Hannan Paul Interview - Working With A Clear Vision

Meet Hannan Paul, one of Queensland’s leading live music photographers. From covering breaking acts to shooting soaring sensations, Hannan has built an extensive catalogue. This has positioned him as one of the greats in the QLD music community. We had a chat to Hannan about his start in photography, what it takes to be a live performance photographer, and much more.

Futuremag Music: Hey Hannan, what's happening in your stretch of the woods?

Hannan: What isn't happening? Gig's are booked Cameras are ready!

Futuremag Music: Jumping straight into it, can you talk us through how you moved into photography, and your journey as a photographer over the years?

Hannan: Photographing gigs all the time was almost an accident, I'd shot a few gigs here and there back home but nothing too serious, that was when everything I shot was for me, I had been into landscape and bird photography and dabbled in astro and motorsports with the occasional gig thrown in for good measure. When I moved to the Gold Coast, I really struggled making friends and meeting people. I'm pretty introverted, I had just bought a new lens and couldn't wait for daylight to try it out so I went to a gig, went to the same venue the next night, and then the next weekend and just fell in love with it and kept going, eventually I started speaking to the people at the venue and became part of the furniture for the 2 years that followed, that's how I wound up shooting at gigs every weekend and eventually people were asking me to come to their shows or I was asking them if I loved the music.

Eliza & The Delusionals at The Triffid

Eliza & The Delusionals at The Triffid

Futuremag Music: As a live music photographer, how does a performance influence your workflow? What do you look for when capturing a image?

Hannan: The performance is pretty key to getting decent photos, if a band/artist is having a terrible time on stage it shows, it can be pretty tricky to produce good looking images of a bunch of people who are miserable or just not feeling it. There's a whole bunch of things that I'm looking for when capturing an image, I'm addicted to shooting hair flicks but energy and emotion are the biggies but sometimes it can be just the way the light it hitting someones face or guitar or they've positioned themselves in such a way that it'll make a cool composition, I can't really explain much more because it's sort of become a reaction rather than a thought process

Futuremag Music: What tips and tricks would you recommend photographers wishing to shoot live music?

Hannan: Go to gigs, all the time, take your camera if you can, if you can't, find the free shows around your city that are put on for the public, shoot as much as you can and develop your skills and style. Commit to it, if you wan't in as a live music photographer you've got to be dedicated to it and be persistent, it'll start paying off, if you're good it's just a question of when  

Alison Wonderland at MMVAF 2017

Alison Wonderland at MMVAF 2017

Futuremag Music: How do you see the Australian music and photography scene developing in the future?

Hannan: Well things are already becoming more and more diverse in terms of gender and culture and even a developing regional scene, a lot of that is thanks to a small few hard working people with a clear vision, so the scene is just gonna keep getting bigger, and economically it's the fastest growing sector. So the way I see it even if I don't work for the clients I currently have on my roster I'll have plenty of takers to keep me going and there'll be plenty of room for more people to get into it

Futuremag Music: A weird one to wrap it up. If you were a cocktail, what would be in it to best describe yourself and your photography style?

Hannan: That's a toughie, I'm gonna go with a Long Island Iced Tea, I shoot a ridiculously wide variety of music so there isn't just one style and there's alot of experimenting

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Doolie at Big Pineapple 2018

Doolie at Big Pineapple 2018