Warren Millar always has an eye for a black and white portrait and here, he shares some of his favourites. And they’re stunning.
Warren: I started this project a few years ago.
When I noticed, during an editing session, that I was tending to create my own style of gig photography, especially when converting images I had taken into black and white images.
These images tended to look like studio portraits, but were all taken during live performances, so the name of the project came to me straight away – simple, really – Live Performance Black and White.
Now, whenever I’m shooting a gig or a festival, I will always try and look for the best place to shoot from in order to to least get one or two images to be part of the project.
Here are some of my favourites taken in recent times:
Alexander O’Neal at The Eventim Olympia, Liverpool, April 2019.
This is one of my favourite images from 2019. It was also shortlisted for the ‘Events’ section of the British Photography Awards that year. Just love the lady reaching out of the darkness to touch her idol.
It’s not often you manage to get a half decent mage of a band’s drummer as they are always well back on stage and not usually very well lit.
I was lucky that this wasn’t the case that night at Parr Hall.
Frank Turner at the O2 Academy, Liverpool April, 2018.
Always love shooting Frank. His shows are so full of energy and passion. His fans also always make sure it’s a great night.
Gary Numan at Bluedot Festival 2018.
Always been a big fan of Gary and I was more than excited when I knew he would be playing.
He didn’t let me down, one of the stand out sets of that years Bluedot for me.
George Ezra at Neighbourhood Weekender Festival, Warrington 2019.
At big festivals, and during daylight, it’s quite hard to find the right angle from which to shoot, to get the right image for this project, but if you move around a bit you can usually find it.
Olly Alexander – Years And Years at Fusion Festival Liverpool 2018.
At the bigger festivals you only get to stay in the pit for the first three songs so you have to be quite quick in getting the shots and different angles.
Samuel T Herring – Future Islands at Bluedot Festival 2018.
I managed to get this shot just as the spotlight gave me a perfect studio type light on Samuel and also managed to get in a place where I had a plain black background.
Shawn Mendes at Fusion Festival, Liverpool 2018.
Love this shot, again right lighting and perfect pose . I always try to see how the lighting is affecting my shots.
Tim Booth – James, at Heaton Park, Manchester supporting The Courteeners in June 2019. A typically very wet day in Manchester but James made the day very special and Tim is a real joy to shoot.
Wayne Coyne – Flaming Lips at Bluedot Festival 2018.
The one band I always look forward to shooting. They start their sets like it’s the end, usually with confetti cannons and massive balloons.
Which from a photographers point of view is bloody great, because we usually only get the first three songs to photograph from the pit.
I do hope you have enjoyed looking at a few of my favourite images from my project. I hope once everything is back to normal I will be back in the pit at festivals and gigs enjoying my two passions, music and photography.
Any publications/bands looking for a gig photographer please do get in touch.
There’s more here.