Behind The Lens With Brian O'Connor
Your biggest challenge when shooting outdoor events:
Much the same as indoors really. The main problem now is that everyone with a mobile phone classes themselves as a photographer, and tend to copy the habits of the only photographers they have ever heard of, the paparazzi. The driver of a small compact car could not automatically control a Formula 1 vehicle. If only they could apply this logic to cameras! So, I avoid, and again as mentioned above, remain polite, as invisible as possible, and do not even attempt to debate the matter.
Favorite venue to shoot:
Too numerous to mention them all, but basically anywhere where I'm welcomed and especially when this is accompanied by good lighting (why is lighting so woeful in many jazz venues? A couple of spots costs nothing these days). Notable mentions go to: The Under Ground Theatre, Eastbourne; The Hawth, Crawley; Pizza Express, Dean St., Soho, London.
Favorite festival to shoot:
Brecon Jazz Festival, Brecon, Powys, Wales, UK.
Where was your first assignment location?
Hammersmith Odeon, London, Blood Sweat & Tears. Pure guesswork and buried in the audience. It shows!
Your favorite musician(s) to photograph:
Any musician who is "alive" to his/her surroundings, and not giving the appearance of going through the motions. Claire Martin the singer is typically one of the best.
Did you know...
I do like the odd single malt and bourbon. Most people like one or the other.
Your favorite jazz story:
The many anecdotes of Ronnie Scott. Too many to mention here, but as a raconteur of jazz stories, he did not have an equal. "It's easy to make a million out of jazz, just start off with two."