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 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:
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.
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 then… What’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.
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?
Steak dinner or fish’n’chips?
Beer or wine? (or cocktails??)
Neither – scotch and coke.
Vinyl, or mp3/downloads?
If you could go back in time, would you rather go back to the 1960s or the 1980s?
If you were to swap roles with a rock star, who would you be: singer, guitarist, drummer, bassist or keyboarder?
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!