Shoot your idols!
Filming & photographing rock group U2 – Celebrity music photographer.
They say ‘you should never meet your idols’ – but I not only got to meet some of mine but filmed and photographed them! in what was one of the coolest work experiences I’ve ever had. Before I was a full time photographer I worked as a freelance camera-man on TV shows and one of the craziest experiences I had was when I spent TWO weeks working with and filming mega stars – rock group U2.
Below is a short personal story about working with the iconic band on the ITV documentary U2 Uncovered with TV presenter Cat Deeley, by Liverpool celebrity music photographer Wes Simpson.
Filming rock group U2
The filming was for an ITV documentary which was presented by Cat Deeley. The programme was based around the build up and promotion of the bands world tour and the filming took just over two weeks. The finished documentary was based around a one-hour special from a behind the scenes point of view of the ‘Vertigo Tour’ with presenter Cat Deeley leading the way and conducting the interviews.
The programme featured in-depth interviews with the band reflecting on their life from schooldays to becoming global super-stars. It was an incredible opportunity because we had ‘full access-all areas pass’ and I got to witness all that goes on both on stage and behind the scenes. The climax of the filming came to an end when I got to see the band in their element as they prepared for the ultimate high, performing live in front of thousands at The Etihad stadium in Manchester.’
Working with rock group U2 and to have been part of the U2 Uncovered documentary was a dream come true. Like with most people, U2 have helped provide a sound track to my life, from classic songs such as “One”, “Wild Horses” to anthems such as “Beautiful day” and “I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For.” With this in mind, I take immeasurable pleasure in the fact I have met, worked with and filmed one of the biggest and most iconic bands in the world!
On the first day of filming I remember the producers and people from the agency were all in a bit of a ‘tizz’ in the moments before we met the band. We had over-flated strict instructions not to look at them or interact with them without prior consent and anybody that did not need to be in the room had to leave. The band then walked in ‘cool as you like’ and each came in turn over and introduced themselves… First came Bono, ams outstretched to shake my hand, he said “Hi! I’m Bono, nice to meet you.” and I was like… “yer, I kinda know who you are… I’m Wes!” ha ha. Bono, Larry, Adam, and The Edge are four of the most charismatic, incredibly funny, self deprecating men I’ve ever met and they just happen to be in the biggest rock band in the world.
Celebrity music photographer
Working with U2 was definitely a career highlight and it later helped inspire me to pursue my dream career as a celebrity music photographer due to a couple of cheeky behind the scenes photographs I took. I guess before I even began my career as a photographer I had already undertook a ‘bucket list assignment’ – how many photographers from Liverpool can claim they have not only photographed some of their idols but spent time on the road with them? It was a fantastic experience.
Below is part 5/5 of the final production that was aired on ITV in the UK, with my favourite bit coming at 7 minutes 21 when you see my name in credits just after the bands names!
Wes Simpson a Liverpool celebrity music photographer providing commercial photography and a UK and destination wedding photography service. If you would like to work with Wes on a photography project Contact Here