I remember when I was working with Madonna, and this is well before the internet, I used to always say to her, "You know, the thing that's really cool about you, Mo, is that when you walk in the room, the first thing I think about is I wonder what she had for breakfast."
You know, it's like because she just felt like a star.
But nowadays it's like, look what Justin Bieber had for breakfast.
NILE RODGERS: With today's world, stars can show you what they had for breakfast.
Sometimes, I can post three pictures a day, sometimes, one, sometimes, none.
I don't feel bad if I miss it for a day.
But I honestly do feel like I've missed something.
The lay of the land has changed profoundly in terms of how we produce images, in terms of how we consume images.
NEAL PRESTON: There's so much visual information thrown at us all the time that, for me, you kind of get desensitized.
It's like how much porn can you watch until you don't give a [bleep] about sex anymore?
My friends are people that follow me.
They want to see real-life photos, what's happening in my life.
You know, like, you think, "Hey, what is Dua Lipa going to look like today?
"Where is she at?
What is she doing?"
You know, the bloody selfie.
I mean, everyone's doing selfies.
I just Instagram, Instagram, Instagram.
I don't use Instagram.
I don't use Twitter.
I don't use any of the other ones.
Maybe the world will end, who knows.
But this is the new way to do it.
And you can either be stubborn about it or embrace it and find your place in that world.
[rock music playing] I think the best way to describe what's going on at the moment is we're all toddlers in this digital world, this social media world.
We're all like scrabbling around, trying to work out how it works, trying to work out what's next.
I think at the end of the '90s, somebody asks me, they say, "You've got to shoot a job on digital, you know."
And I remember I couldn't sleep all night because I said, "What's digital?
I don't know."
MICHAEL ZAGARIS: I have to use digital now.
And the reason I say "have to," everything now is immediate.
Now, you don't have time at all to do anything.
And then you're doing the next thing.
But anyway, I done it.
I fall in love with it.
And the rest is history.
There's nothing like digital.
You can be so perfect, you know, extremely perfect.
It's a gift from God, I say.
We have a generation of digital natives, right.
If you look at the millennial generation, their natural habitat is the screen.
CHRISTIE GOODWIN: Of all those people at the gig who are filming, how many will actually upload that and watch it again?
You know, 30 years ago, it was part of the experience to throw beer.
This is part of the experience now.
[pop music playing] Fans, like us, like, they get bored easily.
So if they just see photo after photo, it could be amazing, amazing photos, but you wanted the newest one.
It becomes a visual communication to an extent that it never was.
And the kids, the younger generation, they communicate in pictures much more than in words.
It's just another medium.
I don't pay too much attention to it.
You know, I use it, but I like my art to be in a gallery, or in a book, or in a magazine.
But Instagram is fine.
And if that's the medium that the kids choose, great.
You get really, really excited.
But then after that, you want the next newest one.
The pictures that you see in Instagram, the music pictures, that is the new world.
People don't see a print as a moment they want to preserve because there's going to be a next moment.
DANNY NORTH: I suppose the huge increase in photographers comes through the democratization-- if that's the right word-- of digital technology, like it puts it in the hands of everybody, right.
Now, everyone can put out their own images.
It's a great thing for young people to have the opportunity.
In other words, the barriers to entry are very low.
Everyone's a photographer.
And everyone's a consumer of images.
NEAL X: Everyone's got a phone these days.
You like it if people don't have them on all the way through the gig.
But you can't stop people taking pictures now.
NICK MASON: It's a slightly weird thing that you pay really quite a lot of money to go and see a live act, and then watch it through the back of an iPhone.
It's almost a shame that we don't still have a roll of film because there was a finite length to how many pictures.
I think we cannot fight, we have to embrace that that generation lives through their phone and through this new media that maybe I don't understand that well.
MICHAEL ZAGARIS: It's altered the way we view ourselves and view others.
I mean, all the phones have great cameras, so everybody's taking pictures.
It's different than when we were using cameras.
But becoming a photographer, it enabled me to become what I was shooting.
You know, I always took a very Stanislavski approach.
You were The Who, or you were The Rolling Stones.
BARON WOLMAN: Part of the problem is there are so many now, kids, people, who can spend some money, get a camera, and call yourself a music photographer.
You might have a good eye.
And you might get some great pictures.
But you're not getting them.
You're shooting with a computer, who is reading the light, who is mixing the light.
You have a motor drive that's taking, what, 20-- 20 pictures a second.
How are you going to miss?
RANKIN: I always find it funny when people show me their photographs.
I'm like, you've just put a filter on that.
I studied it for six years at college and it's my career.
But you know, it's the professional photographer that will nail that shot.
And that's not just because of their access.
It's about their skill, their dexterity, their intuition.
An iPhone doesn't make anyone more the photographer, any more than me going out and buying a pen makes me a writer.
This is like something-- this is software doing this.
It's got nothing to do with the individual talent.
This is just someone pointing this [bleep] thing at you and going, "I got a shot."
And I'll do a bit of grading.
"Ah, it's great.
Look at that.
That's [bleep] amazing."
That is not the case at all.
Coming from the analog side of things, I do respect the photographer whose got his lenses, got the old-school camera that kind of means so much, and it's all on film, and it's the way it's exposed.
Even if you've got a darkroom, and you're kind of like doing your prints in there.
I mean, there's something about experience of that.
And there's something that you can't teach that through a filter.
RANKIN: What you're finding is a lot of rubbish out there.
People aren't really doing great, iconic images.
I have so many conversations with my team going, "Don't assume everybody knows what they're doing anymore, because they don't."
I talk about people returning to you because you do a good job.
And being professional is a massive part of it for me.
You do massive research on people.
It's a key thing.
It enables you to communicate.
And a lot of that, of course, nowadays is easy.
20 years ago it was not easy.
It's not only about them.
It makes me more comfortable to walk into a shooting that I know about the people and who they are.
You take pictures of bands and you never meet them again.
And then you take pictures of bands or of musicians and artists that you do have a chemistry.
And if you do, you'll see it in the photograph, and you stay in touch, and then you see each other again two years later, four years later.
That's when it becomes interesting, because then you know you can dig deeper.
You know that person.
That person trusts you.
Maybe you capture one little angle of that person, of that soul of that person, but I don't believe that you can really capture the essence in one little square frame.
I don't know.
MOSHE BRAKHA: You know, you have to say psych them up to your personality.
It's all direction.
Do this, do this.
I talk to them.
And you better talk loud.
You know, Run DMC are cool people.
They're really hard, you know.
They [bleep] broke the set, you know.
Because I use hot light, you're not feeling like you're cold.
And it's hot.
And they couldn't take the heat, you know.
I used to shoot like that in the big shadows.
I did a lot of it like that.
I got this shot and the rest is history.
Who cares what they think about me, or what I think about them?
But that's a great shot, a beautiful shot for them.
The years make it like that.
You confident, you can go up and do the person as you wish.
RANKIN: They say never meet your heroes.
But I think meet your heroes as long as you can give as good as you get.
And that's one of the reasons I probably could photograph Paul Weller now.
But back in the day, I just was such a big fan.
That was a problem.
I was too scared to go, "Come on then, Paul, let me just get you up against the wall and do a couple of snaps."
I was too scared.
The fan has to be the person that's in your heart, you know.
But your brain has to be, "Come on, I can give as good as I get."
Because if you don't, they won't respect you.
There are too many photographers, number one, right now.
It's too easy.
You say you're a photographer because the camera is doing all the work.
You don't have to know [bleep].
It ruined the business.
On the other hand, it gave people who weren't used to looking at the world and seeing things, an easy way to do that.
There's no point in being King Canute about this.
Occasionally there's some remarkable bits of picture that turn up from those iPhones.
There's no point in starting to say, "You can't take the pictures, or you can't video it."
I'll have a wonderful photo of myself, and a really good photo, well posed and well whatever, and it will get x amount of likes.
But if I have a photo of myself in the kitchen or something like that, it would be like-- you know?
ISHA SHAH: So instead of, like, actually each band, each artist actually getting their own personal photographer, they're just not.
So it's people's iPhone snaps, you know, stuff like that.
And it's-- yeah, I think it's a lot harder now to be a photographer.
If you look back when bands would go on tour, they would just take somebody who, you know, was privileged enough to own a film camera, because that's all they had in them days, I don't know, bands like Oasis and stuff.
JILL FURMANOVSKY: Oasis did these live shots that are incredible.
Do you want to come on the road with us?
Do you want to come to a video?
I was thinking, "God, yes, I'll do that."
I think one of the reasons I got the job was just that I was fast.
I mean, if I did a photoshoot, it probably did take ten minutes.
If you were offered a shoot for Rolling Stone, there might be nine people in the room and four changes of clothing.
And you know, you'd give the day over to it.
But they came from a kind of punk ethic, which was, well, "Why can't you do it in five minutes?
I could be writing songs or doing--" you know, they had the arrogance and, luckily, the talent, to be able to ride that particular arrogance.
We're in the digital era.
It's what is, isn't it?
But the digital era is a bit difficult if you come from the analog era.
HENRY DILTS: I'm a film guy.
I mean, you know, for almost 50 years shooting film.
I'm not going to go digital.
I've been digital since 2008.
I resisted until I knew that I didn't have a choice, where you had to go digital.
And then I picked up my friend's Canon.
And I said, "Oh, my God, this focuses itself, and it sets its own reading."
You don't need to take a light reading and set your camera, and then focus and all that.
You just pick it up, and go boop, and you've got the picture, you know.
This is amazing.
The beauty of digital photography is that you can actually show the bands and musicians what you're doing.
And a lot of times that's what gets them onboard.
You know, you just have to get that trust going on.
♪ Hey there, Delilah ♪ ♪ What it's like in New York City?
♪ ♪ I'm a thousand miles away ♪ ♪ But, girl, tonight you look so pretty ♪ ♪ Yes, you do ♪ A band I shot called Plain White T's, where I set the camera on a tripod.
And I just set it to take a picture, like, every five seconds or something like that.
And I just literally, I left the room for five minutes.
And I'm like, knock yourselves out.
And sometimes you get, you know, a different vibe that way, and the band sort of loosens up a little bit.
♪ Oh, it's what you do to me ♪ We got some great shots.
♪ Oh, it's what you do to me ♪ As my career progresses, I've been trying to get better at not shooting as much because it does make editing a bit of a nightmare sometimes.
You know, I'm up all night, you know, until 3:00 in the morning, at my computer.
It's my new darkroom.
I didn't find that big a change when I switched on to digital.
The thing that was impressive was not so much the cameras, but the computer.
And I think that the computer really altered my way of thinking and being.
When you're in a darkroom for 40 years, and you switch onto a computer, it makes you a real master.
I would never alter an image in any way.
Anything that you could do in a darkroom, that's-- that's all I will do to an image.
[rock music playing] RANKIN: I've retouched pictures to death.
And I've not retouched them at all.
Jack White, you know, is interesting because he always wanted really dark under eyes, and would actually wear a bit of makeup to put it under.
He was like, I don't want to be retouched.
I don't want to be photoshopped.
Jack White's definitely one of my favorite people to photograph.
When he gives you something, it's really interesting because there's a moment where you just go, "Oh, he just gave me it."
You know, that's a really strange thing to exchange with somebody like that, where you can feel it.
SCARLET PAGE: Jack White's amazing.
If you were sent to do a portrait of Jack White, you know you're going to get a great show.
He's got such a great face.
LAURA LEVINE: I don't Photoshop my work.
I mean, when Madonna came to my apartment, and we did a photoshoot, which was before her very first single had come out, she just did her own makeup.
She schlepped up four flights of stairs to my apartment.
And the two of us just spent all day together taking pictures.
So no one ever brought makeup or hair, or any of that stuff.
That all happened later.
I look at some of the pictures now, and I'll see that someone has, you know, a pimple on their face or whatever.
And then I think, in today's culture, everything has been airbrushed so much.
Madonna, she was a total pro.
You know, I asked her to wrap herself in the curtain, or look like you're screaming, she just did it.
She never pushed back.
She never said, "I don't want to do that, or that sounds silly, or I'm not going to look good."
She trusted me as the photographer.
And she just did it.
I've never encountered anyone as professional and prepared, and took it so seriously, and was just an absolute joy to work with.
POONEH GHANA: Well, as far as post-production, it's actually a lot easier with film because you have a lot less to go through.
There's certainly more, like, technical aspects.
And it's not even about taking a photo.
It's about, when I look at an image, I know what post-production work I'm going to do.
It's just about capturing the music and capturing what the kind of audience would like to feel.
If I'm going to shoot, like, Tom Odell, I'm not going to be using prisms because I feel like that's a bit more like Neo or Mahalia or Jorja Smith, like chill R&B, like mystical, magical vibes.
♪ Texting, texting, texting ♪ ♪ Troubling me all over my phone all night ♪ ♪ This ain't life you're troubling me ♪ ♪ You're wishing you were still mine ♪ ♪ Texting, texting, texting ♪ ♪ Troubling me all over my phone ♪ ♪ So many missed calls, so many texts ♪ ♪ Damn, I wish I missed my ex ♪ Travis Scott was 200 feet away.
We were only told when we were going into the photo pit, and he was on another stage.
And it was black.
It was dark.
There was like a few lights.
It was just really dead so I had to do something.
I don't think it's fake because every single element and every single, like, texture or overlay I use in the photo that I have taken.
And I try to use photos from the same gig.
So at the Travis Scott gig, I used a star filter.
And I took photos on people's iPhones which gave me a star light.
And what I did is I placed that star light from that same gig into the photo of Travis Scott, which literally went viral.
It was like really insane.
So this age kind of allows you to do more.
[music playing] HENRY DILTS: A curator at a University in Florida wanted to do a show of my photos.
And he was looking through a lot of the photos.
And he said, "This is an amazing picture.
"It was kind of low light, a little bit blurry, you know."
I said, "Really?
I didn't think there was anything there."
The day we went down to shoot "Morrison Hotel," when we were through with that, Jim said, "Let's go get a beer."
It was like 4 o'clock.
We drove to Skid Row.
And somebody said, "Look on the next corner, Hard Rock Cafe."
There wasn't a Hard Rock Cafe empire then.
We went in there to get a couple of beers.
And Jim was fascinated by the old kind of winos that were in there.
And he liked to hear them talking about their life.
And I was just taking pictures while we were in there.
And we got great pictures of the group, kind of turned around on their bar stools, looking at me.
Then I went into the bar and shot backlit across the bar.
And they were all kind of dark, you know.
They sort of didn't work out.
And he said, "No, let-- you know, let's print that off."
And can I just show you the picture right here?
[inaudible] I have this because it was already dented, you know.
So here is the picture.
And it was kind of dark.
But he had them kind of lighten it, blew it up.
And now, this is one of our sort of, you know, big sellers in the gallery.
People like it.
SACHA LECCA: It's about making an impact in a very, very crowded, you know, universe of images.
Now, I mean, you're talking about the kind of work that stands above all of that noise.
[music playing] Those are the icons, you know, the ones that you keep thinking about.
RACHEL WRIGHT: There is a lot of music photography.
And a lot of it is quite samey.
And I think digital, particularly, does that because digital is quite flat.
And everybody's got a camera these days.
When I look at another music photographer, and there's the odd one where I'm like that-- that person's got something special.
Like, whatever it is, they've got it.
You just have to try and stand out somehow.
Either in the edit, you're kind of, like, in the digital darkroom, as it were, kind of put your stamp on it.
Or a lot of photographers are using film.
And I use film if I'm feeling bold.
This return to using old technology and old lenses, you know, it's incredibly strong.
And we're going through this big area of interest at the moment, where people are doing that.
Methods of attaching something that may be 60, 70 years old onto a modern digital camera because they can't get the effects or the feeling.
It's a feeling as much as anything else.
NEAL PRESTON: I still shoot film now.
You do get a different feel from the scan from a negative than you do from a digital file that's shot digitally, originally.
They look so sharp and brittle they could snap in two.
Like an icicle, if you just go ting, and it snaps in two.
And it's not light being passed through a piece of gelatin with silver halide particles that exist or don't exist because they've been washed away.
It's light being turned into ones and twos.
Do we really need a camera that makes me an omelet, gives me the LA Times, and takes the picture?
Any experienced photographer, certainly anyone who's shot film, can tell you that's a digital shot, that's not.
You can kind of tell.
It's the same with music.
You can tell when that drummer was playing it live, and it was kind of like slightly-- the quantization was slightly off at some points.
And you can tell the one that's being quantized and it feels a bit rigid, like it was played live, but it's been messed with.
We're seeing this greater interest in analog photography nowadays because of that.
I mean, I still do it.
I haven't done it in a minute.
- But I still do it.
Now, I'm talking about the company or the photographers that are coming up.
Like it's sort of almost like a badge of honor now, to say, - you know, that you still-- - Shoot film.
I was staunchly film only until a year ago.
It occurred to me that I wasn't being competitive.
People were doing photo sessions and turning them around the same day.
It doesn't matter how quick you are in a dark room, you can't do that.
I love film grain.
And you can blow a traditional photograph up as far as you want really, the grain just gets inflated.
Pixels are different.
I really like the digital results I'm producing.
But there's stuff I can do on film that you can't get anywhere near on digital.
DR. MICHAEL PRITCHARD: We're seeing a return to some of these traditional techniques and processes, like Polaroid, for example.
Digital, in a way, is almost too perfect as a tool, whereas film has its flaws, it has the grain.
Polaroid, likewise, there's always little technical imperfections in the image.
And in a way, that adds something.
I think we'll see Polaroid carrying on for many years.
I think film photography--- we're going for a resurgence at the moment of interest in it.
NICKY WIRE: There's an essence to a Polaroid that is growing up in the '70s, it's almost felt like a magic trick.
I remember my dad went and bought it in a department store in Newport, and it just seemed like the greatest invention of all time.
There's something about a Polaroid which feels completely unique, and almost out of your control, which really suits me.
I love to learn, but I hate to be taught.
And Polaroid is really good at that.
You just learn on the job.
There's that idea of the beautiful mistake.
You know, you learn about shadows and light in a really organic way.
I think we live in such a kind of distracted technical age, where everything is referenced on how you do it on the internet.
But you can't do that with Polaroids.
There's no tutorials on the internet on how to take a great Polaroid.
You literally just have to get out there and do it.
I don't know.
It just brings something else out.
I don't really know how.
But when you stick like a big DSLR in their face, compared to Polaroid, you get a different reaction.
You get the sense of intimacy, like you get that with the Polaroid, absolutely.
[music playing] I think everyone has a little bit of nostalgia in them.
And seeing the Polaroids and seeing the way it looks just kind of evokes this emotion, this feeling of like that's the-- there aren't a million photos of this one moment.
It's just this one.
I remember waiting and when a band comes out, I'd always pull my Polaroid out.
And I'd be excited to ask them to take a Polaroid because people just love Polaroids.
You can just see it in their eyes, like, "Oh, Polaroid, yeah."
And they'll get excited and do something fun.
Also everyone looks great on Polaroid.
It's very flattering.
Jarvis Cocker, he was standing two feet in front of me.
And I recognized him from the back.
And I would just ask him.
I just asked Jarvis, I was like, "Would you mind just taking a quick Polaroid?"
And he was super nice.
And so that was maybe a five-second moment.
I just got that shot.
And I was like, "Thank you."
And that was it.
ANDREW LOOG OLDHAM: Well, social media, it's productive and it's destructive.
It continues the thing of "Everybody is a star."
Our children and everybody else's children can lie through life because texting is your truth.
You don't get the chance to gauge somebody, eyeball to eyeball.
SEASICK STEVE: I've made a song about this actually.
And it's about me, like, what happened to shaking hands?
What happened to, like, looking at each other?
ADRAIN UTLEY: Now we are all photographers to some extent.
There's more photographs in the world from selfies and photographs of your kids, and your cats, and your house, and your food, and your stuff, than ever there's ever been.
Where is it all going, you know?
There's such a glut of images now.
It's rewiring all of our brains, especially young kids.
They're taking in more information daily than we might have taken in in a week, and our parents might have taken in in six months.
And it's altering our brain as a species.
It's better to have five images that are large and make an impact than a million images that you lose.
I've always believed less is more.
The people that know how to find me, know how to find me.
I don't want to be fodder for the masses.
And I don't need my work to be fodder for the masses.
Keep the mystery.
CHRIS FLOYD: There's a certain generation a bit older than mine, who are much more binary about it.
Whereas, I think my generation, and certainly everyone younger than me, sees kind of the nuances and the ambiguity in it all.
I much prefer being on it than not being on it.
And also, you know, we have egos, people like me.
We want people to see our work.
If I put a picture on Instagram and 500 people or 1,000 people like it, that's 1,000 people that have seen my work.
I mean, it's something that you have to participate in, I think, if you're a visual artist.
Instagram has really changed a lot of people's lives, I think.
You mean to tell me that a person wants to see me walking down the street or riding in an elevator?
I thought it was the weirdest thing in the world.
And then, I was stricken with cancer.
So I had to cancel a bunch of gigs.
And the last thing I wanted to do is get on the phone and give everybody a cancer sob story.
But I wanted to tell everybody why I couldn't do these shows.
So I did my very first post, and it got more than a quarter of a million views in a few days.
And I was like, "What?"
Like, I'm not even that famous.
My main reason for doing this is to show people that cancer is not absolutely a death sentence, that I'm gallivanting all around the world and playing shows and having a really good time.
ISHA SHAH: People complain about it, but at the end of the day, 90% of my jobs come through Instagram, and me just being on it and posting daily or every other day, and being active on it.
POONEH GHANA: I got my first job through Flickr.
I think it was Modest Mouse.
And I just remember going in there, and it's like these old-school photographers.
They've got, like, the harnesses with, like, the big lenses.
And I had my Polaroid and my film camera because I didn't even have a digital camera at the time.
Cause like, I had to get this developed the next morning.
And I-- I remember they were looking at me like, who is this 18-year-old girl?
Like, what is she-- what is she doing?
DAVID FAHEY: I see pictures that I don't know, fascinated by.
I'm reminded of pictures I've forgotten about.
I see new pictures that someone that's 12 years old or 15 is putting in on Instagram.
That's a great way to communicate.
It's a visual language that we all can relate to.
I get a lot of questions asked, you know, what film did you use?
All of that stuff.
And so it's a way of creating a contemporary audience for my archival pictures.
[camera clicks] There was money in the counterculture.
"Eye" magazine hired me to photograph Janis Joplin, in color, performing.
So I called up Janis.
I said, you know, I'm shooting black and white all the time.
I need a color picture of you performing.
I said, what do you got coming up?
She said, we got nothing scheduled.
I said, "Okay, here's what we're going to do."
I'm going to set up the studio lights like they were concert lights.
You bring a microphone over to the studio.
And you can lip sync.
And we'll fake it.
So she comes over, we start shooting.
[mumbling] and then a little bit louder.
Within five minutes, she forgot she was in my studio.
And for an hour, she gave me full tilt boogie of every song that she had been singing on stage.
['Mercedes Benz' by Janis Joplin] ♪ Oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz?
♪ ♪ My friends all drive Porsches, I must make amends ♪ ♪ Worked hard all my lifetime, no help from my friends ♪ That was a pretty amazing experience.
I mean, I never stopped her.
She was lost in the moment.
And I-- you know, I was also lost in the moment.
If you see the pictures now, you think she's on stage.
I mean, everything worked out perfectly that day.
♪ So oh Lord, won't you buy me a Mercedes Benz ♪ That's it.
[giggles] GODLIS: I mean, I love Instagram.
It gives me a place to go with pictures that, back in the day, I had no place to go with it.
If a magazine used a couple of pictures, what was I going to do with the rest of them?
[punk music playing] GODLIS: I never throw anything away.
It's a kind of a blessing and a curse with photographers.
Because over time, you do find out things about people.
You go like, oh, that's Nancy Spungen on here at the bar.
I didn't realize it was Nancy Spungen at the time.
It was just some girl bugging me to take a picture of her.
When you're just taking pictures of people at the bar, you're not going, who are you?
And later it's going to be famous in 20 years, you know like, you don't know everything.
And you find these things out over time.
[punk music playing] Up until recently, you didn't have Instagram or Facebook or whatever to put your work out there.
Your work wasn't getting out there unless a magazine chose to publish it.
So it's not like you had a lot of options.
I sort of made a mistake by keeping such a tight lock on my photos, thinking, oh, I'm going to save this all for my book.
In retrospect, I kind of wish I had put more things out.
Using Instagram has actually been a boon to people knowing me as a photographer.
I do enjoy social media.
I like the idea of putting it out there in some way, and getting some response back without it being too much of a big deal.
I don't get too hung up on the likes.
You tag them with it, they share it, that community grows.
JANNETTE BECKMAN: My Instagram, I pretty much post something on the regular, I would say every few days, or at least once a week.
It's a little bit like smoke and mirrors because, you know, on the one hand, I'm putting up a picture I took, you know, an hour ago.
And then the other hand, I'm putting up some archive hip-hop picture, which I know will get a lot of likes, Like my picture of Salt-N-Pepa, which people often reference as one of my most famous pictures.
['Push It' by Salt-N-Pepa] A British magazine knew I was in New York and they called me.
And they said there's these two girls.
They're called Salt-N-Pepa and we want you to take pictures of them.
It was a hot summer's day.
And we just decided to take a walk in the street.
They were like these incredible, really cool girls.
You know, they were dancing in front of a mural or you know, they're outside the deli, getting a Coke.
And I'm taking pictures.
Just kind of like a day in the lifetime of being a Salt-N-Pepa.
And then they were like, we've got a record coming out, would you be our photographer?
And I'm like, sure, love to.
[camera clicks] So I get to do the first ever Salt-N-Pepa album cover.
Then they're doing another one.
And they came to my studio with their DJ Spinderella.
And they've got these jackets made by this guy, Dapper Dan.
They had their whole outfits together.
They looked incredible.
♪ Ooh, baby, baby Ba-baby, Baby ♪ These girls, they were, like, all about girl power.
And it really changed the game.
Because up until that point, there had been a lot of-- you know, a lot of hip hop songs talking about the girl around the way.
And then come Salt-N-Pepa with "Let's Talk About Sex."
You know, they were answering for women.
So I was just so happy to be a part of that.
['Push It' by Salt-N-Pepa] There are people who post 30 images from the show they shot the night before that was just in those three songs.
And if I have one that I'm really pleased with, I feel fantastic.
It depends how proud I am of that shot because I only post one photo per gig.
So I can't be posting like a standard photo on my Instagram.
People now expect me to post straight after.
And there's like this really big pressure on you to create something great.
It's hard because there are some gigs that I come away from, and I just--I go to bed.
I'm just like, no, I don't want to edit this.
With Mumford & Sons, I would just shoot.
And I wouldn't even look at the pictures until the end where I would sit and do an edit, and I would email them.
It wasn't until I was on tour with CHVRCHES, where social media was a thing.
So I kind of had to deliver photographs regularly.
So I might have shot four shows last week, and maybe post one photo from any of those shows.
Because I'm just, like, I want to post my best content.
I want the stuff I post to really resonate with people in that way, even in this, like, very disposable world.
Recently I've been doing, like-- because I like want-- I'm trying to structure everything so it looks a bit continuous.
You know what I'm saying?
So I try to do three.
But the majority of the time it's one or two.
Trying to keep people's attention, like online, or on the scroll, or on whatever is, just to sell advertising, [mimics gunshot] worst thing that's ever happened to us.
The idea of something beginning, having a middle and ending, like a magazine, is a great thing.
There's too many images, too many people to follow.
So you might never even see images.
Whereas before it was curated, curated by magazines, curated by record labels.
So they would go and be the editors of what you would consume visually.
That's where the images lived.
And that's where they stayed.
[music playing] Primarily, I got my commissions from magazines.
So "Spin" magazine had asked me if I would go and do a cover shoot with James Brown in Augusta, Georgia near where he lives.
And he had an office in a strip mall.
And it was basically a chiropractor, dry cleaners, and James Brown.
[funk music playing] It was a 95 degree day with 95% humidity.
So it's like death weather.
James drives up in a big, black Lincoln, with his hair perfectly quaffed, and a black leisure suit, you know, with the bolero jacket, bell bottoms, six-inch heels.
So he gets out of the car in this incredible heat.
And I decide to shoot outside because his office is tiny with low ceilings and there's junk everywhere.
We start shooting.
Then he started dancing.
And I couldn't believe he was willing to be so active in this heat.
Some people are just real pros.
He might not want to do it, but when he shows up, he's on.
The light switch goes on, and he's performing in front of the camera.
That's who he is.
And we were all dying.
We were melting.
And I had the pictures.
So I said, shoots over.
And he goes, I love you, I love you, give me a kiss.
And he gives me a hug and a kiss.
You know, he's a crazy person who has had a gentle heart.
[funk music playing] It wasn't iconic within this time of history because his heyday was the '60s.
But to me, the pictures are iconic.
SACHA LECCA: This is the latest cover of "Rolling Stone" that they just posted to Instagram today.
In just a couple of hours, there's 18,000 likes on this photo, which is kind of amazing.
Halsey put up the cover as well.
She has 14 million followers.
And it has over one million likes on Instagram.
It's insane the difference.
CHRISTINE GOODWIN: Well, the whole thing is that they're there for the music.
They're music fans.
They want to be in that close proximity with the artist.
It's all about that.
It's all about that one minute of fame almost that they're trying to get into that bubble with the artist for that brief moment.
[music playing] SEASICK STEVE: I was down in Byron Bay in Australia And me and Lenny Kravitz was walking around.
Everybody come up to him and wanted a picture.
All these girls come up to him and want a picture.
He goes, I can't do both, but I'll give you a hug.
We can have a real minute and have a hug, or we can do the selfie.
And every one of them took the selfie, every one.
And I don't know, it must have been 50.
And it was so sad in a way, because they wanted that hug with Lenny more than any-- I mean, they were just shaking.
And they go, selfie.
[music playing] POONEH GHANA: Yeah, it's crazy how excited people get when one photo comes up.
It will just completely makes their day sometimes.
It's exciting to be able to be in a position to where, you know, if I take a photo of some famous artists, that it could make some 13-year-old girl's day to see that photo.
Just a normal, quick picture that I post just because I thought it was nice, or from my camera roll, or a selfie.
Yeah, it's crazy when you think about it, like six million people.
But then everything is relative.
So I'm like, oh, only six million.
For that particular while that I was managing artists, I also had a part in telling the public who they were.
It did put the artist or the icon up here.
And the fans were kind of-- kind of here.
Like, they were untouchable.
That doesn't happen anymore.
The artist is the one who has to tell the story.
You just get to see way more of a person.
And that makes them a bit more human, which is a good thing, I think.
But also, you kind of lose that untouchable, like, rock star aura.
You've got to remember about the Rolling Stones, whether it was the singles, the albums, the image, the concerts, the work on stage, it was all one.
Nobody else was.
The image is wonderfully run.
For the Stones, it was just one thing.
♪ Angie, Angie ♪ ♪ When will those clouds all disappear?
♪ ♪ Angie, Angie ♪ ♪ Where will it lead us from here ♪ Those stars, you know, the Beyoncés and the Jays and all of that, I don't think that they'll relinquish, you know, any kind of control of their image or how it goes out into the world.
The upside of it is that, you know, more and more people control their own image.
But the downside of it is more and more people control their own image.
DANNY NORTH: The more accessible and the more instant you can get that information out to an audience, the more restrictive people want to be to stop you from exploiting their image.
I think that's probably one of the biggest reasons why there's so much control.
There's a lot of official content that's, you know, really blatantly average.
And so I don't think it is about quality.
I think it's absolutely about control.
[music playing] I'll never know why I'm getting commissioned by U2 for, but it's always with a purpose.
Besides, obviously, U2 being one of the most enjoyable things I've ever worked on, there's also so much professional respect as well.
And like, they use photography in a way that I'd never been used before.
Like, I actually, yeah, I cried when I first shot them.
I was in the pit.
And the lights dropped.
And they walked out on stage.
Again, it just takes me back to being a kid.
[music playing] I'll never forget I just stood there, feeling like-- I don't know, this sense of expectation, where-- and pressure, and excitement, and, like, just feeling so alive and on the edge of everything I had ever worked for, just to be there, photographing U2.
Man, it gets me now.
I think a lot of it has to do with, like, my old man died in the first week I became a photographer.
And he never saw anything I did.
And I carry that with me a lot, in a positive way, you know.
Like I carry his spirit with me, and think how proud he would have seen me doing all these different things.
And I think that plays such a big part in what I do.
[music playing] I do have, like, a social team on my label.
They have, like, strategies and stuff.
And I don't really do that.
I don't really like it.
I just want to post whatever I want to post.
And at the same time, I know that, of course, it's like a marketing tool.
But then, yeah, it's also a part of who I am.
And I would absolutely-- if I didn't sing or if I didn't do anything in public-- I would still use all these sharing platforms of my life.
I went to a Daddy Yankee show a few weeks ago.
And he had a section where he got the whole crowd to put their phones up, and put it on social media.
Because what's a bigger advert than that?
It's like if, like, everyone's there and they're posting up your show, and it was good, that's going to let everyone in their network know that right, that looks sick.
That's like the best promotion you can get, innit.
That's better than a promotion you could ever get back in the day.
I try not to overthink it as much.
I just kind of look good that day.
And I'm like, yo, let's take some pics.
You know what I'm saying?
Take some pics, try and stun for the gram.
You know, be a little mogul real quick.
And, um, yeah.
Stefflon Don, is someone that, you can tell, visually, has been very much inspired by the likes of Lil' Kim, the Foxy Browns, Nicki Minaj, Cardi B, who are all very iconic in their own rights.
And a kind of love that because she just knows how to own it.
But also, she backs it up with the lyrics and the melodies that she comes with.
NICOLE NODLAND: I've worked with Stefflon Don several times.
She is another authentic person in that she is just owning her physicality, her music.
She's not asking for direction.
In the beginning, I had trouble with the label.
And I said, well, this is her.
So we have to, you know, give her-- her-- do artistry and personality and soul, you know, respect this.
This is where the magic is.
It's like when Prince, you know, they told him, oh, he can't do this or he can't do that.
What did he do?
He went out on stage in a g-string and a trench coat.
[camera clicks] That's power.
Similarly, Stefflon is like that too.
She doesn't let anybody dictate what she should be doing.
So I love that.
['16 Shots' by Stefflon Don] Yeah, I'm very much in control.
It's OK to have someone's input.
But ultimately, it should still boil down to you and what you want.
You don't want someone else in the background to make decisions for you.
So don't play with your identity.
Don't have the crowd wondering what you're like, when you could just easily show them who you are.
Do you know what I'm trying to say?
I don't mind a bit of direction.
Because I feel like I'm not a mogul in it at the end of the day.
So I don't mind a little bit of direction.
But I think what I've learned is to imagine you're Beyoncé on a stage, and she's hitting that last pose.
[camera shutters] How would she look?
That's what I imagine, and it works.
CHRIS FLOYD: When you're shooting musicians, you're not the apex of the pyramid.
The talent is the apex of the pyramid.
And you were just there to provide a service.
[music playing] So I photograph Mark Ronson.
And we had this whole set built.
Everything was fine.
But there was just something about it.
And he goes to me, yeah, like, what's wrong?
Why isn't it working?
In his sort of mid-Atlantic voice.
And I said, you know, the thing is, sometimes if it's not right, it's not right, it's not right, you change it, you change it, you try this, try that, try that.
And then you go, oh, do you know what?
It just needs like a bit more yellow.
You know, and you put in two points of yellow.
And then suddenly it works.
And he said, yeah, I totally know what you mean.
Sometimes the difference between a great sounding snare drum and a terrible sounding snare drum is a piece of tissue paper on the snare drum.
And you have that with sound and vision.
[music playing] I got him to drive backwards and forwards about 50 times in a early '80s Mercedes.
We were shooting in a studio.
And we wanted it to look like it was outside, like he was cruising past the club in Miami late at night.
We were shooting with flash.
It was nice.
But it was too clean.
And then we tried one shot where we did a time exposure, where we just opened and closed the shutter for half a second.
So then you pick up all the movement of the ambient light.
And it creates a blur.
It puts movement into the picture.
And with movement comes energy.
And if you have energy in the picture, you're always onto a win, always.
I will send whoever is in charge the photos, they will approve it, or the artist will approve it.
But like, with the artist I'm on tour with, she's just like, you know what, girl?
Just post whatever I trust you.
And they're the kind of people that I want to work with.
Because for me, labels and management always choose the worst photos.
ROB O'CONNOR: The control of which image is actually used for a purpose becomes subject to a committee, unfortunately.
I'd rather one person, who I don't respect the opinion of, took control rather than seven people all giving up a little bit of their control.
Kylie Minogue, for instance, she has a very good team, who she completely, 100% trusts.
People like Kylie-- this is going to sound really pretentious-- but, uh, she-- she [inaudible] her it's just-- you know, she likes it.
That's what she's going to do.
That's what her end goal is going to be.
You know, it's like a little, invisible thread going into the camera.
So yeah, she was awesome.
Any kind of big band from Take That to Kylie, all the pop [inaudible] well, that sort of stuff, would have some kind of control to what you did with those images.
Her team decide what image goes out and what's used.
And they're very strict.
They know exactly what works for Kylie and what doesn't work.
And they know what to do.
Katy Perry is much more hands-on, involved in deciding her images that go out.
I love working with Camila Cabello.
I find myself often there on my knees, in the middle of the stage, shooting her.
But you know, I can do whatever I want to get the best out of Camila.
So there is no brief whatsoever.
She's got a fire in her belly.
She's very, very talented.
She goes from very quiet to very playful.
It's very interesting to work with her.
The audience goes wild when she does her hair flips because it's part of the passion that's still Latina in her.
And I think the crowd really responds well to that.
I can see when she's going to go to do that, and I'm ready for it because I just want to capture that.
Camila's management just say you know, you have carte blanche.
I've just read about, I think, Ariana Grande or something.
Her contract now is like she owns everything.
And photographers are like up in arms about that.
And I wouldn't probably shoot for her if-- if that was the case.
I mean, that's-- I just think that's wrong.
You know, people really, really control the way they're seen.
Even the candid moments are manufactured, you know.
And this may be not--you know, maybe not a great moment really.
I mean, people like Beyoncé, which I've never photographed her, but you know, they're very specific.
They'll hire a photographer, and then they have total control of all the images.
Photographers aren't allowed to use any of them.
I mean, we were so incredibly privileged back in the day.
♪ You all tucked in?
♪ ♪ Yeah ♪ ♪ Here we go ♪ My picture of Slick Rick was actually taken as part of a press shoot for Def Jam.
[camera clicks] Slick Rick just arrived at her studio.
He was actually wearing what he was wearing.
He was actually carrying the Fendi purse.
You know, in terms of subcultures and in terms of, like, just noticing the difference in the cut of the pants or a particular brand of jacket.
You know, Janette does it better than anybody.
His style, when he walked in, I recognized that style.
And it was the style of the kids that I would see in Brixton.
You know, he's got a suit on, you know, the pants are a little short.
You know, he's got a thin tie.
It's almost like a mod look.
He's wearing a Kangol.
And he's got his eye patch.
So anyway, I got all the lights set up, and I'm ready to go.
And I've got my little marker.
I always put like a little Sharpie marker, this is your spot.
He drank some champagne.
And he walks onto the spot, puts his bag down on the floor, and just stands there and grabs his crotch.
And I got the shot.
He's just got such an incredible, playful, real style that, you know, I think people are so comfortable with Janette that that comes out.
I mean, believe me, I did not ask Slick Rick to grab his crotch.
I wouldn't have probably had the language for that.
But it turns out to be so hip hop.
If you can think about gestures as coming from certain moments, flipping a bird in the era of Tupac becomes the kind of gesture.
And so grabbing your crotch was flipping the bird prior to, like, 1994 or something.
It looks kind of mad now.
But in that period it wasn't that mad.
Right, and that was sort of, like, the culmination a lot of times, like at the end, and it's like crotch grab.
I'm done, yeah.
I'm done now.
VIKKI TOBAK: Drop the mike.
[laughs] [music playing] Photography is a perman-- a time capsule to-- to-- and you know, in that instance of the youthful bands like fighting to be heard and I'm not giving a [bleep].
Music is such an integral part of life.
And there will always be image makers who want to capture something magical about that music.
And they're the ones that will be making the iconic images of the future.
[music playing] The future of music photography and photography in general is going to places we really aren't quite aware of just yet.
One day, when AI consumes our lives, that'll add another element.
We don't know where that's going.
And we don't know what it'll lead to.
I can only say that the rock and roll era, which is like the Impressionist era, now still impressionist painters doing impressionist paintings.
But the Impressionist era went with those maestros and those kings and those giants.
RANKIN: Where it will go, who knows?
It could go a million different places.
You could have virtual bands within probably two or three years.
There's AIs making music now.
It's very scary.
At the same time, quite exciting.
That's what we should be really thinking about now, not what's going on right now, but like, where we go in the future.
It is an extraordinary moment for photography, just in terms of the consumption of photography, in terms of the interest in photography.
So let's wait for the next big thing to happen.
They're showing you what their world is like.
Yes, they're choosing the moments they want to show you.
But if you look closely, you will get some secrets to what it is like to be alive in this generation right now.
I always try to chase that thing that makes me nervous again.
And with photography, it's completely in your hands, like whatever you do creatively.
And that's the exciting part of it.
Keep taking pictures.
It's the only thing you can do.
[rock music playing]