Getty Images entertainment photographers capture the world’s most famous faces at the biggest events and have been doing so for decades.
In this series, some of our best known photographers and contributors recall a favourite photo of theirs and the celebrity story behind it.
I was fortunate enough to get a phone call from Biffy Clyro’s Press Officer in April 2010 asking if I’d like to document a few dates of the upcoming tour and after becoming sightly obsessed with the band’s album ‘Puzzle’ there was no hesitation whatsoever. I was soon on my way to Sheffield.
I’d photographed the band a couple of times previously on video shoots and for editorial but this was the first opportunity I’d had to spend any proper time with them. From then on I’ve been shooting them consistently on tours, at festivals and album promos. It has been an amazing journey culminating in an important landmark when they headlined Leeds and Reading Festival this year.
I’ve shot a lot of bands headlining Reading over the years and I know I’m slightly biased but I can safely say their performance was the best I’ve ever seen, the amount of effort put in by the band and production crew made it an absolute joy to photograph. The only downside was that I couldn’t be in three places at the same time as there was so much going.
Towards the end of the set I was shooting from the side of the stage and the tour manager said to me to be prepared as Simon was planning on setting his guitar alight and thankfully I was in the right position to capture what feels like an iconic moment in the band’s career.
450837865. READING, UNITED KINGDOM - AUGUST 25: A view from the back of the stage of Simon Neil of Biffy Clyro performing on Day 3 of Reading Festival 2013 at Richfield Avenue on August 25, 2013 in Reading, England. He is holding a pyrotechnic flare above his head which he has just used to set fire to his guitar. (Photo by Andy Willsher/Redferns)
About Andy Willsher
Growing up in Bedford, England, amongst like-minded music enthusiasts Andy Willsher was strongly influenced by David Bowie as well as pretty much all of the Goth bands of the late 80’s at the time. Luckily for Andy there was a small music venue in town where most of the [Goth] bands played. 'The perfect scenario' I thought; "I’ll go along and take some pictures. So the likes of 'Ghostdance', 'Zodiac Mindwarp', 'Fields of 'The Nephilim' (and many more people dressed in black throwing flour everywhere) started my portfolio". Andy decided to ignore college and get a real job so he could afford the next Canon model he had been craving. Whilst working at Barclays Bank in the West End, Andy took a holiday to follow a band called 'The Hollow Men' around the far reaches of Scotland and Ireland. "I decided from that point that this was the life for me. One step further down the line I was working in my local camera shop to try and gain some knowledge. I think it was around this time I started printing up my own pictures and sending them to the music press in the vain hope they’d want to use one".
Finally that time did arrive and after a few shots had been published Andy then got a phone call from NME Towers; 'Do you fancy shooting 'The Family Cat' at a school in Crewe?'. Andy continues to photograph for NME, his credits includes Jeff Buckley, Arthur Lee, U2, White Stripes and many more iconic bands/artists.
Andy's work has captured the music culture of our times and this exhibition celebrates his 20 years in music and in photography – standing next to the other photographers who inspired him, such as, Anton Corbijn, Ellen Von Unworth, Pennie Smith and Mick Rock.
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