INXS @ Sounds By The River, January ’12

INXS have a new frontman in Ciaran Gribbin, and so we wanted to highlight him while also maintaining a “Mannum” feel to a promo shot before their set at Sounds By The River 2012.

Earlier, we had shot Vanessa Amorosi and had noticed a location that would be large enough for all 6 members. It also had a second “level” for Ciaran to be on and appear out front of everyone else. And there was a big ass gum tree right to the side of frame – very Mannum!

Initially we had looked at getting this shot done well before INXS’s stage time, but rain changed everything – it completely bucketed down and shooting on location was not gonna happen! We resigned ourselves to not getting the shot.

Then, 5 minutes before stage call the rain miraculously stopped and we re-thought about shooting. We all knew we could still pull it off so Haley, Tyson and I ran all the gear to the location. Haley then set up an Elinchrom softbox the fastest I’ve ever seen anyone set up an Elinchrom softbox, I swapped bodies and lenses on the wet grass, opting for a FlexTT5 to trigger my lights (as the MiniTT1 was still wet from the Vanessa Amorosi shoot) while Tyson rounded up INXS to the location, all this happened in two minutes. We were still popping a test shot as INXS walked into frame.

I introduced myself to the band briefly and then to Ciaran and mentioned what we would like for the shot and he was into it. A quick re-shuffle of positions and a minute later we had the shot.

Another 2 minutes after and the band was on stage.

It was the fastest promo shoot I have done, yet we were confident from scoping the location earlier that it would work. Knowing our lighting gear inside out and back to front meant no fussing and no time wasting while the band was with us on location. When shooting a band promo I don’t like to take any more of their time than needed. Tonight we had zero time to begin with, so it was essential everything worked exactly as we wanted.

Later, on stage Ciaran came towards me as I was shooting their show, his hand reaching for my camera. Eye contact was made and I instinctively knew it was all good so I passed it to him. He seemed to be confident in using it, even though it was set to M mode and a shutter of about 1/800th, f/2.8 ISO 3200.

I stood back and shot long with the 70-200 while he shot from up on stage with the 16-35. The shots he got were not half bad (with a little tweaking and cropping in post!) and I got some great shots of him shooting!