In the summer of 2018, I got commissioned to shoot for Japanese pop legends Mr. Children. It turned out to be an amazing experience.
From the mid-1980s, I’ve been shooting bands on stage, in the studio and for album artwork. I’ve shot for various record companies, for WOMAD, Glastonbury Festival and many others. When I came to Japan, I shifted more away from solely shooting musicians. 2018 saw me get back into the studio to shoot photos of Japanese rock legends, Mr. Children for their release in October of that year.
We did a day and half in the studio, shooting portraits, group shots and various other cuts – in monochrome and in colour. The monochrome shots were later used as the basis for over-painting by Aerosyn Lex, who did all the artwork for the album. It was a joy to work with Lex.
We also back-projected various of Lex’s works onto the band members whilst they each performed live in the studio. These would later form part of the album artwork as well.
At the end of day2, we shifted to a rooftop location in central Tokyo, where the band shot the video for their first release single from the album: Your Song.
I shot the band whilst they performed for the video. One of those shots would make it to being the poster. It was also displayed on the outside of Tower Records in Tokyo.
I later went on to shoot the band live, twice, and have seen them in concert a few times now. Great people, great musicians, super friendly and very kind fo me and my family, who they invited to the gigs with me on several oocasions.
All in all, a once-in-a-lifetime experience. Photographers commissioned to shoot album artwork for the band typically tend only to do it once. They use a different artists for each of their albums.
Here’s a few shots of work as used in the posters, billboards, on the tour trucks, on Tower Records. The scans from the inside of the CD are not amazing quality. My apologies for that. But they give you a good flavour of the work.