Mark Tipping writes – “Live music photography is not for the faint-hearted, trust me. For a start you’re often not popular with the audience, and sometimes even the artist resents you being there too. And yet when the night is over, and the memories fade, it’s you they look to for those images to remind themselves of how great that show was.
It all started for me about three years ago when I approached the Beehive Honiton about shooting a live band. They’ve always been good to me, and providing you play by the rules, no one gets upset. Initially, those early days were more about confidence building. Demonstrating your camera skills, as well as the diplomacy often needed to make the night go without incident. There’s an etiquette to shooting a concert, generally try not to be too visible, don’t argue with security, and be prepared not to be paid for your time and effort. Those early gigs were easy in hindsight and I’ve always found independent artists and small venues the most rewarding. The bigger the name, the tougher the challenge. From shooting Debbie Harry to Bryan Adams, both difficult shoots (limited to one song only) in front of tens of thousands of people, to drinking post-show beers in backstage dressing rooms with the likes of Tom Williams and the Dodge Brothers, no two gigs are the same.
I’ve worked with many big artists since those early days: Simple Minds, A-Ha, Tears for Fears, The Pretenders, Jools Holland, Tom Odell, Alison Moyet to name but a few. I’ve also had a long term working arrangement travelling the country with Tom Chaplin and KEANE. This jobs takes you to all the major venues such as the spectacular Birmingham Symphony Hall, and into the centre of London to the iconic SCALA, home to so many legendary performances over the years.
You don’t always get to meet the artists, and sometimes there is competition from other photographers, all wrestling for the best angle. But on the whole, it’s an incredibly rewarding experience. I’d like to thank the staff at the Beehive Honiton for inviting me to exhibit my work. It all started here for me, and having travelled the country it’s always nice to return to my roots.”
The exhibition runs from Thursday 6 June to Saturday 22 June 2019.