2013 – what a ride! Honestly, I look back on last year and sometimes pinch myself at the fact that my first professional live shoot was buried in a small intimate venue called Bush Hall on 25th February – less than a year ago. That night, if you’d ask me whether I’d be shooting acts like Rihanna, Bon Jovi, Soundgarden, Keith Urban and Taylor Swift, I’d most probably have laughed.
What transpired in the 10 months that followed has left me feeling so humbled, but also incredibly blessed – the acts I’ve shot, the places I’ve travelled to, the recognition I’ve gained and the fantastic people I’ve met – all form part of what I can only describe as the most successful and satisfying induction to the world of live music photography.
I could not be positioned where I am now without mentioning some of the important people that have been pivotal in getting me to this point. Firstly, the amazing and passionate guys down at 2country.net – Erica and Rob are two of the nicest people I’ve ever met in my life and their passion for country music and growing its credibility and exposure here in the UK put them as leaders and great ambassadors for country music over here across the pond. Secondly, I feel so blessed to be closely working with the Country Music Association over in Nashville – the support and feedback I’ve been given by Christian and Bobbi over at the CMA has really been a big part of the motivation and continued drive to further develop my skills – so thank you so much for giving me the opportunity to be a part of the music scene in Nashville. Other mentions go out to the lovely people I’ve met in my travels and in the country community over here – Natasha, Sukie, Chris, Dave, Sophie, Kelly, Chuck, Steve, Andrew, Gary, Alan, Hannah, Jeannine, Sara and loads of others who have supported what I do and are just genuinely great people who share the same love of music. To Julie and Caroline at SJM Concerts for giving me the opportunity to work closely with the upcoming 2014 C2C Festival while I was over in Nashville – shooting Rascal Flatts and Dierks Bentley in a recording studio in Music Row – thanks. To Lauren formerly of Mercury who has started her own PR business now for giving me the opportunity to shoot artists such as Ne-Yo, Rihanna, Soundgarden and Placebo – she’s a proper leader in her field! David from the Outside Organisation, Tony from Listen Up PR, Stephanie from the O2, Alan and now Laura at Maverick Magazine – all such great people to deal with. And not to forget the peers – I’ve met some great photographers in the maze of the photo pits in various venues. Some really great people. And the artists themselves – it has been very humbling to say the least to get such positive feedback directly from certain artists I’ve shot – from the fellas at Florida Georgia Line, Dierks Bentley’s band, the legendary Sam Bush, CMA Award winning director Shane Drake, Sheryl Crow, Ritchie Neville from 5ive, the super talented Lindsay Ell, The Band Perry, Kacey Musgraves, Amy Macdonald, Roger Daltrey and local artists such as Gary, Hannah, Jeannine and Luke & Mel. My close friends Sha, Ems and Brook for always supporting and giving good advice. Finally, and most importantly, a HUGE thank you to my wife who has had to deal with last minute gigs, overseas trips to Music City and generally for putting up with my late night and weekend editing. I seriously have the most supportive wife in the world!
This year has seen me become a British citizen, a Sterling Member of the CMA, have my photos published in Maverick Magazine, Country Music People, Planet Rock, Digital Photographer and my social presence has shot through the roof off the back of the CMA Awards in November (if you haven’t yet done so, click the LIKE button at the top of the page – I’d really appreciate it!)
I love photography and music – specifically country music – and to be able to combine the two into what I do and to contribute to the industry visually is something I am so fortunate to be doing – and to be where I am now, less than twelve months after being in the wilderness, is just mind-blowing. So excited to see what 2014 has in store!
Thanks again everyone for – most importantly – the encouragement and feedback you’ve given me over the past twelve months! It’s priceless.