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From a philosophical standpoint, I occasionally find it to be a good thing to take a good long hard look at where I'm at and what I'm doing.

In amongst the chaos of logistics, swathes of emails, issues with security, the inhumane hours, endless waiting around, heroic endeavor to get the frames, transmit them out to the world before humping a huge pile of kit back home at some antisocial hour to recharge everything and rush frantically to get to some sleep - you need a reference point.

Such a reference point became apparent as I sat waiting to go in to shoot the Rolling Stones at London's O2 Arena.

I took a good hard look around. I was amongst a select few photographers who were tooling up to provide the world’s press with first class frames of probably the most legendary rock band of all time performing a 50th anniversary show. They're all extremely good shooters and I really had a bit of a moment contemplating that this was THE Rolling Stones! Unequivocally, undeniably legends!

I absolutely had to do this show justice. It was an unbelievable privilege to be there and to shoot amongst such talented photographers.

When you're assigned to shoot a show that marks the 50th anniversary of the Rolling Stones, it's time to get serious.

With the PR not being completely clear on the vantage point from which we'd be shooting the show from, I had packed some serious fire power in the form of 3 Nikon D4's and a range of big glass to cope with any eventuality.

As we walked into the arena, it was a bit of a relief to see that the distance to the stage from the back of the VIP pen was the perfect range to use the 200-400mm f/4 zoom. It's a lens I had recently borrowed from the office and would afford me extra viewfinder time and negate swapping cameras too often. The 600mm f/4 I lugged across town would stay unused.

The mantra here is it's infinitely preferable to have it with you and not use it than wish you'd brought it and not have it. 

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As soon as we were done, I adjourned at a high rate of knots, with an amount of kit that would make any chiropractor wince, to file the job from the nearest place I could find.

The usual routine - heads down, get the best frames out within a couple of minutes - then hot chocolate and playful banter with the brethren whilst transmitting a second edit.

Later, long after the frames were transmitted and distributed, I revisited this particular frame of Mick, Keith and Charlie. The huge open mouth of Mick and the close overlap of his band mates was a great combination of elements in one frame of one great show. For me this was the best frame of the set.

It was a couple of months later that, from across the office, the SVP of Editorial Content, Adrian Murrell yelled at me to get that shot printed out big and signed for him personally.

“How the hell do I get Mick to sign it?’ I asked.

I was pleasantly surprised when he replied that he wanted me to sign it.


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