2016 – Photographer Year in Review
Grab a cup of coffee, or a cup of tea and relax. This will be a long one, but one filled with awesomeness and awesome images. Ready? I’ll give you a couple of minutes to get your drink and get comfortable.
2016, what can I say. I could start with all the obviously bad things about 2016, but let’s not talk about any of those. Regardless of how you look at it, 2016 will live on as a memorable year for decades. For me, I won’t lie to you… it was a pretty amazing year. In March my wife and I welcomes our second child, a little girl we named Sloane. My son is growing up fast and turning into an amazing little man. We had a lot of fun as a family, and I had a lot of fun as a photographer. I photographed some absolutely amazing people in 2016, made some amazing friends, and created some amazing images. I figure the best way to do this is to run through each month and show you my favourite shoot or two from each month. So, here we go!
ps – where I have already written a blog post for the shoots below, I will link to it.
January started with a bang and I was off shooting straight away. First up was an awesome shoot for Kerrang with The Ghost Riders in the Sky. The shoot took place in a social club on a very cold morning in January. The social club had a stage and a lot of artificial plants, and this all lead to one super cool photo.
After that, my next favourite shoot of the month has to be the time I headed to the Leake Street tunnel with High Hopes. Again, this was another fun, fun, fun shoot. The guys in High Hopes were all amazing to work with, and the tunnel gave us endless possibilities for backgrounds.
Sandwiched in between these two shoots though was the annual SWPP convention that I attend. Not only do I attend this each year, but I have won awards there as well as speaking and giving classes there. It was at one of those classes that I was teaching that I created what might be my favourite image ever.
February turned out to be my busiest month of 2016, and it created some awesome images. It was quite hard for me to narrow this down, as everything I shot in February was awesome. But, here are my two favourites from the month.
First up we have the absolutely amazing celebrity tattoo artist Kevin Paul. If you watched Tattoo Disasters, you will recognise Kevin. He is the “go to” tattoo artist for many celebrities including Ed Sheeran and One Direction. The photo below is one of those “happy accidents” from the day.
Shortly after this shoot, which took place at his studio in Derby, I was back in that area. But this time I was at Rock City in Nottingham to photographer Josh Dun of Twenty One Pilots for Rhythm Magazine. This was the second time I had photographed Twenty One Pilots, and I think it produced some of my best work to date.
After a busy February, March didn’t let up and saw me driving all over the UK again. First I got to head out to an amazing little pub in Oxford to photograph The Bros. Landreth for Guitarist Magazine. This was one of those shoots that everything just “clicked”. The image you are going to see below was the very first shutter press on the day. It was meant to be a test shot…make sure my lighting was good and that I liked the composition and things like that. But, it was perfect…absolutely perfect and is still one of my favourite photos.
I had so many good shoots in March, that I think March is harder to narrow down than February was. I have decided on a shot of James Bay drummer Gerry Morgan as my second for March. But March saw me also shoot awesomeness like Purson and Emma Blackery… but I love this photo so it’s what I have chosen.
April, besides being the month of my birthday, is always one of my favourite months. Spring is starting to come and everyone just seems that little bit happier. I didn’t drive all around the country as much (though I did again go to Rock City in Nottingham to photograph Sigma drummer Paul Jones), as nearly everything I shot in April was in London. But, I think the obvious favourite photo from April has to be the time I photographed Lacuna Coil with a raven for Kerrang.
The second favourite shoot of April is also a bit of a sad one. I was sent by Total Guitar and Rhythm Magazine to photograph the Searle brothers of Architects. If you are unaware, Tom unfortunately passed away earlier this year.
May…what can I say about May besides the fact that it will live in my memory for ever as one of the most surreal months I have ever had. I photographed Ian Matthews of Kasabian in the Leicester City changing rooms at the King Power stadium before a show, and I also photographed Peter Gabriel’s drummer during a rehearsal… all in all a crazy, awesome, surreal month.
Besides those surreal moments though, I also created one of the most beautiful images I have ever shot. I shoot a lot for the nail industry, and this was my first cover shoot for industry magazine Scratch.
Ok, I know I just said that May was a surreal month… well, June didn’t let off on the surrealism at all. June saw me photograph childhood hero Wes Borland of Limp Bizkit at a London hotel.
And then, after that, I was backstage at the O2 in a hidden room photographing Alice Cooper’s drummer Glen Sobel (and getting to see Alice Cooper live for the first time). I also did some of the shots on stage behind the curtain as The Darkness played to the crowd…. it was insanely weird and awesome.
July didn’t see anything slow down for me at all. In fact, the year just kept getting more and more awesome. July saw me shoot the cover of Acoustic Magazine with the absolute legend that is Passenger (I think he’s tied for the nicest person I have ever photographed with Frank Turner and Josh Eppard).
After that I was in a tiny little pub in Camden to photograph another childhood icon… Tim Commerford of Rage Against the Machine. I was there to photograph his new band Wakrat and their drummer Mathias Wakrat, but also get a shot of two of Timmy C as well. So, here is a photo of each!
August… a weird one really. I was on holiday for a couple of weeks, and had one big shoot at the beginning of the month that took up a week. So, there was only two shoots for the month to show you! First up was a shoot for London Kidspace (blog coming soon!)
After this shoot, which was the one bog shoot of the month, I headed to Leicester again to photograph Burnski for Future Music Magazine.
September saw things pick up again and it’s been really hard to narrow down the shoots for this blog. As a photographer, you often find yourself either loving all your images, or hating all your images. For me, I tend to love most of my images, but like every photographer, there are some that I hate for whatever reason. September though, there really isn’t anything I hate and I love them all… so here are three shoots instead of two. I just couldn’t nail it down to two.
First up was one of the coolest shoots of the year. Hannah Peel for Electronic Sound Magazine. This shoot produced some of my coolest, and most unique, images I have ever shot.
After that I did a really awesome advertising shoot for a publishing company. There were hundreds of awesome photos taken on the day, but this photo was one of those that I knew the moment I pressed the shutter was the best (blog post coming soon).
And then another amazingly nice guy (and awesome music to boot), Kelvin Jones for Acoustic Magazine.
We are now entering the realm of where I haven’t blogged shoots, or I can’t share images from those shoots yet. The most amazing shoot of October falls into the can’t share yet realm… and that was getting to photograph Bowling For Soup. I promise, you are going to see those images VERY soon… but not yet!
But, I had another one of those surreal shoots in October where I got to photograph three punk drumming legends for Rhythm Magazine (blog post coming soon).
Another favourite shoot for October has to be when I photographed Max Cooper for Future Music Magazine (blog post coming soon). Max had the coolest, and cleanest, studio I have ever been in.
November will forever live in my mind as the month that I got to photograph my absolute hero… J Mascis. I have forever been a massive Dinosaur Jr fan. They have been my favourite band in the world since the first time I saw them 20 years ago at Lollapalooza in Chicago (my home town). Getting sent by Total Guitar Magazine to photograph J Mascis was the first “true” test of whether I could not go fan boy on someone…and I didn’t! J was incredible to photograph in the very short time that I had with him. But, I can’t share those images yet!
But, November saw me do one of the coolest shoots I have ever done as a professional photographer. Being the unit stills photographer for a music video by Hollywood Records artist Alex Maxwell (and I got to work with real, live wolves!)
Another awesome day was the day I spent with the British Drum Company at the London Drum Show. I need to blog this still, but what an awesome day it was!
December is always a weird month for posts like this. I usually can’t share much of what I have shot yet, so it’s nearly pointless! But, you can’t have a year in review post without including December. There is one shoot I did in December that I can share an image from, and that was a fashion shoot for a tattoo brand Inkslingerz (blog post coming soon).
Besides that awesome shoot, I did some photos for a really cool band in a cool location as well as photographing a CEO for a business magazine…but those will come in time. 😀
We also had our annual family photo!!
There were many things about 2016 that will live on in my memory for a long time. To date, it’s the most surreal year that I have ever had… but long may it continue and here’s hoping 2017 is even more surreal (though topping getting to photograph J Mascis will be tough).
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