Arcadian Kicks

Part two of the behind the scenes stories featuring my images currently shortlisted in NME Photographer of the year. This time: Arcadian Kicks….

I first met Arcadian Kicks in July 2008, they are managed by Jon Brookes; The Charlatans’ drummer whom I had been working with for around 18 months at the time. I remember watching them play live at Tommy Flynns in Camden and instantly warming to them as a band, not only the way they looked (which is innevitably the first thing I notice as a photographer) but they way they performed and interacted with each other on stage. It is rare to meet a band who seem so genuinely relaxed and happy to be in one another’s company 24/7.

Our first photoshoot took place in Aug 2008 and had a strong leanng towards the visual fashion iconography of the early 60’s and artists such as David Bailey:

Whilst attempting to source a local studio we interestingly stumbled upon Pepperwick Antiques, an antique dealer just outside of Birmingham but fully equiped with a lighting rig, softboxes and a (carpet!?) scoop backdrop. The resulting images were used for a cover and article in ‘Surface Unsigned Magazine’:

Around 18 months later Jon got back in touch with me to say the band had been working with Mike Chapman (producer of ‘Parallel Lines’ by Blondie among many others) and the band wanted to do a new session with me that reflected their now more edgey and mature attitude.

We spent a great deal of time bouncing ideas back and forth trying to come up with a concept that would show this ‘grown-up’ side. My strongest influence, in regard to the girl’s, was definately Karen O and the aim was to create a shoot that showed the band in a sexy but not submissive way.

Eventually the idea emerged of using bondage tape to dress the girls as well as giving the boys something to hold on to as the girls pulled away. This particular tape sticks to itself but not skin – thankfully! (to see a demo video click here: ) 

Lastly I scoured the internet for a hair and make-up artist that I felt could suit our needs and finally found the talented Roseanna Velin, who among other other hugely varied projects is the artist behind this incredible work:

The shoot took place at John Mason’s studio in Birmingham 3 days before Christmas and you can view/vote for by following the link below.

Many Thanks x.—portrait/item/183706


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