IMAGO Photographer Alex Amorós shares his insights and the story behind the lens of the shot that led him to win the Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Award in the Underground Scenes category.
Alex Amorós knows what it takes to stand out in the world of music photography—it’s not just about being at the right place at the right time but also about feeling the rhythm and understanding the story behind every beat. His winning shot at the Abbey Road Studios Music Photography Awards didn’t just happen; it was born from a deep connection with the music scene. As he puts it: “They are two things —photography and music— that are born together with my personality.”
In an up-close chat with The Game Magazine, Alex lets us in on the journey that led him to that pulsating moment at the Margate Mod Weekender, where his camera did more than take a picture—it captured the sheer joy of a shared passion, frozen in time.
“I felt the energy of the subjects and positioned myself to capture all of them dancing at the same time. The power of this photo lies in the movement of their feet and how they individually enjoy their shared passion.”
Congratulations on your win Alex. Can you describe the story behind the winning photo?
This moment was captured during the 60s underground music festival “Margate Mod Weekender”. It is part of my project “Lé Scene” where I photograph the revival scene of the 60s, sixty years later. I felt the energy of the subjects and positioned myself to capture all of them dancing at the same time. The power of this photo lies in the movement of their feet and how they individually enjoy their shared passion. Black and white transports us back to that time and shows us the essence of Lé Scene.
How do you think this image embodies the essence of the Underground Scenes category?
I think this scene represents the Underground world in itself; it is taken at an unconventional 60’s music festival where people live the essence of an era that changed the world of modern music. It meets all the requirements to be a representative image of the underground scene.
What were the challenges you faced when capturing that particular shot?
The biggest challenge was to freeze the movement of all the members in a scene. My idea was that their feet were the main focus of it and where we could feel the energy. Another logical challenge is the light and the angle, but you try to dance with them mentally to find the best possible one.
How do you handle the unpredictable lighting and movement of live shows?
I try to anticipate what I think will come. I think having been on stage many times helps me interpret what will come. Another thing I always do is try to see the lighting equipment they have in the venue and try to predict their movement, although this can be utopian at times.
What gear do you typically use for shooting music events, especially in low-light or underground settings?
A lens that gives you options for events such as a 24/70 and most importantly, a good flash that allows you to have a light resource without excessive interference, rather than a hard light. I try to always use a diffuser to spread the light.
How did you first become interested in the music scene? And how does music influence your photographic style?
Musical scenes and culture are something that always interest me; they reflect the cultural concerns of a group of people. Music has greatly influenced my photography because I have been involved in bands for a long time. They are two things that are born together with my personality.
Who are your biggest influences in the world of music photography?
There have been many photographers by whom I feel inspired, especially I would highlight Gered Mankowitz, Kevin Cummins, Anton Corbijn, Robert Freeman, David Mc Enery, Henry Diltz, Jill Furmanovsky, Chris Killip, David Bailey, Lynn Goldsmith, Daniel Kramer, Pennie Smith, Jim Marshall and Jane Brown.
How might awards like this influence a photographer’s future work?
It affects you from the point of view that it opens more doors for you and that your work is seen through different eyes. It is still a recognition of the hard work of many years.
What advice would you give to budding photographers looking to capture the music scene?
I think the most important thing is to be patient and try to know and feel what the artists are trying to share with their audience.
Would you like to add something?
Thank you very much for this interview, and see you soon in Berlin.