Where do I even start?
2016 has thrown me a few surprises along the way in terms of shooting live music and 99% of them have been pretty awesome to say the least. I started out the year with the goal of shooting some arena shows for the first time, and by the end of January I’d already managed to shoot The Libertines at Manchester Arena. I was back there again in February to photograph All Time Low’s explosive show with Good Charlotte, and somehow managed to swindle a AAA to shoot the full show!
With the success of my music website Soundcheck-Live last year and it’s strong start to 2016, I was pretty much getting accepted to shoot the majority of shows I applied for which was pretty crazy! With things going smoothly I wanted to set myself another target as I always want to aim higher. So I did what I could regarding coverage on S-L for Slam Dunk Festival to make sure I could head back again, and the same to optimistically shoot my favorite festival, Leeds Festival.
Much to my amazement I managed to shoot both, and Leeds Festival threw me so many chances and opportunities to capture some incredible photos, some being the best I’ve ever taken. However to make sure I took full advantage of this opportunity I had to dive into my savings for a new zoom lens (f2.8 70-200mm), but it was probably the best risk I took as I would never have gotten half of the shots I did without it!
However the most memorable experience from this year was one that found me. I was lucky enough to be approached by the lovely lads in Don Broco to join them on their UK Priorities/Automatic tour, and needless to say I snapped their hands off. Unfortunately I only could do the first third of the tour due to not being able to take more than a week off work, but it was enough to do two nights in each of Manchester, Glasgow and Newcastle, before returning to squeeze in shooting the Leeds key club shows after work the following week.
It all went so quickly, but I managed to get some pretty decent shots from the shows considering they were club shows with each having different restrictions (e.g. Leeds and Manchester not having a barriers etc), but I always love a challenge and the tour threw plenty my way! I learned an awful lot from being a tour photographer for the first time, some things I would do differently and others I wouldn’t but it’s all part of the learning curve, and I m sure if I had a similar chance again in the future I could get so much from it again. In terms of the experience of being on the road it was an eye opener. It’s amazing to see how much time, effort, passion bands put into each show to make sure its the best it can be for every fan, and also the restrictions and problems touring life throws at them. But even though it can be tough, it can also be extremely fun! I met some incredible people and made some great new friends which was probably the best thing I took from this experience, so I have to thank the band for giving me that opportunity!
Each and every show I’ve been fortunate to shoot this year has given me so much, and nothing has ever been the same, and to start talking about all of them would make this endless, so I’m going to leave it here and drop some of my favorite shots from 2016 from start to finish below…
Thanks to everyone, friends, family, press, photographers and more for their support and making this year such an amazing year!
Roll on 2017!