Who are you? I’m Niall Lea, I’m 17 years old and from a town not far from Liverpool, England. I shoot both photo and video work for bands and artists – I love the involvement that visual media gives me in music as a great lover of music – so it’s great to feel a part of the industry in a way.
How did you get started? I got started by shooting Liverpool’s Sound City festival, before this I’d been shooting other very different things (I started photography as a whole when I was 12), but I had always been very much into music and so this was my first venture into music photography. From the moment I started I knew that I loved it and it was to be a seed from which practically a whole new lifestyle would grow really! I’ve made some great friend and contacts, as well as forging a career I want to continue until I kick the bucket. Starting out in music photography really was the best thing I did.
What’s in the bag? Body: Canon 5D Mark II. Lenses: Canon 24-70mm F2.8L, Canon 70-200mm F2.8L, Canon 17-40mm F4L, Canon 50mm F1.2L, Canon 85mm F1.2L and Sigma 15mm F2.8 Fisheye.
Which photographers do you admire? I love the work of Andrew Whitton, Caitlin Mogridge and Danny North. I think all three of these have a fantastic style and quality to their work that obviously represents top-level music photography. I’m also jealous of Andrew and Caitlin’s work with The 1975, a band I love both musically and for having the best image of any band currently, possibly ever in my opinion. One day…
Your top 3 tips for music photographers?
- Form a friendly relationship with the bands/artists you work with by being nice, it’s likely they’ll want to work with you again because people like to be comfortable around people they work with.
- Don’t be afraid to try new POVs, there are a crowd of photographers right at the front of the stage, get yourself noticed for the unique photo you get!
- Try capturing the behind the scenes / documentary style photos if you can, behind stage, outside the venue etc. Very often artists love these to show on social media and suchlike, plus they show another aspect of the night, everybody has seen a live performance before, show something different!
My favourite shot is? My favourite live photo is of The Struts’ frontman Luke Spiller, taken at Liverpool’s Arts Club (above). This was one photos that I had planned out in my head, and I managed to pull it off exactly as planned. I love how it captures the mood of the gig perfectly; Luke’s glam-rock image, the showmanship, the drama etc. I also love how definitive black and white silhouettes are, it makes this feel like the definitive frontman photo, which means it has an inherent strength over some of my other favourites.
How can we find out more about you and find more of your work?
- Website: www.nialllea.com
- Facebook: facebook.com/nialllea
- Twitter: @NiallLeaPhoto
- Instagram: @nialllea
- Email: firstname.lastname@example.org
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