It’s Who You Know – Photographer Adam Brown

25 04 2010

MyMetropole caught up with east London based photographer Adam Brown to talk about how he got into photography, his current work,  parts of London he loves best, and a hard lesson in remembering to remove the lens cap! Read on for more with Adam Brown.

MyMetropole: What sparked an interest in photography for you?
Adam Brown: A few years ago I was going through some stuff at my Nan’s house when I found an old film camera. I had no experience or previous interest in photography but I  immediately wanted to photograph everything.
The only problem was that the shutter would stick so at least half the roll of film would be really badly exposed. It was a tough camera to learn with but in a way that helped me as I learnt very quickly about exposure. Eventually though I was taking so many pictures I needed something a bit more reliable. I bought a Canon film camera from a friend for the bargain price of £20 and my interest and camera collection has grown from there!
MM:What’s the day job? Or do you make a living from taking pictures?

AB: I work at HMV Oxford Circus, which pays the bills, but isn’t exactly the dream! I hope to make photography my main source of income in the near future.
MM: Where are you based? Why there? What are you favourite spots in the area where you live?
AB: I currently live in Leytonstone, East London. I’m originally from Ramsgate, Kent but moved to London when I finished Uni. My dad used to live in Walthamstow and I still have family in this area so when I decided to move it was nice to be somewhere familiar but still have plenty of new places to explore.
One of my favourite places to go is Hollow Pond, near Whipps Cross. Any time of year there’s always something to photograph from wildlife to families boating or snowy landscapes. Each time I go up there I come back with a completely different set of photos.
MM: Where are your favourite places to shoot in London? Why?
AB: It may be a bit of a cliché but I love going down to the Southbank, it’s always bustling and full of life down there. It’s another one of those places where there is always something to inspire you and you can come back with a totally different set of pictures each time.
I love shooting gigs at the O2 Shepherd’s Bush Empire. The venue has an amazing atmosphere and over the last few months I’ve been lucky enough to get photo passes for some great bands.
The great thing about London though is that it’s so varied as a city that you can spend all day jumping on and off buses and tubes and end up with a really nice variety of shots that it looks like a weeks worth of work.
MM: Any career goals or other goals related to photography that you hope to achieve?

AB: In the short-term I’m happy to just keep building a large and varied portfolio. In the long term I’d love to have my work published in established music magazines, whether it be live gigs or promo shoots. I’d also love to get more experience with wildlife photography and am currently saving for a Safari holiday next year.
MM:  What bands have you photographed? Any gossip you can dish about your best or worst experience?

AB: One of my first live music shoots was the Oxjam festival in Kilburn last year. I really enjoyed the great variety of bands and venues…and it was all for a good cause!
The first band I shot on a bigger stage were OK Go(above), so that was quite special but my favorite so far would have to be Mumford & Sons. I’m a really big fan of the band anyway, so I was pretty hyped to be there and everything about their performance contributed to some really great shots.  Somehow that night I ended up having a few too many drinks at the aftershow party and there was a somewhat embarrassing incident where the lead singer of the band was posing for a picture with my friend and I attempted to take their picture… with my lens cap on. Very professional!
All the bands I’ve photographed this year can be seen on my website, Flickr page or Facebook fan page. (Adam also has a blog.)
MM: What kind of camera do you use? What’s your favourite gadget/software for photography?
AB: I have a Canon 40d and use the Canon EF-S 17-55mm f2.8 IS USM for pretty much everything.
I got a Canon EF 50mm f1.8 II in March which is an amazing little lens, not had much use out of it so far but it has still really impressed me. They’re cheap and easy to carry around, I’d definitely recommend every photographer to keep one in their bag!
I use Photoshop for any editing but try to do as much in camera as possible. I used to despise Photoshop because I thought it would make me a bad photographer but it’s actually opened up opportunities to improve most aspects of my photography.

MM:Favorite London gallery?
AB: The Photographer’s Gallery is great, especially as it’s just round the corner from where I work. Proud Camden has some amazing exhibitions as well and the V&A’s collection is one of my favourites, particularly as they have some work by Henri-Cartier Bresson, who I find truly inspirational.
MM:  Anyone else you are working with currently that you’d like to tell the readers about?
AB: I’ve been working on promotional shots with East London based band The Shindig Addicts who will be relaunching their Myspace page in May which is coinciding with the release of their debut EP.
If any bands would like to hire Adam they can contact him at enquiries [at] adam-brown [dot] co [dot]uk, as well as for any other types of photography.
If anyone is interested in collaboration or curating an exhibition, check out and get in touch with Adam at info [at] adam-brown [dot] co [dot] uk.



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