The other day we put a call out on social media, Royal Academy-style, asking artists to send us a special piece of work to feature in our August print issue. Our little Summer Exhibition, if you like.
And what a response! We loved the eclectic mix of folk who came forward, all with such an incredibly diverse array of practices. Over the next few weeks we’ll be chatting to each of them. First up? Nici Eberl, 27, originally from Austria, who’s been the house photographer at the Forum for nearly four years.
How did you get into it? It sounds so clichéd, but I got a camera passed down from my grandad and realised I could take a picture of a moment and remember it through that. As I got older, I took photos for my own enjoyment but then registered that I could actually do it as a job. Over the last few years that’s what I’ve really focused on, making sure I can earn money from it, building up and up. It’s taken a lot of hard work. There are a tonnes of people out there trying to do the same thing. I’m self-taught, I keep learning all the time; I’m not perfect yet by any means.
Besides the Forum, do you work anywhere else? Oh yes. Brixton Academy, Ticketweb, and Dingwalls and the Roundhouse too. I’ve taken pictures at Camden Rocks Festival and I’ve got lots of clients in north London. I mainly shoot live music, but I also do club nights, business events and whatever else comes up. It’s a really exhilarating profession.
What are the best bands you’ve photographed? My personal highlight has been Corn at O2 Brixton. They used to be my most-loved band. I’ve also done the soundtrack for Placebo; that was super exciting.
Most entertaining moments? When the crowd freaks out at events, when they surf and just go mental. It’s always nice to see how they’re completely in the music, focusing on the artist. Photographers have to jump out of the way.
Do you get to meet the people you snap? It always depends on the job. I shot Texas at The Palladium and met them. I did a behind-the-scenes feature there too. Recently back home in Austria I worked with The Prodigy and got to chat to them: that was amazing.
What shot are you most proud of? My favourite artist to shoot –and I think every photographer would agree – is Frank Carter (and The Rattlesnakes). I’ve got a picture from when they were playing at Electric Ballroom. He always crowd surfs and stands up on the audience –he went to the stairs by the side of the stage, and jumped from there; I ran after him and captured that moment. I’m passionate about energy shots, where you can feel the power of the gig. And I love the pic (above) of Kasabian at the Forum.
Where do you hang out? Mainly in Camden. I like to go to the Black Heart, Underworld and the Hawley Arms. And of course The Forum, that’s like my lounge. I live in Archway, and before that Tufnell Park. I love the general area.
Main image: Kasabian by Nici Eberl