FRIDAY SPECIAL! Meet Nick Elliott, Rock Photographer Extraordinaire

Today, I’m rocking your world from a different angle!

It’s my great pleasure and privilege to bring you a glimpse into the world and the art of Nick Elliott, Rock Photographer.

Nick Elliott. Photo courtesy of Nick Elliott, with thanks.

Nick Elliott. Photo courtesy of Nick Elliott, with thanks.

Nick and I first ‘met’ during the live on-air launch party for Sophie’s Run, and we’ve been in touch via social media ever since. Nick has a terrific sense of humour and a huge wealth of experience of working in and with the rock industry. Evidently, I was going to be intrigued by his work and his career, and eventually I asked him whether he might like to visit me for an interview.  He said yes! So without further ado, I give you:

Logo courtesy of Nick Elliott PR Office, with thanks.

Logo courtesy of Nick Elliott PR Office, with thanks.

Hi Nick, thank you so much for taking time out of your hectic schedule to chat with me today ~ I am honoured! So, let’s introduce you to my readers. Who is Nick Elliott? Give me the potted history of Nick Elliott, rock photographer.

Nick Elliott is, essentially, a deep and passionate and a romantic person who shares a bed with a partner that goes under the name of creativity and has an unbelievable drive and push to create work that will live on well beyond him.

I like your style, Nick! Tell us, how did you get into rock photography?

I’ve always been around and worked in the music industry in various different guises.

If I have a second passion to photography, it’s music and it is really the foundation of my image creation – sitting in a dark room listening to legendary rock bands and some fantastic artists. These guys then went onto become my heroes, part of the foundation of the person I am.

Prior to specialising in the music business,I was a creative advertising photographer shooting a lot of above-the-line campaigns working on accounts such as cigarette manufacturers, pharmaceuticals, cars and fashion for some of the biggest advertising agencies and clients on the planet.

The digi revolution was just starting to hit, things were changing in a big way, I was creatively very frustrated and decided that, at that point, it was the right time to specialise in what I really wanted to do.

Follow that dream ~ that’s simply inspiring! You mentioned the digi revolution… how has technology and equipment changed since you first started out? Does this make your job easier or harder?

Technology has changed the photographic business but it has also, effectively, killed the business.

A I Lay Daying copyright by Nick Elliott via www.redalbelpublishing.com.

“As I Lay Dying” copyright by Nick Elliott via http://www.redalbelpublishing.com.

Whoa, I didn’t expect that answer! How come?

Technology has now opened up photography, which is an art form and should always remain that, to be violated by a load of nobody people thinking that they are somebody and, in this case photographers.

Creativity cannot be taught but they now claim that photography can, be so I don’t welcome the move from traditional to digital photography, as a whole.

It’s a lot easier now to just take pictures but a lot harder to define a style and create art.

Do you know, I think I know what you mean. Digitization has sent similar ‘shock waves’ through the publishing industry!

But let’s leave technology for a moment and look at your subjects… your models, I mean. How have rock bands changes since you first started out?

They’ve become a lot ‘cleaner’, you don’t have as much excess as you did – drink, drugs, sex – it’s made for TV now and is not as ‘raw’. It’s not as ‘working class’, which drove particular parts of the genre, like heavy metal, and the inspiration for some of the great songs to be written.

It’s really interesting to hear you say that ~ this is fabulous input from one who knows to one who writes about it! 🙂 Speaking of, I am incredibly structured in my writing process, I like my routine. Do you have a typical ‘shooting day’ schedule?

 There isn’t one. There is no ‘typical’ in this business at all.

Lol, I’ll file that comment for future reference! So in the absence of typical-ness, how do you know when/that you’ve taken that killer shot, the amazing photo that will make your (and the artist’s) day?

Well, for me it is a very spiritual thing, it’s a sense of knowing that when you look at this particular composition, certainly with the live stuff, it’s there. It’s a feeling, you know, like a chemistry that I have got exactly what I went there to get.

I like that! It definitely has to be some kind of chemistry, it shows in your photos! Now thenWhat’s the best thing about being a rock photographer?

I don’t think there is a ‘best thing’ about being a rock photographer. For me, it’s about living the dream, fulfilling childhood ambitions but most of all, it is about the creation of the images, the art, leaving a mark, taking people to another place when they look at my work.

I’d say that’s definitely mission accomplished! Do you have any tips for aspiring rock photographers?

It’s all about style.

"Black Stone Cherry" copyright by Nick Elliott represented by www.redlabelpublishing.com.

“Black Stone Cherry” copyright by Nick Elliott represented by http://www.redlabelpublishing.com.

Short, sweet, and to the point. Budding rock photographers of the world, take note: find your style. Thank you, Nick. 🙂

I see time is whizzing by all too quickly, but can we manage some quick-fire pick’n’mix questions just for fun? We can? Excellent, here goes:

Digital photography or traditional rolls of film?
There are pros and cons on both sides but if I had to choose I’d go for digital.

Colour or black and white?
Black and white.

Bon Jovi or Queen?
Queen.

Steak dinner or fish’n’chips?
Steak dinner.

Beer or wine? (or cocktails??)
Neither – scotch and coke.

 Vinyl, or mp3/downloads?
MP3.

If you could go back in time, would you rather go back to the 1960s or the 1980s?
1960s.

If you were to swap roles with a rock star, who would you be: singer, guitarist, drummer, bassist or keyboarder?
Guitarist.

Wow, that’s so cool! There are the ingredients for a great rock’n’roll party here, methinks. Thank you for taking part! And thank you indeed again for visiting and chatting today. I guess I better let you go, but I hope that maybe you’ll come back one day so I can find out more about defining a style and quiz you about a sample day at work (if not a typical one, LOL). It’s been a blast!

Want to know more?
Find Nick Elliott here:

NICK ELLIOTT PRESS OFFICE | TWITTER | FACEBOOK

Lovely readers ~ your turn! Have you any thoughts or questions for Nick?

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39 responses to “FRIDAY SPECIAL! Meet Nick Elliott, Rock Photographer Extraordinaire

  1. Fabulous interview Nicky – and thank you Nick for a great insight into rock photography! I am curious to find out if there has been a favourite of all the bands he has photographed?

    • Thanks for stopping by, Jo, and a great question~I’m curious too but I wonder if Nick can reveal the answer…we’ll have to wait and see! Have a fab day and I’m so happy you enjoyed the feature! x

  2. Wow, see what I mean about talent….cannot be taught and cannot be learned. You either have it or you don’t and that goes for singing, playing and writing. What I have always said in response to those who ask what I think of writing classes, singing classes and so on – the basics of how to play, use a camera etc, yes, but it is a gift not learned….interesting and a man after my own heart. Fab. B&W rules.

    • Jane, hi! I thought you might enjoy this post. In fact, I’m surprised your two’s paths haven’t crossed. Thanks so much for your thoughts and fabulous comments and I agree, B&W rocks. (Although I am quite partial to a touch of colour, too.). Have a great day and thanks for visiting! 🙂

      • May well have crossed Nicky, I have worked with so many photographers all over the world, though sometimes the record company hired them and often they’d work with the stylist etc….a team, so unless they had reason to be introduced or I/we were there for the shoot it is possible not to register the name. I do know of him….of course. I do recall the late great Ray Palmer for example who worked on most of the rock and metal magazines way back mainly because we worked with a Page Three girl at the time and he loved taking her photo!! She sang….!! I’d have to go through albums and bio’s to check to see who did what with whom….Ray stands out because we did the session for Kerrang! and the journalist nearly popped his eyes at the girl’s ‘assets,’ and asked for an autograph and when she agreed, he opened his briefcase and took out virtually every magazine and paper with her photos (ever taken) and she had to sign them all. He was cock-a-hoop for months after. She joined one of our rock bands briefly but her modelling career got in the way.

      • What an anecdote, Jane, thank you! You have me smiling broadly. Wouldn’t it be fun to figure out whether you guys have met? (This is just writerly me stirring up some intrigue, haw haw). Thanks as always for your fabulous contribution; people like you and the lovely Nick make this blog an exciting place to be.

      • Nicky, didn’t I tell you what a lovely man Alice Cooper is? Now someone else says the same. He was a wonderful man to work with, just such fun too. 🙂

      • Well… I’ll just have to try and verify that fact for myself one day. Not that I don’t believe you. It’s just that… it would be awesome to meet him. *Nicky does a Wayne’s World impression of ‘I’m not worthy’…LOL*

  3. Nicky, thanks for another great look into the rock world. First, your fabulous interview with Jane Risdon and now this insightful conversation with Nick Elliott. His philosophical approach to his work is inspiring!

  4. Thanks for all your lovely comments about Nick, we’ll pass them on to him.
    Jo, we have posed your question to Nick and his answer was: “Hanoi Rock’s Michael Monroe would be up there, as well as Deep Purple’s Glenn Hughes. I also enjoyed shooting Ozzy Osbourne and working with Led Zep’s Robert Plant.”
    If anyone would like to ask Nick any questions at all, you can do so here: http://ask.fm/nickelliottinfo and we will let you know.
    Nick Elliott Press Office

  5. So great to feel the passion coming through in this interview Nicky and Nick! Anyone living their dream in today’s world is blessed and creativity is such a powerful drug … the best sort. So glad I dropped by!

    • Thank you so much, Linn, for your fabulous feedback. Nick’s an awesome interviewee, and I’m thrilled that the passion shines through. Living the dream indeed… you, too, Linn, and rock on!

  6. That was interesting – and I’ve got a question, out of all the bands or singers Nick worked with, which one(s) surprised him most with what they were like in reality beyond all the hoopla and press image and how/why?

  7. Yasmin, what an utterly inspired question! I look forward to what Nick has to say to this one. Thanks so much for visiting and taking part! X 🙂

  8. Hi Yasmin,

    We’ve asked Nick your question and he has replied:

    “I think in all honesty, each one of these artists are a surprise in themselves. They are all special people in their own right, they have to be to do what they do.

    “Alice Cooper and Julian Cope of Teardrop Explodes would have to be two and the legend that is Wilco Johnson from Dr Feelgood would also be in there. Newlton Faulkner was also a top man, a really nice guy.

    “The reason I mention them is that they were very deep, intelligent and warm people, and showed a closeness that you could would say could become a good friendship.”

    • Thank you for this! I am quite moved by this answer, I have to confess. Nick is a very lucky man to have met all these legends. Thank you for answering Yasmin’s question!

  9. Fabulous interview, Nick & Nicky. I did photography as part of my art course so can appreciate capturing that image just so. I’ve yet to capture an image of a band at a concert just so. Mine are a bit rubbish. Nick’s are totally amazing and artistically inspiring. 🙂 xx

  10. Fabulous!

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