Music Photography: The Mono LPs in London
Music Photography – The Mono LPs
Music photography will always be in my soul, in much the same way that playing music and listening to music is. I grew up playing blues guitar, and many of the first photographs I made were of friends’ bands performing locally. While I shoot a wider variety of things these days, I always come back to music photography. And I have a pretty unique style among what I see being made today – I grew up on blues, jazz, and rock music, so I’m heavily influenced by the documentary feel and amount of layering you see in all those recording studio photographs of Miles Davis, Bob Dylan, Jimi Hendrix, and countless other luminaries from the history of music. Feeling is everything.
I was chatting the other day with my pal, and fellow music photographer, Steve Huff. We were in agreement that music photography can easily look the same from band to band, from photographer to photographer. If you don’t push yourself, you just end up with the same music photographs that everyone else who is basically competent with a camera has.
Steve’s site is well worth checking out – he has some excellent music photography and great photography gear reviews. I love his music photography – we have different styles, but we both push ourselves to get images that go beyond the usual gig photography.
For me, live music photography has to be more than the standard black background and bright lights, the well-framed but pedestrian shot of a performer. Even if the expression is great, it can too often just end up looking like a million other gig photographs you’ve seen already. For me, expression is huge but I also try to find ways to layer my images in the hope of recreating some of the raw feel of a live concert.
Of course, how well you can achieve that depends in part on the venue you’re in and the performers you’re photographing. I can make good work consistently, but it needs a good performance on stage for me to be able to raise it to something great.
The Mono LPs
Fortunately, this night I was photographing The Mono LPs and they’re a cracking live band who really understand how great stage craft can affect music photography. I’ve photographed them before, at their first acoustic gig back in Liverpool last year. But this time, we were in Hoxton in, at The Underbelly bar, and they brought amps. Big amps. With overdrive pedals and everything. You know where this is going!
I’ve talked about how to make great music photography before, so I’ll just dive right in and show you the photographs from the gig…
But before I do, a quick word about the band: AWESOME. Really, you should check them out. You can find them at their web-home here, and you can follow them on Facebook and Twitter for the latest updates about gigs and new record releases. And if you enjoy the music photography I’m posting here, you can see more of it in the Music section of my commercial photography portfolio or follow me on Facebook or Twitter. Enjoy!