Gerry Morgan of James Bay for Rhythm Magazine
The Apollo in London is an iconic venue, and it’s a venue I always wanted to do a shoot in. I was fortunate enough to get this opportunity when I was there to photograph Gerry Morgan, the drummer for James Bay, one afternoon before their show that evening. Normally, when I do shoots before I show, I am there during soundcheck and this provides me with a really awesome time to do the playing photographs. However, this was not one of those occasions…I was there after soundcheck, but still a long way before the show. This meant that Gerry and I had a lot of time to plan and wander and find places for amazing photos…and that is exactly what we did.
The shoot itself was pretty amazing, and full of laughs. Gerry is a very funny guy, and extraordinarily nice. A lot of the crew from James Bay thought this was the perfect time to take the piss of Gerry whilst I was photographing him playing the drums…and he took it like a champ and gave it right back. Gerry left to go grab something and James came by to see what was going on, and decided to hop on the drums himself for a minute. Sadly, I don’t have any photos of that because A, I was moving lights around, and B, I was just watching this all happen in front of me. It’s safe to say that James can play the drums, but I think Gerry’s job is safe! 😀
Normally, I like to do the playing shots last, or at least not before the portraits. This is so that the drummers that I am photographing aren’t sweaty in their portraits. But, the stage was reserved for an interview with James later and we had to get the playing shots done and get off the stage as quickly as possible. Once we finished this up, I took a few photos of the kit and we set about finding somewhere to do some portraits.
If you’ve never been to the Apollo, it’s an impressive venue. High, ornate ceilings and beauty everywhere. While this sounds like a photographers dream, it actually makes it quite hard to find places for portraits. A lot of the decorations and vastness are easily lost in portraits…so trying to find places that suit the mood of the article, but also the venue is very tricky. In the end, we found a few places and made some awesome photos. After the tear sheets, I will post a few of my favourites from the day.
The Tear Sheets:
Below are the tear sheets from the magazine itself. I love posting the tear sheets as they show how my photography works when it’s in use. The photos, for the most part, stand awesomely on their own, but nothing is quite as awesome as seeing them in use.
As you can see, I get a variety of shots for the magazines that I photograph for. For Rhythm, they always like shots of the drummer on their own (typically with some sticks), shots of them by their kit, shots of the kit, and then shots of them playing. The most important thing for the kit shots is to show the setup, where everything is. The magazine is aimed at drummers, and how other drummers setup their kit is very important to their readers.
Here are some of my favourite images from the shoot. Both used, and not used in the magazine itself.
As always, I try to get a selfie with everyone that I photographed…and this was no different. Especially with how cool a guy Gerry was.
On this shoot, everything was pretty simple. I shot with my Nikon d800e and used my 24-70mm 2.8 lens for the entire shoot. For the playing and kit portraits I used two lights. Both were Elinchrom Quadra Rangers with the key light being shot through a large octobox and the rim light being bare, but set very far from the subject. The other portraits were a single light, again the Elinchrom Quadra Ranger and shot through my large octobox.