get to that for awhile. Josh and I instantly hit it off and began talking about baseball and music for the next 30 minutes before we even began discussing ideas for the shoot. 😀 When we did finally stop talking, we decided to do the portraits of Josh first so he wouldn’t be sweaty and tired from playing. Having scouted the building as I came in, I knew that we needed to use the service lift I had seen for the portrait shots. Having built up rapport with Josh before, the portrait shots were fun and easy. Josh knew exactly what I was looking for and delivered quickly, and before I knew it it was time to head to the kit and take some portraits as well as some images of him playing. Again, the portraits were fast and easy and then Josh began playing while I took photos from every angle I could think of. Capturing the emotion and technique with Josh was easy as he put everything he had into his playing… and it came through in the photos.
Once we were finished with the shoot, Josh and I talked for quite some time again before Claudio called him in for rehearsal! I felt a bit bad that we talked so much, but we really hit it off and will definitely be keeping in touch.
After the shoot Josh said “I’ve done a lot of these… photoshoots, having my picture taken. But this has been the easiest and most fun one I have ever done… and these are the best pictures ever taken of me.” High praise indeed and needless to say I was over the moon.
For this shoot I again used my Nikon D800e but with a couple of different lenses. For the portraits in the service lift I used my trusty 50mm 1.8. For the playing shots I used my Sigma 18-50 2.8 as this allowed me to get both wide and close up shots fairly quickly. For the service lift portraits I used one light, and for the playing shots I used two. My lights were my Elinchrom Quadra’s with the key light being shots through a large octobox and the rim light bare set camera left and behind Josh. This was done to separate Josh from the black background as he was wearing a black hoodie. If I had not used this light, Josh very likely would have blended into the background.
So there you have it. Josh Eppard is one of the nicest guys I have ever met, let alone ever photographed… yes I am aware this probably sounds man-crush like. 😀 But, if for some reason you don’t know Coheed and Cambria, you need to check them out. Also check out Josh’s rap Weerd Science.
Please do feel free to ask any questions below and leave any comments…and of course share. 😀