All In A Good Cause!

At Stuart Homer Photography we’re all in favour of supporting a good cause and the last week has been no exception.

Last year our very good friend Tim Quinn in Liverpool invited us to support a programme he had conceived, unfortunately we weren’t available however this year we’ve been able to give the project our full commitment.

Tim has a longstanding background rubbing shoulders with superheroes – after all he used to work for Marvel. When the chance came to bring together Supergirl’s sister (actress Chyler Leigh) and her husband Nathan West’s band East of Eli all the way from the USA to  perform several charity gigs in aid of Liverpool Hearbeat we were keen to support.

You can see images from an interview evening with Chyler & Nathan and from there two gigs at The Cavern Club in Liverpool in my gallery with just a click ‘here‘.

East of Eli featuring Chyler Leigh supporting Liverpool Heartbeat

I Get By With A Little Help From My Friends….

SGH_BW15-281August Bank Holiday can only mean one thing – International Beatleweek.

This is the fourth year I’ve had the pleasure of working with Cavern City Tours in photographing at International Beatleweek, in Liverpool. I find it an amazing blast, not just to work in such an incredible city, but to work in some amazing venues and to meet even more amazing people.

This year as well as catching up with lots of BW friends, I spent some time working closely with Japanese all-girl Beatle tribute band The Clover, photographing three of their gigs for them.

In addition to that, the rest of my five days in Liverpool were spent photographing The Royal Court stage shows, including the fantastic Cavern Club Beatles and an all star show led by Mark Hudson and of course working with Cavern resident band The Rockits.

Huge thanks to all involved in organising the event, particularly Jon, Bill, Dave, Phil, Julia, Kim, Paul, Victoria & Shanna at Cavern City Tours for their support and facilitation, thanks to The Rockits & WAGS for their hospitality too – and thanks to everyone else for being great subject matter!

Photographs of the event are on my website, organised by day. Hope you like them – Please get in touch to order copies.

If you would like to know more about me photographing live music or any other event, please do not hesitate to contact me.

  • Friday 28th – Bombed Out Church / Cavern Club Beatles & Donovan at The Royal Court / The Rockits / The Starclubbers
  • Saturday 29th – John Lennon Theatre Show at the Royal Court (including behind the scenes soundcheck images).
  • Sunday 30th – Convention Day / The Clover at the Cavern Club / The Rockits with Mark Husdon.
  • Monday 31st – The Overtures / The Original Quarrymen / ‘The Boys Who Knew The Lads’ with an all star cast, all from The Royal Court Theatre
  • Tuesday 1st – The Rockits in The Cavern Club / Peter Asher

SGH_BW15-054 SGH_BW15-070 SGH_BW15-110 SGH_BW15-251 SGH_BW15-282 SGH_BW15-301 SGH_BW15-361 SGH_BW15-423 SGH_BW15-573 SGH_BW15-732

Never Meet Your Idols

It has been said, “Never meet your idols – you may be disappointed” (or something along those lines). Yesterday I think I may have proved that point;

After a very late night on Friday night, one of those when you get into bed closer to breakfast than supper, and then being up for a 9:30AM appointment, yesterday had the potential to be a back-to-bed day. But with our Son away on a scout camp, we had to make the most of the day and Debs agreed (to my surprise) that we should use our complimentary tickets to The Photography Show at the NEC in Birmingham.

One of the first stands I made a beeline for, with Debs trotting behind trying to keep up, was unsurprisingly Nikon to see one of their stars of the show.

Nikon have two new stars on display, the first is the new professional full-frame body the D4S. It’s very nice, but not something I’m really interested in just at the moment. It’s sensor resolution is OK, but still somewhat less than my D800. It’s very fast, but not dramatically faster than my D3. It’s main selling point is it’s cosmically high ISO values and low light performance which would be a great asset, but with a price tag of over £5000 I don’t need to get too interested in it yet.

The other jewel in Nikon’s crown is their retro styled D-SLR, the Nikon Df. This is a great looking 80’s style camera with rotating dials and an authentic 50mm prime lens, and it was that which I went to see and got my hands on yesterday for a quick play.

You may have seen the Nikon Df being featured on The Gadget Show last week, with veteran Photographer Paul Berriff putting it through its paces in Liverpool to photograph today’s live bands in The Cavern Club using similar vintage technology and film.

By moderate coincidence. the reason for Friday’s late night was part work / part pleasure, photographing and supporting some videoing of my very good friends The ROCKiTS on stage during their Friday night residency at the same Cavern Club in Liverpool.  So as well as the state of the art digital technology, I had also put a roll of black & white film through my latest purchase, an original 1969 Nikon F.

img007

Now in Birmingham with ears still ringing from Mike Beck’s drumming, I got my hands on the Df – and I have to say was just a bit disappointed. It’s a nice enough camera, and it looks quite pretty, but it just doesn’t feel the same as the original Nikon F (the first 35mm SLR to orbit the moon, the camera that saved Don McCullin’s life when it took an AK-47 bullet for him).  The original Nikon F doesn’t have particularly ergonomic grips, but feels right and feels solid, just right. The new Df feels OK and reasonably sturdy, and it’s got a great digital sensor and electronic brain…. but it doesn’t feel right to me. On top of that, it doesn’t have some of the essential pro features like dual memory card slots and it also has a hefty price tag.  Sorry Nikon!

 

In other news, the Photography Show was good. It was great to catch up and chat with our favourite product suppliers and look at some exciting new products. It was great to catch up with master photographer (and another source of inspiration) Damian ‘The Big Dog’ McGillicuddy. We’re still chuckling about one of his put-downs when we met him at a previous show.

The only downside was the way part of the throng seem to think they have to walk round with every bit of kit they own in a rucksack on their back and their biggest lens round their necks. There’s only so many times you want to be clobbered when they turn round and anyway, do they really think they’re going to impress anyone?  Really?

If you’d like to see more of my live music work using both state of the art and vintage technology, or to discuss any aspect of photography which I can support you with, please don’t hesitate to contact me.

 

Earworms: Blessing or Curse?

Earworms, that phenomenon where a tune gets stuck in your head…  After a weekend photographing at the International Beatles Week hosted by the Cavern Club in Liverpool, I’ve currently got two fabulous tunes doing battle in-between my ears.

At this year’s festival I was booked to photograph longstanding clients The ROCKiTs at four of their booked performances as well as catching some new promotional images. The band having recently gained Chris Hunt as a new lead guitarist and it was great to get to know Chris and wife Kay on and off stage over the weekend. Highlights included photographing the band performing the Beatles Hard Day’s Night Album on the Adelphi Hotel’s Ballroom Stage.

The annual festival attracts guests and bands from all over the world on an annual pilgrimage to Liverpool, home of the Mersey Beat with The Cavern Club at it’s heart. It was great to catch up with the Cavern City Tours team, organisers of the event (and my hosts) as well as many of the bands and die-hard fans who I’ve met in previous years.

Now getting back to the Earworms, in this case an absolute blessing. In my case they are the exciting memories of moments in time, places, people, sights and of course sounds and emotions.

The first Earworm is the result of popping into the Royal Philharmonic Hall to see and photograph some of The Overtures live Cavern Legacy show. I met the guys last year and loved their live show, so made a point of catching up with them this year. Hearing Jamie’s rendition of Rod Stewart’s Handbags and Gladrags was amazing and is still bringing out the goosebumps. I’m fairly gutted I couldn’t see the whole show, but had I done I would have missed out on the second earworm.

A regular guest at International Beatles Week is Mark Hudson, the American record producer famed for his writing and producing with Aerosmith, Jon Bon Jovi, Ozzy Osbourne, Ringo Star and many others as well as vocal coaching on the X Factor.

Mark caught some of The ROCKiTs Saturday night set and sang an impromptu track with the band which was repeated on Sunday night during their set in The Cavern. Mark said some amazing things about the band and after his own acoustic performance at the Philharmonic on Bank Holiday Monday, Mark made a beeline for The Cavern Pub where the band were performing their penultimate gig.

This time Mark Hudson spent half the set on stage with the guys, opening with an amazing, unique version of The Rolling Stones hit It’s All Over Now – somehow I can’t really think of a better way to round up this particular promo assignment with the guys and I suspect a lot of people from that particular Liverpool pub are now sharing my favourite earworm right now.

I’ll be sifting through my 1,018 images from the weekend and posting some in the Gallery soon, hope you’ll like them. In the meantime I’ll just keep humming to myself and smiling.

D8N_6846

The Art of Event Photography

Event Photography is about catching an image, allowing your client to view it, being able to hold it in their hands in mere seconds, being able to buy it on site, being able to love and treasure it!

Event photography by Stuart Homer Photography Ltd for Macmillan Education at the world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool.Event Photography is a form of social photography, quite different from many other types of professional photography.

Event photography is fantastic fun, it’s about building a client relationship and trust in seconds, making the client feel comfortable in front of studio lights in strange surroundings. It’s about being able to very quickly catch a key image which the client will love. It’s all about people.

Technology plays it’s part too – my latest professional cameras have WiFi to beam pictures back to the viewing station in seconds. A fast professional printer allows the photograph to be in the clients hand in less than two minutes from the click of the shutter, mounted in a smart folder and ready to take home.

This week saw me undertaking a night of event photography for Macmillan Education at a social event hosted as part of their conference for international English teachers. Their venue was the amazing, world famous Cavern Club in Liverpool – a regular working place for me professionally. It was great to work again with the Cavern’s management team as well as their amazing resident band The Cavern Beatles.

Normally the iconic Cavern Club stage is strictly for musicians only, but for one night it was my stage. The image you see here uses no less than three different studio lights to create a unique momento of the event for each of the 400+ guests at the biggest party in town.

So then event photography – a huge buzz, fantastic, frenetic fun and providing an absolutely unique momento of an amazing night.

Thanks again Macmillan for allowing me to work with you all, hope to repeat the pleasure again soon. (See the gallery of images here)

Please contact me if you’d like to learn more about how I can support your event.

Yet more live music photography…?

Live Music Photography – Stuart Homer Photography Ltd. Brian ‘Boots’ Jones of The Undertakers joins The ROCKiTS and Gary Gibson at the Liverpool Royal Philharmonic

I know this page seems to be more and more focussed on live music photography, rather than representing the full spectrum of work I undertake. It isn’t intentional, it’s just that the music photography is so much FUN.

This week I’ve been working with the Cavern City Tours team to photograph key highlights of International Beatles Week. The event sees bands from all over the world gathering in the Merseybeat city, this year with the added bonus of the 50th Anniversary of Ringo joining the Fab Four.

Friday night gave the chance to photograph good friends and Cavern resident bands The Rockits and The slightly prettier Beatelles in The Cavern Club and also The Adelphi Hotel. Saturday brought the opportunity to work in the magnificent Liverpool Royal Philharmonic Hall, celebrating John Lennon’s Birthday by photographing tributes by Gary Gibson, The Rockits, The Cavern Beatles, Paul Kappa and Jon Keats.

Monday’s bad weather led to the cancellation of The Matthew Street Festival and lots of rescheduling for the bands expecting to play the outdoor stages. Every cloud has a silver lining, in the shape of the opportunity to work with The Overtures, catching some of the enthusiasm and energy of their performance in The Adelphi Hotel’s main stage.

Then it was back to the Philharmonic for the main event, with the Brazilian orchestra Ouro Preto, The Cavern Beatles and Pepperland. Finally for the night a quick taxi ride back to The Adelphi to photograph The Searchers on stage. I always make a point of introducing myself and explaining what I’d like to do – and what a genuinely tremendous bunch of gentlemen. I ended up on stage, photographing The Searchers with the 1968 Bronica… what a night.

Today brings Gerry Marsden in the The Cavern, my last assignment of the weekend… Bring it on!

Another Full Weekend

What a great and varied weekend, with a beautiful wedding, police horses and live music!

Friday night gave the chance for a bit of work on a personal project of mine. Facebook fans may have seen the pictures of my newest and oldest camera – a Bronica S2 medium format film camera, which dates back to 1968 (a very good year in my opinion). Friday night gave the perfect chance to photograph my favorite 60’s tribute band The Rockits in that classic 1960’s venue, The Cavern Club, using a 1960’s camera – in black and white of course.

Saturday saw bright sunshine and scorching temperatures to share an amazing wedding day with Tracie & Sean as they tied the knot at Ribby Hall in Kirkham. Despite flood Continue reading