Julia was fortunate enough to have Bradley Quinn answer some questions about himself, his artwork & Snow Patrol – for the second time. Thank you Bradley for taking the time & I am sure the TTB community thanks you as well.
You can purchase Quinn’s images on his website – BradleyQuinn.com – he also has a great Facebook page .
The email interview:
1. The video footage you shot in LA which are featured in the Snow Patrol iphone app as webisodes are very funny. Are there more coming? oh, and which one of them is the beter pool player (or are you)?
I spent in LA for a week during the recording, Gary was finishing the lyrics with Garrett and the other members where working in different locations. I had to do some organising to get them all together at one time. The other problem i had was that i had brought the Irish weather with me, it rained almost every day with landslides etc. The Locals said they couldn’t remember it as bad in years. Just my luck, I also managed to catch the cold. Totally Ridiculous
2. What camera equipment did you use for the video & did you feel comfortable shooting video vs. still? Who did the editing / final production of the webisodes.
Cinema photography is new to me althoughits a medium I have always been intrested in. I shoot on Nikon cameras so I purchased the nikon d7000, they are just releasing d800 which is superior so that would be my choice now. I bought the camera and started filming the following day, I made plenty of mistakes but Simon Cull at Serious Facilities managed to work with it in the edit. I soon realized that you need more than just the camera and a few lenses, there is all sorts of steady-cam and rigs that make footage more professional.
I have recently got involved with a production company called Red Morgan. We have been working on various commercial projects and documenting behind the scenes footage of events and fashion shoots etc.
3. Have you shot any videos on the current Snow Patrol tour?
I have shot mostly stills on this tour as it is hard to juggle both but I’m hoping to film at Pheonix Park in the summer.
4. Your list of photographic prose has a wide range (studio, wedding, & concert) what amongst your list is your favorite thing to photograph and why?
I began my career working alongside a commercial / advertising photographer, Northern Ireland is a small place so it’s hard to specialize in one paticular area. I was very anti weddings for years but would often find myself photographing friends weddings. It was through these experiences that I found I loved documenting events. It’s funny how gigs and a weddings can be similar in that respect.
5. What do you listen to while you are “developing” your film & what is your most played song on your mp3 player?
I play music through my mac in the studio, I tend to play music thats not too distracting, maybe Bon Ivor, belle and sebastian, Elbow etc . I’ve also been playing Bowie are on alot at the minute. Starman had alot of plays. My assistant introduced me to jango, the online radio station which mixes it up a little too
6. Photographers usually like to upgrade gear all the time – still sporting Nikon? Any new glass that’s fun?
Canon and Nikon both have new cameras out so the debate continues, I was originally Canon but moved to Nikon when they leaped ahead with Iso on the d3 but it’s very close now. The costly part is changing all the lenses. I love my primes, 35,50 and 85, I use these for documentary and low light work back stage and zooms for live work. 17-40 and 70-200 would be my favourite.
7. I was going to ask you if you were going to do a formal portrait of Snow Patrol and I saw a couple of weeks ago, you did just that. Can you tell us how you came up with the idea and where it was.
The band is very busy on tour and they have all their press shots taken before the tour begins. I usually only set up shots when they ask or there needed for a certain publication. The shot in front of the stage was taken in Rotterdam for a children’s charity. I fitted it in between the soundcheck and dinner so I only had about 5 minutes. Shots like this are all about the setup and lighting, I travel with minimal gear so I knew I had to call in a favour from David Sherwin, the lighting director. I got him give me 4 follow spots on the band and we arranged the lighting behind for maximum effect.
8. This Bushmills image looked like it was a lot of fun to make. Who shot this one, since you are in it? Did you ever think you would end up on a billboard?
The bushmills image was taken by New York photographer Jonathan Manion. He was a great guy to work with and kept us laughing thoughout the shoot. As the bushmills Brothers campagin is centered around friendship he kept the direction to a minimum prefering to see how we interacted together. I did required a chiropractor the following week but it was all worth it. This is the first time I have appeared in a billboard but during my time as a photographers assistant I appeared in many ads and commercials. Some I would rather forget.
9. We (as a Snow Patrol loving group) have been extremely thrilled about this concept of instant live shots from the shows you attend – can you elaborate on how you accomplish the task?
I’m very privileged to have a backstage area with wifi to sort and edit pictures. I always shoot raw so I can change the colour balance later, digital struggles with strong red and blue lights setups. I download and choose my shots through software called Photo Mechanic, I think is the fastest system of selecting, processing, watermarking and downsizing. I will use Lightroom for my black and whites etc. Social media requires faster updates, we now see the fans are commenting via their mobiles during the gig.
10. This is one of my favorite images this time around.
Good choice!, it’s a new angle for me as well and its one of my favourites too. Jonny often misses out as its hard to get a good shot from the pit.
What is your favorite shot from this tour?
I loved the series of shots I took from the sound desk in belfast as you are photographing from the fans viewpoint and I feel this creates more atmosphere.
I love the latest book and I think the best we have produced yet, hopefully my works improving. haha Dan Kaufman (Miriums brother) had designed the last few tour program’s and he has an open brief for the design, everyone looks different. The mug shots were taken in a hotel just before the MTV concert in Belfast, we needed images for their visas which is why they look so serious apart from the outtakes.
12. Is it hard keeping pace with the grind of touring along side Snow Patrol – are you planning to shoot the North America tour?
I don’t think anyone would would believe me if i said it was tough. Its a dream job and I feel very fortunate. I think if I was a full time touring member it could be hard to be away from home for such long periods of time. I love dropping in and out as it keeps it intresting. I have no plans for the North America unfortunately buy I will be covering some of the festivals.
13. You obviously have a comfort level with the band that most photographers don’t have (being a brother & friend) – are you joking and laughing at the same time you are shooting or do you try to stay invisible?
When I have the camera in my hand I’m usually trying to stay invisible, the dressing room is closed for 30mins before and after the show to let the band get ready so if I’m lucky to be there they don’t need distracting. The only exception to this is shots with Tom who is always up for a laugh. I love the shot in the tour program of him lying on the disused train track, the tour manager to standing in the distance to give the impression of an oncoming tain.
14. After photographing countless Snow Patrol shows, how do you keep it fresh? It’s a testament of your talent how you still come up with new perspectives and concepts. Do you find it hard to not repeat yourself?
It can be hard, espically inside Arenas but I have begun to focus more on the fans of each city, so I will try and photograph them outside the venue or in the front row holding up banners. I decided to watch the second 02 gig in London as I had invited friends. I don’t think I have ever watched their full concert in 15 years without a camera in my hand but it did give me ideas for the following night.
15. Since you have carte blanche backstage, ulowly photogs can only dream of, what do yothink of the three song rule that most concert photographers get? Do you think bands are being represented at their best when photographers only have 12 minutes to work with?
I think if the first three songs are well lit and upbeat then that should be grand for a press shot. Most performers can give the press what they need in that time, Gary is great at it.
16. Your images are out there. Is it a full time job with how you able to control when and where they get published? Also, are there issues involving people misusing your copyrighted images, for example blogs/Tumblr?
With the internet you have to understand that your images will be dragged off your site for blogs etc, I have no problem with fans using them in this way just as long as they are not printed or used on commercial sites.
17. How do you feel about some of the current photographic release forms & photographers rights to their images?
I have heard very strict rules imposed at certian concerts and i have signed them myself in the past, i think its all about illegal merchandise again. I wonder if we would have all those iconic images that feature in the Proud galleries if photographers had restrictions in the 60s/70s?
18. I have seen some of your shots of Cashier #9 & Rams Head – any plans to go on shooting other bands?
I photographed Bon Iver in Dublin earlier this year and I’m covering a festival in June at the Bushmills Distillery with Iain archer and Foy vance and the Patrol along with other acts.
19. Are there any fun blogs or websites that you want us to know about, that you enjoy?
I follow various photographers on blogs but i would recommend http://welldonefillet.com/blog-2/ for a bit of a laugh. Its a blog written my an anonymous waiter, it provides great insight on the restaurant trade. He won some awards for his blog recently. Top guy!
20. Do you have any other passions – can you write poetry, do you paint, draw?
Is photography not enough? It is all too consuming unfortunately. I have just bought a set of golf clubs with good intentions, although i doubt Rory will have any competition.