Some artists create such undeniable presence on their scene that to admit one has never heard of them can mystify and perplex those that do.
Keira-Anee’s photography has been sought after by pretty much any magazine or blog you’ve heard of. Her access to underground bands prior to explosion is so impressive as to make this mini summarisation appear to be shameless name dropping: Nova Twins, Big Joanie, Fat White Family, Saint Agnes, Meatraffle, Goat Girl, Phobophobes, Calva Louise, the list is rather ridiculous, and I seriously encourage newcomers to visit Keira Anee Photography on Facebook and Instagram to judge for themselves as to why artists of such calibre trust her eye.
Through 98 Wounds Magazine (co-run by mentor Neil’ Wildblanket’ Anderson), Keira-Anee has regularly wowed both musical groups and fans with her trademark moment-capturing style. She can promote a figure in a deft dramatic pose or distil a comedic moment just as capably. There is a whole photo album dedicated to Jess Eastwood, lead singer of Calva Louise eating spinach.
I was fortunate to land two photoshoots with her, the results being candidates for my urban fantasy book, Spiderfingers: The Russian Doll Stories. Her ability to communicate a core theme of the novel through her pictures is stunning, given the subject in front of her lens is not a model.
Happy Birthday Keira-Anee, and thank you for enriching the lives of many a band, family member, gig-goer, lucky stranger, activist, sound engineer, model, pundit, artist, friend (your superstar cat Luna), and yeah, us writers too. The world of underground music photography literally wouldn’t be the same without you.
Through 98 Wounds you’ve established yourself as a prolific inimitable and popular band photographer. What would you say to the Keira who first picked up a camera?
Kiera-Anee: I think this answer changes with my moods, to be honest! A summary would be something like, ‘Your personality will come across in photos, try to embrace it’ and ‘You’re no more important than anyone else just because you have a camera’. Lastly, ‘Expensive equipment isn’t everything!’ And to the Keira, who got the first camera at seven? Remember to put the flash on.
What inspired that seven year old in the first place?
Keira-Anee: My dad. When he showed us the pictures he’d taken we were all so interested and happy to see them, I think I wanted to do that!
Can you name a seminal influence on your subsequent band photography?
Keira-Anee: I guess the only real influence there would be Neil – I saw some of his band photos in University, and they all seemed to be taken at just the right moment! He’s given me some great advice too, both with pictures and equipment.
Can you tell us more of the importance to allow ‘your personality to come across’ in your work?
Keira-Anee: The subject of ‘subjectivity’ came up a lot; projecting your views on the subject onto the subject, for instance, perhaps by selective cropping, light etc. And of course also, what you choose to photograph. For documentary photography or photos to a brief it’s different, but I guess what I mean is to try not to fight it, it can make the photo what it is. The images I love most are usually ones that relate to the subject or seem to have empathy or a relationship with the photographer. That, and seeing people I love onstage laughing with each other – at first, I thought it didn’t look professional. Still, I much prefer these types of shots to the standard ‘singer at the mic’ type thing!
Follow us for the next part of Keira-Anee’s interview to be posted September 25th.
John Clay’s book Spiderfingers: The Russian Doll Stories will be online September 28th via Public Pressure.
(Features an intro by Alex Mazey + exclusive photography by Kiera-Anee Photography)
Cover photo Nova Twins by Keira-Anee