lights

Arctic Monkeys: 3Arena by Aaron Corr

The Thin Air sent me to the 3Arena to shoot Arctic Monkeys with support by The Lemon Twigs. Or The Lemon Twig I should say, as only Michael Daddario was available to play due to Brian being sick. It took away from the dynamic of shooting both brothers on stage but Michael still provided enough hair flicks and poses to make things look a little interesting.

Shooting Arctic Monkeys was cool but as lavish and well lit as their stage display was, there was still frustrations to ruin wider shots, hence why my favourite shots are mostly close ups. They opened with Four Out of Five, with Alex taking to the microphone doing his best lounge singer impression, before moving further back to the keyboard.

As they kick into Brianstorm they strobe lights kick into full gear. Looks great but getting a good focus alone never mind framing during it was the battle. The lights were more reliable during Snap Out of It, but then the overhead display was moved upwards and lights off, which took away from the initial set dynamic that was interesting to shoot.

Click here to read the review of the show.

Conor McGregor Portrait by Aaron Corr

Conor McGregor

A huge surprise landed my way near the end of October when I got asked to do a photo shoot with Conor McGregor for Virgin Media Ireland for their Play magazine.  He would be doing press for his documentary film Notorious.  I immediately felt a sense of pressure, a good pressure.  You know the type, the one you get when you're about to photograph probably the most famous sports star in the world right now.  The biggest question I asked myself was "How much time will I have with him?"  As the days neared I set the expectation that maybe five minutes could be my maximum time since it was a press junket.

The shoot took place on Halloween during the day in the Merrion hotel.  As I waited in the press room Conor popped the head in to say a quick hello to those of us waiting before returning to his room for more interviews.  My designated time was to follow TV3’s Lisa Cannon's interview with him for Box Office and the Play mag.  As I waited I learned that I didn’t have a set number of minutes, as soon as I got the picture I'd be done.  No pressure.  I had all my equipment with me, tripod, softbox and flash triggers.  I quickly set up my mini softbox that is more portable, but more tricky when holding it with my left hand while taking photos with the right.  

Conor McGregor

When the interview wrapped I was allowed in.  People leaving took selfies as they were saying goodbye to Conor and I surveyed the darkened room, lit mainly by the large studio lights for recording the interview.  In that moment I made the decision to abandon my impromptu flash set up and take advantage of the lights already set up.  Before I had time to think any further Conor was introduced to me, and he asked where I wanted him standing.  A standing position would have been ideal, but my decision meant I had to ask him to sit for the portrait since the lights set up at a lower level.  I took a test image, updated my settings and took the portrait you can see above of him smiling.  I asked him for a ‘power pose’.  He raised his fists and I took three more snaps.  He motioned to get up from his seat and I knew that in his mind I was to just there to get a picture  There were many people in the room, and not wanting to cause any delays I knew to wrap things up.  Lisa requested a quick photo with him while I was there.  A big part of me wanted to get a selfie myself, but the way I looked at it was that if I could afford the time to take a selfie, then I should have used that time to get another portrait as option. 

Conor was a gent to deal with for the short space of time I had.  I must have had a total of one minute, resulting in four photos.  I was reminded of the photography episode of Abstract on Netflix, when Platon notes at one point how he was under restriction to take just one portrait of a particular world leader.  So, I guess I didn't have it that bad by comparison.

Conor McGregor

St. Vincent: Olympia Theatre by Aaron Corr

After beginner her tour that week in the UK to rave reviews from critics, but mixed reviews from Twitter punters, St. Vincent returned to Ireland to play two shows in the Olympia Theatre.  Annie Clark was allowing photographers to shoot four songs in the middle of the show, catching her last two songs performed in the first set, and the first two songs of the second set.  This meant I got to take photos of her in two different outfits she wore for the show which mixed up the look of the whole photo set.

The feedback from the Dublin shows was phenomenal, the was no mixed reaction like in the UK to her appearing solo, there was no screams of "glorified karaoke".  The show highlighted how great a voice she has and even more so highlighted what an amazing guitarist she is.  Wielding her many coloured variations of her signature Ernie Ball guitar, she out shined many a guitar hero and put herself up there with the best.

For the first set she wore a pink PVC/leather outfit with knee high boots and sang from different areas of the stage for each song, sometimes barely visible from my vantage point in the crowd, hidden by speakers.  The lighting was a photographer's dream so when it came time to the shoot the lighting mixed between good strong lighting on Annie, to some strobes, low lights and light smoke. 

For the second set she worse the silver dress and the background was now giant screens.  My only gripe on that front was that, although the background colours and images were fantastic to use, the lines across the screen and moiré that would appear on the shots take a little bit away from the final result.  For the solid colour backgrounds I did contemplate giving it a bit of a blur to get rid of the effect but let them be since I couldn't do it for all of them.  While the results may be cooler from the last few tours with her band , I must say that overall this was one of my favourite shows to shoot, ever.