Alex Torjussen | James Morrison | Rhythm Magazine Issue 253

Alex Torjussen for Rhythm Magazine


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).


With all of that in my mind, I headed to Shepherds Bush Empire for my shoot with Alex Torjussen thinking of different angles and compositions to try.  It helped tremendously on the day that whilst my allocated time slot for photos was taking place, the lighting guys for the James Morrison show that night were getting the lights ready.  This instantly was going to give me something different than what I had shot for Rhythm before and was something I was going to take advantage of.


The Images:


The stage lighting was key for the image that Rhythm used as the opening spread of the Alex Torjussen interview.  It was an image that I shot from a very low perspective and used the drum kit to frame Alex.  The stage lighting was perfect and gave me a truly awesome hair light on Alex as you can see below.




The other image of Alex used in the feature for Rhythm also utilised the stage lights a lot.  This time, I moved Alex off the drum kit and had him sit on the riser.  This was so that we could get a more environmental portrait that included more of the drum kit, but also so that we could include the logo of James Morrison into the shot.  During this shoot, Alex was the touring drummer for James Morrison and it was something that I definitely wanted to capture.




Whenever I am on shoots like this, I try to move around and look for other locations that can be used for some nice portraits.  I have even used service lifts before!!  Inside Shepherds Bush is a small, grungy staircase that leads the concert goers onto the floor.  It’s absolutely nothing special, but it just had a feel about it that I wanted to capture.  So we took a few portraits with Alex sat on the stairs and the below image was one of the results!





The Selfie:


As you are probably aware, every shoot I do I try to make sure that I get a selfie with who I am photographing once we are done with the shoot.  It doesn’t always happen, sometimes I forget, but it does for the vast majority!!


Here is my selfie with Alex!






This shoot was shot with my Nikon D800e and my 24-70mm lens.  For the first two images you see I used two lights.  Both Elinchrom Quarda Rangers with the key light being shot through a large octobox and the kicker being shot through a small octobox.  For the stair portrait I used a single Elinchrom Quadra shot through the large octobox.