Behind the camera: Spike Porteous

IMG_9780Who are you? My name is Spike Porteous, I was born on the West coast of Scotland but I now live in Germany. Being a Brit abroad sometimes has it’s advantages, it helps with access to the many international artists who tour here. I have had a few careers in the past but photography is my first love, closely followed by music.

How did you get started? By accident… I cut my teeth as a sports photographer before a chance opportunity to shoot a small music festival took my career on this amazing journey. Since then I have almost exclusively shot live music & events.

What’s in the bag?

  • Canon 5DMk3
  • Canon 6D
  • Panasonic G2 MFT
  • Canon 17-35mm f2.8L
  • Canon 70-200mm f2.8L
  • Canon 135mm f2.0L
  • Canon 24-105mm f4L
  • Canon 50mm USM f1.4
  • Canon 85mm USM f1.8
  • Samyang 7.5mm f3.5 Fisheye MFT

Which photographers do you admire? Danny Clinch because he takes super cool photos and David Bailey because he got where he is by self belief and doing things his way. Oh… and he has taken some fantastic portraits!

Your top 3 tips for music photographers?

  • Know how to use your camera controls inside out, back to front and in the dark.
  • Use good glass.
  • Don’t be intimidated by other photographers in the pit but do be courteous.

My favourite shot is? This was one of those occasions where I was in exactly the right place at the right time. I took the photograph at a metal festival in Germany. It was a marathon gig and I had been shooting for around 7 hours when these guys, V8 Wankers, took to the stage. These were the last act for the night and, to be honest, I had contemplated packing up.

The lighting was pretty poor but I recall seeing the shot form through the viewfinder, almost in slow motion. Most of us at some point will experience that feeling you get in your stomach when you have nailed ‘THAT’ shot… I think I had it for a few days after that night! It’s was a fantastic feeling.

It’s probably not my best quality or most technically correct image, it just reminds me how much I love this job.

How can we find out more about you and find more of your work?

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