In the Pit #15: Lucy McLachlan

Queen Zee & The Sasstones

Queen Zee & The Sasstones

Getintothis’ Martin Waters sits down with one of our newest photographers to find out how you make the leap from shooting grand old houses for the National Trust to shooting gigs in Liverpool.

Getintothis is well known for giving opportunities to photographers and, as well as the old hands who have been shooting gigs for a while, is always willing to introduce new blood to the team.

One of the newest recruits is Lucy MacLachlan who has swapped shooting the calmer and much more refined venues that belong to the National Trust to shoot in Liverpool’s eclectic range of music venues.  We sat down with Lucy to find out how it was all going.

Getintothis:  Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into photography.

LM: I’ve always had a camera in my life at some point.  I started taking photos for the National Trust 4 years ago in the Midlands, which involves being outside a lot in not so great weather!  I only started shooting for Getintothis 6 months ago and I have no idea why I didn’t think of combining photography with my love of all things musical sooner. It’s definitely been a fun ride and a huge learning curve moving from outdoors to indoors! I’ve had to go back to photography class basics!

National Trust

National Trust

Getintothis: What was the first gig you shot?

LM: Broncho at the Magnet was my first proper gig, but I’ve been taking cameras to gigs for my own enjoyment for quite a while. Looking at old photo albums that was around Interpol in 2004.

Getintothis: So what’s in your camera bag when you’re shooting?

LM: The venue depends on what I take but a trusty Canon DSLR, a 50mm prime lens for low light and a 70-200mm for those times when you can only shoot from the back usually does the job. Then there’s a flash which I’ve yet to break out at a show and the most important thing in my whole bag EARPLUGS I can’t stress that enough.  When I was younger I thought it was cool to come away from a gig with your ears ringing, now, not so much!

Getintothis: Which is your favourite shot?

LM: I feel like most gigs I do I have a new favourite shot, I’m learning so much with every gig. Each venue brings new set up, lighting, positioning of the stage, the crowd. It keeps you on your toes.

Catch up with all our In the Pit archives here

Getintothis: Any terrible or fun shoots you’d like to share?

LM: Liverpool Music Week Closing Party at Meraki sticks out for me but not as particularly good or bad, it was freezing cold and pouring with rain and the ceiling was leaking at the newly christened Meraki.  There were like 8 bands on, so was I there for about 6 hours, my feet and hands were like blocks of ice by the time I got home! I think I shivered for the whole gig! But I got some lovely shots out of it, definitely one I’ll remember!

Getintothis: So what’s your favourite bit of kit?

LM: A few weeks ago I shot a show at the Epstein Theatre which is the first time I’d used my 70-200mm lens for a gig as I could only really take photos from the back of the room.  I had so much fun with it, it’s got me wanting to do more at larger venues!

Getintothis: Any particularly difficult musicians?

LM: Not as of yet, my first show was Broncho, the support bands were beautifully lit and I was starting to think ‘this is easy!’, then when the main band came on they asked for all the lights to be turned off except for this one red light and a blue light.  I had a 1.4 lens on and it still wasn’t letting in enough light, that was a tough first show!

Getintothis: Who are your favourite Liverpool bands to shoot?

LM: I’ve shot The Floormen a few times now, their shows are always fun to do, Mad Alice were great at Bathyfest also, Oya Paya, God on My Right and Double Echo.  I went to Poland with Double Echo for the Release the Bats festival in Wroclaw where we had an impromptu photo shoot one night with a statue of the Pope!

Double Echo

Double Echo

Getintothis: Where’s your favourite place to shoot?

LM: I love Buyers Club, the lighting is usually great for me, especially when they go a bit psychedelic with the mirror ball.

Getintothis: What one tip would you give anyone starting out?

LM: Take any gigs you can get regardless of who the band are and take as many photos as you can.

Getintothis: Best advice you’ve been given?

LM: Don’t delete photos from your camera as you take them, they may look good or bad on the display but could look the complete opposite on a computer screen and full size!

Getintothis: What’s the worst advice you’ve been given?

LM: I haven’t really been given any bad advice yet, but someone disconnected from the business overheard me talking about taking photographs a few days ago and just had to put in their ten cents: “Photography is 10% taking the picture and 90% Photoshop”.

I couldn’t help but roll my eyes! After a gig the last thing I want to do is be up editing until the early hours of the morning. Learn how to take good shots and keep bettering yourself so you don’t have to spend your whole time making it into something completely different in editing software. (I learned in film cameras so I’m biased.)

Getintothis: Any favourite photographers?

LM: I love looking at current photographers on Instagram for inspiration and it’s amazing how everyone has a different eye.  For me Malia James sticks out, I love how she uses light & colour in her photographs/music videos, lighting and an amazing colour palette is everything for me.  On the history side, I’m a sucker for old Hollywood photographers like George Hurrell and Horst P Horst, anything architectural and well lit. And for a wild card, Michael Lavine’s 1980s shots of punk/grunge kids on the streets of Seattle.

Getintothis: What would be your ideal gig to shoot?

LM: Something along the lines of an atmospheric light show, energetic guitar band and a good crowd or Sonic Youth in the late 80s early 90s.

You can see more at Lucy’s work at:

Twitter: @llucyalexandra
Instagram: lucy_alexandra