The Day I Shot Some T H I E V E S
I do quite a lot of studio-based band shoots so it was rather nice to be asked to shoot Black Country combo (I know no-one uses the word “combo” any more but I like it) T H I E V E S on location. There was a fairly pressing deadline as the band needed an image for posters for a big gig at (I think) The Academy(?) in Birmingham.
When I asked what kind of look they were going for, guitarist Jake Goodman sent me an old black and white image of Oasis, lounging casually in what appeared to be the mixing room of a recording studio. So I contacted Andy Ward at Musoplex (http://www.musoplex.com/) in Oldbury – as the name suggests, a recording and rehearsal room complex and not entirely coincidentally where I had my first photographic studio.
I knew the control room at Musoplex fitted the look very well, and Andy brought in, or moved out, various bits of kit to complete the look. The band quite naturally adopted the appropriate positions on the sofa but we experimented with a few combinations and arrangements before it seemed right. The whole point of the shoot was to not look too “slick”, so I used my cheap but trusty Yong Nuo strobe (see my old post about these) which I fired remotely, bouncing the light off the room’s white ceiling, with just a little light kicking forward for highlights.
Then we moved to the stage area which Andy has set up for videos, interviews and photoshoots – painted white with black furniture and backed with Marshall amps. This area also offered the opportunity to shoot from above by using the gantry steps.
Heading outside, most of the band immediately sparked up their cigarettes. As we walked to the next location, I spotted a door with very clear “no smoking” signage. Too good an opportunity to miss. So I arranged the band (even the non-smoking minority) in front of this door for a few shots. This time, just a small burst of off-camera flash to add a bit of zing.
And finally, as Musoplex is almost directly underneath Junction 2 of the M5, I wanted to use the underneath of the motorway bridge as a background and ceiling for the shots. Off-camera flash again from one side, and then the other.
Despite having to get up at an unearthly hour on a Sunday morning (not easy for musicians), I think the band were happy with the outcome of the day. See my images as the band have used them, plus find out more about T H I E V E S at http://www.facebook.com/david.rann.58#!/thievesbirmingham?fref=ts