Amanda is a freelance photographer, specialising in concerts, and life-long Wembley resident
I feel so lucky to have lived around Wembley all my life. It holds so many memories for me and it’s great to see how the area is changing. I’ll always remember being taught to drive in front of Wembley Stadium. You used to be able to drive down Olympic Way, all the way from the station to the Stadium!
My Dad was always taking posed pictures of my brother and me, so there were always cameras around. I remember getting my first ‘big girl’ camera for my tenth birthday – I felt so grown up.
I got into concert photography by accident. I went to a gig at what was then The Bottom Line in Shepherd’s Bush and got chatting to the manager about photography. He invited me back to properly shoot the next gig – and that’s how it all began really. Within a couple of years I was recommended for the job as house photographer at Shepherd’s Bush Empire and shortly after, I was asked to cover Brixton Academy too. In total, I spent almost 18 years shooting gigs at the Empire and 15 at the Academy. I’ve also done some work at both Wembley Arena and Stadium – it’s nice to be on home turf.
My favourite acts to shoot are the most animated like Skunk Anansie, Marilyn Manson and Suede. I also love when artists wear outlandish costumes – I’ll always remember The Scissor Sisters Halloween concerts, they really go to town with their costumes. They were great fun to photograph.
You usually only get the first three songs to get the shot, which can sometimes be tricky when the artist is leaping about and running around, and you still have to think about focus and lighting. All this, while you’re trying to avoid other photographers’ elbows, crowdsurfers and flying beer. It’s a challenging job but I love it.