Isaac Holman (Slaves) | Rhythm Magazine Issue 249

Isaac Holman – Slaves – Rhythm Issue 249


After driving around, slightly lost, through the back road of Henley-on-Thames I pulled up to The Doghouse studio to photograph Isaac Holman of Slaves.  The Doghouse studio was tucked away into the English countryside and was definitely far away from any distractions, and this must be why Slaves chose it to concentrate on writing new music.  It was peaceful, and surrounded by beautiful scenery.  Inside the studio was everything you would expect.  All the amenities you would require along with a huge rehearsal room.


When I arrived I found Laurie (guitarist) lying on the sofa reading a book and Isaac sitting across from him playing on his phone.  They both hopped up and quickly introduced themselves.  Once the formalities were out of the way, we started talking about the shoot itself.  With Slaves only being a two piece band, Rhythm wanted me to photograph both Isaac and Laurie together.  They were both excited for the shoot and quickly showed me around The Doghouse as we talked through the idea for the shoot.  As we walked through the main room, I spotted a smaller storage room to the back.  As we entered the storage room, I realised it was perfect.  On the back wall was one of those office cubicle dividers and it was bright red… it was perfect!!  Both Isaac and Laurie loved the idea of using it for the shoot and off they went to get ready.


Whenever I do a shoot for Rhythm magazine, the brief always has some of the same elements.  Photograph the drummer by himself with his drum sticks and then a few posed shots at their kit, and then a few shots of them playing.  With Slaves being two piece, I decided to start with the portraits of the two of them together so that Laurie wouldn’t have to hang around waiting while I photographed Isaac.  Photographing the two of them together was an absolute joy.  Isaac and Laurie are quite close, so it was easy to get their personalities to shine through without having to coax it out…and the results of these shots speak for themselves.  Below is one of the images from this portion of the shoot that Rhythm ran in the magazine.




Once we wrapped up the portraits, it was time to move onto the kit.  After a couple of posed shots at the kit, I needed to get some of Isaac playing.  Isaac suggested that we get Laurie to play as well, as playing a song together would get the most from Isaac and his playing and give us the emotion of him playing live.  A private performance from Slaves?  I was more than happy with this suggestion!  As Slaves ran through a new song, I snapped away and captured some great image of Isaac playing and singing.  Playing shots done, we then decided to capture some more candid images of Isaac and Laurie at the mixing board in the studio as they listened back to some recordings they had done earlier in the day.


Everything done, I packed up and chatted with Isaac for a few minutes before heading out.  Photographing Slaves was an absolutely pleasure and one of the highlights of my year.  😀


Below are some more tear sheets from the magazine as well as a couple of my favourite image from the shoot.











and of course the selfie!  😀






As promised a few blog posts ago, I have started talking about the different equipment used on my shoots.  This shoot with Slaves was pretty straight forward, though limited space (due to equipment) dictated what I was going to use more than anything else.  For the portraits against the red, I was very very cramped for space.  Because I was so limited I needed a slightly wide, but ultimately small and light lens.  For this I went with my 50mm 1.8 on my Nikon D800e.  Why did I need a small and light lens?  Well, there wan’t enough space for me to put a light stand.  This meant that I hand held one of my Elinchrom Quadra heads shot through my large octobox.  This was something I have had to do before, and having a small and light lens on my body made this far easier than it sounds.  When it came to the playing shots, I had a little more room and I was able to put my Quadra head onto a light stand.  The type of shots needed for Rhythm are wide, so for this I went with my 24-70mm 2.8.  That’s it.  All the different shots were a single light and nothing too fancy equipment wise.


Hope you enjoyed this as much as I did shooting it!  Please do feel to free to leave any comments or questions below.






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George Fairbairn Photography |2015 Year in Review – George Fairbairn Photography |
January 8, 2016 at 2:52 pm

[…] in 2015 are Frank Turner, Josh Eppard of Coheed and Cambria, Andy Bell of Ride and Oasis, and Slaves.  There were many more, but you will have to keep checking back to see when those come out! […]

Alex Torjussen | James Morrison | Rhythm Magazine Issue 253 | George Fairbairn Photography |
April 11, 2016 at 9:29 am

[…] Rhythm Magazine is one of my favourite magazines to shoot for.  Every shoot challenges me to come up with something new and different for photographing a drummer, whilst avoiding the cliche’s you would expect with portraits of drummers.  There are only so many things you can do with drum sticks in a photo, and the challenge of coming up with something new is what I love about these shoots.  With this in mind, each shoot that I do for Rhythm Magazine I try different angles, different compositions, and of course different poses.  As I mentioned earlier though, there are only so many things that you can do with drum sticks, and I don’t like to repeat the more unique poses (like drum sticks up the nose with Slaves). […]