Manchester, UK, 1988, house music arrived at the world famous Hacienda night club Situated on Whitworth Street in the centre of town.
My work as a photographer covered music, fashion, portraits and lifestyle assignments. I was sent by various magazines such as The NME, The Face, i.d and Mixmag to cover what was happening at the world famous venue.
The scene exploded and I photographed Oasis, The Happy Mondays, The Stone Roses, The Charlatans, The Inspiral Carpets, Primal Scream, Blur, The Verve, The Chemical Brothers, James, DJ Sasha, Moby, DJ David Morales, DJ Graeme Park, DJ Mike Pickering, DJ Frankie Knuckles and Tony Humphries.
So if you want to create your own archive of photographs, you have to first find something that your interested in, a niche subject, something that your passionate about. If you’re the only photographer covering that particular scene then you will have exclusive photographs that no one else has.
Organize yourself and keep detailed records of when and whom you photograph. Load the pictures onto your website and then let magazines and T.V. companies know that you have a great resource of pictures covering that scene.
What to photograph? You need to be looking for stories from within the scene that you are covering. During the Manchester, Madchester scene, I not only photographed the people such as Noel Gallagher, Tony Wilson Dj Sasha, Bez, John Squire and Ian Brown, but I also photographed the fashion of the time and the people from the different nightclubs such as The Hacienda.
I knew that something special was happening in Manchester or ‘Madchester as it was known in the media. I decided to document what was going on at The Hacienda and other venues around the town. This decision has proved to be profitable as my archive of photographs is now sold around the world to magazines and T.V.production companies.
When you meet with the people who you think might be good to photograph, then talk to them about the scene that they are involved in. Ask questions, find out who they recommend from that scene who would be good to photograph.
Photograph the local area that is involved, the buildings, the people and places of interest. When you have a good body of work, contact local and national magazines. Tell them about your interest in the subject you are covering, remember your passion for your subject will come through and get the person at the other end of the line interested in your chosen subject.
Last of all enjoy what you photograph and let the people who take pictures of where they can see the pictures online.
Peter J Walsh