Matt Donnelly | Don Broco | Rhythm Magazine | Issue 251

Matt Donnelly of Don Broco for Rhythm Magazine


Don Broco is a band that I have photographed numerous times throughout the years, so I was heading into my shoot with Matt Donnelly with great anticipation.  Every time I have photographed them we’ve all had a great time.  They are all extremely nice and friendly guys, and if you aren’t careful you can spend the entire shoot just chatting with them and not getting anything done!


I arrived at Don Broco’s new rehearsal studio on a very rainy day a few days before Don Broco were due to head off on tour.  Matt arrived on his own before the rest of the band and told me how excited he was when he learned that I was going to be the photographer for the shoot!  I couldn’t thank him enough for the kind words, and he went on to say that I was one of the easiest photographers that he’s worked with and knowing that I was going to be the photographer for the shoot took a lot of pressure off of him.  He was extremely excited and nervous to be featured in Rhythm Magazine as it’s a magazine he read when he was learning to play the drums and it was always a dream of his to be featured in it!  Having a photographer that he knew and was comfortable working with he said made the experience that much better!


After we caught up for a bit, talking about their upcoming tour and their latest album Automatic, we got down to the business of the photography.  With shoots for Rhythm I run through a fairly standard process of photos… some stand alone portraits with drum sticks, then some portraits at or around the drum kit, and then some images of him playing.  I always try to keep the playing shots for last because some drummers can work up a sweat playing and I don’t want any sweaty portraits!!!


Matt, as usual, was extremely easy to photograph and was very candid in his posing and expressions and this only makes my job a lot easier!  As a result we got some great images for Rhythm and they ran with some of my favourite images from the shoot in the magazine.  Below are the main images that Rhythm used from the shoot….










When I saw the room that we were going to be shooting in, I knew I had to make use of the awesome black brick wall.  I took quite a few portraits of Matt against that wall and the one below was one of my favourite shots from the entire shoot….







As usual I shot with my Nikon D800e and my 24-70mm 2.8 lens.  Again for this shoot I used just one light and that was an Elinchrom Quadra shot through a large octobox.  I am finding myself using a single light more and more lately, which is a stark contrast to how I used to shoot.  I used to use three lights on almost every single shoot that I did.  Sometime last year though I found myself moving from three to one and am finding that I almost exclusively use one light these days.  I don’t use fill light as it’s not my style.  I can control the amount of contrast either by light position or by the modifier I am shooting through…my images will probably always remain rather high contrast though.


The Selfie:


I had to get my obligatory selfie with Matt after the shoot!





The Band:


Don Broco – If for some reason you haven’t heard Don Broco, you need to check them out.  It’s 80’s influenced rock with a lot of groove!  You won’t be disappointed!  😀