As film is relegated to nostalgia and everyone snaps photos and videos from their phones at live shows, the question we must ask is: what makes music photographers an essential part of rock’n’roll’s future? What does it take for their photographs to stand the test of time and achieve immortality in a world where images often have a lifespan of just seconds?
A music photographer is way more than a person with a camera taking snaps. True talent doesn’t just lie in technical ability - a camera is after all just a tool. A talented photographer’s gift is to create beauty and harmony, to capture a perfect moment with split second timing, to discover the artist’s soul, convey his personality, his creative essence, and to express it in one image. To portray the power of the music in immediate, impactful visual form. A photographer will use technical skills and his “eye” to do this, but first and most essentially, he needs be able to truly “see” and understand who he aims to depict.
ICON takes the viewer on an intimate journey with the photographer through the artist’s soul looking for that key; it’s an unprecedented insight into some of the most secretive and beloved musicians of our times, not just for the AAA access but because of that discretely inquisitive eye guiding us on the journey.
It wasn’t just Red Hot Chilli Peppers baring it all on a front cover: they are all virtually naked as they let the photographer in, up close and personal. Its a unique mix of power and fragility, very different to being adored and judged by thousands on stage. The way a band approaches an editorial shoot is unique, and nothing brings you more insightfully “behind the music” than this series.
Gered Mankowitz and the Vaseline lens technique created for a Rolling Stone cover, Deborah Feingold’s encounter with a young shy Prince, Chalkie Davies discovering Elton John’s struggles to go public with his sexuality: these are just a few of the stories shared in never before seen footage - bringing you closer than ever to your favourite musical icons. There’s a reason why these are the images are on your actual wall, and not just the Facebook one!
“Now it's all designed to blow our minds, but our minds won't really be blown like the blow that'll get ya when you get your picture on the cover of the Rolling Stone” -Dr Hook
Icon premiers on on Sky Arts on Friday 6th November. Catch the trailer below.