I received a phone call from Chris Tsangarides at 10pm on Monday the 29th April asking if I was free the following day to come down to the Ecology Room Studios in Deal. I asked why…he said “To photograph The Quireboys new album cover…” or something like that. I can’t remember exactly as my feet had already left the floor.
I’ve photographed an album cover before (Liane Carroll’s Up and Down) but this was different. I had zero run-up and I was informed that their new manager, Jonni Davis, would be coming down. Nervous doesn’t even come close to how I felt. Terrified is probably closer.
I spent the entire day on Tuesday thinking about different set-ups and tried to guess what to expect. To cover all bases I decided to take my entire set-up including black backdrop, studio lights etc. The shoot started at 5pm and went pretty well considering. I set up a make-shift studio in their living quarters (the very living quarters that a lot of the Anvil movie was filmed in) and spent the first forty five minutes or so photographing Spike Gray in different outfits. The shoot was interrupted by a heated phone call but when he returned it was like nothing had happened. Totally professional.
The other guys (Paul Guerin, Keith Weir and Guy Griffin) eventually joined us after laying down a few more tracks in the studio and Jonni arrived shortly after that. He had very definite ideas of what he wanted for the album cover and set about directing the shoot. An assistant would have been brilliant on this particular shoot but I didn’t have one so struggled on regardless. The single portraits went very well but I struggled with the group shots. I found myself a little star struck when trying to direct them all into different positions so this worked against me somewhat. I haven’t done enough shoots with bigger acts to take it all in my stride just yet. It didn’t help either when one of my studio lights fell over breaking the flash receiver jack. I ended up using my speedlite to fire it thankfully.
All in all the shots look great and the band are still using them for promo.
An amazing learning curve. Nothing like being thrown in at the deep end.