Chris Benstead

When Chris Benstead asked me to help with recording studio photography, I knew I’d be in for a treat. Chris is a film composer, arranger and Academy Award-winning re-recording mixer, and on this occasion, he was recording music for a project with Guy Ritchie.

My own musical experience extends only to scraping through Grade 3 piano 25 years ago, and my current weekly jaunts to Rock Choir, so I was very much looking forward to stepping into the world of a professional recording studio. Luckily I was there for my recording studio photography skills and not musical talent, and I was in awe of the skills on display.

It was fascinating to watch the musicians pick up the score and play it perfectly, by sight, on the first time of reading. Drummer, Ralph Salmins, blew my mind with the way he played what sounded like, to my non-professional ear, a really fast and complex composition. Chris could pick up on the tiniest of details, one beat amongst thousands just played, to be corrected in the next recording.

Recording studio photography requires a different skill set to running around the park with toddlers. The low light allowed me to embrace some black and white creative photographs, and the trendy Chiswick street scenes outside British Grove Studios made for a great backdrop to update Chris’ headshots. I also had to be really quiet whilst shooting inside the recording booth.

The recording session was very much a team effort, with musicians Ralph Salmins and Chris Hill led not only by Chris Benstead, but also closely watched by engineer and Fiona Cruickshank, and orchestrator Giles Thornton. The rapport between the team was evident and reflected in the ease and professionalism with which they worked together. Capturing the creative atmosphere was a pleasure, and once again my camera and my profession has given me a ticket into a whole new world* of recording studio photography.

(*If any Chris Benstead aficiondos appreciate this pun, I’d love to hear from you.)

Get in touch...

If you’d like me to step into your world and photograph you and your team at work, please drop me a line..