Photographing Paul Weller Music Icon!
PHOTOGRAPHING PAUL WELLER AND VISION BOARDS
A personal story of how the Law Of Attraction and vision boards helped me photograph one of my music idols – Paul Weller
by photographer Wes Simpson.
VISUALISING PHOTOGRAPHING PAUL WELLER
The story of how I got to meet and photograph Paul Weller was written in the starts. I’m a big believer in the law of attraction and I’m into ‘manifesting’ and creating ‘vision boards.’ Vision Boards work for me in a number of ways because they help provide clarity and focus but I also enjoy the fun visual creative aspects in creating them. How it works is, I simply place things on my vision board that I want to attract into my life or things that I’d simply like to achieve. I am blessed that I have already had a career that’s provided opportunities for me to meet and work with some amazing celebrities from the cast and crew of TV shows such as Hollyoaks and Shameless to working with rock group U2 on a documentary for ITV. However some time ago I decided that I wanted to do some more celebrity work and I that I wanted to photograph someone of real interest – someone I was a fan of, an idol or role model if you wish.
I’ve always had a keen interest in music photography, especially ‘behind the scenes’ style of images. So with this in mind; I wrote down a few names and printed out some images to help me focus. One of the names I wrote down was a music icon, the mod-father himself, Mr Paul Weller, whom I’ve been a life-long fan of; so much so that I even had the cover of Paul Weller’s “Stanley Road” album painted full length on my bedroom wall as a teenager.
Whether you believe it or not, I know that visualisation works and just like life coach Tony Robbin’s explains in his book “Unleash the giant within” – “visualisation doesn’t simply work by going to your garden as saying ‘there’s no weeds, there’s no weeds, there is going to be weeds.” However, athletes have been using visualization techniques for decades to improve performance.
Basically what we focus on expands. So when you create a vision board and place it in a space where you see it often, you essentially end up doing short visualization exercises throughout the day.
Visualisation is one of the most powerful mind exercises you can do. According to the popular book The Secret, “The law of attraction is forming your entire life experience and it is doing that through your thoughts. When you are visualizing, you are emitting a powerful frequency out into the Universe.”
VISION BOARDS AND PHOTOGRAPHING MY IDOLS
So, what’s the deal to creating a vision board and what’s it to do with photographing Paul Weller? As I mentioned I had a dream of wanting to photograph a few celebrities of interest, one being Paul Weller. I had pinned a few items connected to his music on my vision board and I started listening to his albums in the car. As I had already photographed a few other singers and celebrities including Pink and Morrissey, I decided to re-visit some of the images that I had previously taken of them in order to practice my editing skills. I also gave my time to a couple of local bands and photographed them for free. All this was simply me trying to change my frequency and to help me tune into how I would feel if I photographed more celebrities including Paul Weller.
Now here’s the crazy thing… and demonstrates how ‘The Law Of Attraction” works. 10 years ago whilst working in New York I met a girl called Hannah from London who was working in a shop just off Times Squire, and we became friends for the duration of my stay. As the years passed we lost touch, but we eventually re-connected some years later through social media.
Then one day out of the blue (after I’d made my vision board) I get a message from Hannah. The message briefly explained that she was now MARRIED TO PAUL WELLER and did I still live in Liverpool because they are in town as Paul is doing a gig in Cheshire and would I like to meet up?
The Universe had answered my call – obviously, I said YES!
Not only did I get the opportunity to meet and photograph Paul Weller at his concert but I got to hang out with him, his band and Steve Cradock of Ocean Colour Scene too! I found myself backstage, on the tour bus and I even had a beer in hand at the side of the stage sat with Paul’s wife, my good friend Hannah.
EVEN IDOLS HAVE IDOLS | MY DAY WITH PAUL WELLER
On the morning of the concert it was amazing and humbling to note that even idols have idols – In below the collection of images you will see one of Paul Weller visiting Aunt Mimi’s house in Liverpool (the childhood home of John Lennon), the picture was taken on the morning of Paul’s Delamere Forest concert in Cheshire.
I love the idea of what that picture represents, not only does it humanise Paul Weller as an ordinary humble ‘fan’ of John Lennon but it’s also in keeping with the above notion of having dreams, inspiration and how the Universe works. I’m guessing there will be a teenager who’s not long picked up a guitar, standing on a ‘Stanley Road’ or a ‘Penny Lane’ getting their picture taken and dreaming of being the next music icon.
Behind the scenes, music and concert photography
Paul Weller Live
Celebrity music and concert photographer
A TOWN CALLED CHESHIRE
Later that evening Paul Weller would have impressed his idol John Lennon when he rocked Delamere Forest in Cheshire…
Click the video to see my exclusive side of the stage footage of Paul Weller performing his Jam classic ‘Town Called Malice.”
“Those that don’t believe in magic will never find it” – Roald Dahl