INTERVIEW WITH…

Exclusive Interview with Bryan Adams

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Keith Valcourt, Writer

Canadian rocker Bryan Adams is one of the best selling artists of all time. Since the early 1980s he has toured the globe and sold over 100 million albums worldwide.  His list of hit songs include: “Cuts Like A Knife,” “Heaven,” “Run To You.” “Somebody,” “All For Love,” “Cuts Like A Knife” and dozens more.   In 2015 Bryan Adams continues to make important new music.  His most recent is the brilliant Jeff Lynne produced CD: “Get Up.”

Rick Clement
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Rick Clement

Photo by Bryan Adams

Away from the music, Bryan Adams is an avid photographer with three published books of portraiture to his name.  For his first book, “American Women” (2003) Adams collaborated with Calvin Klein to capture a cross section of impressive American women ranging from actors, musicians, athletes andbusiness professionals dressed in the designers fashions shot in New York and Los Angeles.  It captures both beauty and power of these successful ladies.

His second book “Exposed” (2012) is a comprehensive career retrospective of Adams’ photography and a peek into his process.  It is packed with portraits of his famous friends and colleagues including everyone from Amy Winehouse to Michael Jackson to Lindsay Lohan and Dame Judi Dench.

For his latest tome, “Wounded: The Legacy Of War”Adams steps out of his comfort zone by  turning his lens away from his famous friends and on to young British soldiers who have sustained life-changing injury in Iraq and Afghanistan.  Many who have been scarred and disfigured, sustaining life shattering injuries while in service, yet living each day with appreciation.  The photographs I this book are as moving and challenging as they are beautiful.

wounded
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Wounded cover

Photo by Bryan Adams

While in Los Angeles recently Bryan Adams took a few moments to chat with me about his time behind the lens.

Q: When did you become a photographer?
A: I sort of always dabbled with it on tour.  Sort of documenting what was going on the road.  Offstage.  Backstage.

Q: What was your first camera?
A: My very first camera was a little AGFA camera.  I got it from my parents.  From there I bought a Cannon Camera.  I took that on tour with me.  I had a Polaroid Camera too.  That was all back in the seventies.  Things changed for me when I finally bought a Rolleiflex Camera towards the end of the eighties.  It was uphill from there.

Pink
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Pink

Photo by Bryan Adams

Joe Townsend
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Joe Townsend

Photo by Bryan Adams

Amy Winehouse
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Amy Winehouse

Photo by Bryan Adams

Q: Are you shooting digital these days?
A: Oh yeah.

Q: Do you miss film at all?
A: Not at all.  Everything about digital is just great.

Q: Your first two books focused on beauty and fashion while your latest book:  “Wounded: The Legacy Of War”  features some really heavy images.  Where did the idea come from to shoot returning vets?
A: I like doing portraits  It was around the time when a lot of people were coming back from Iraq and Afghanistan in pieces.  I was approached by a journalist to do something.  She wasn’t quite sure what it was going to be. Her husband was in the military and they had contacted a bunch of people.  I said, “Okay well let’s just start it and see what happens.”    I started shooting and by the time I got through about fifteen or twenty people my publisher said, “I think this could be something.  A book.”  I said, “Absolutely.  Let’s do that.”  Then I started shooting for the book.

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Photo by Bryan Adams

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Photo by Bryan Adams

Hannah Campbell
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Hannah Campbell

Photo by Bryan Adams

Q: How different was it to go from shooting models, actors and musicians to soldier missing limbs?
A: I just tried to find the best and most interesting angle with everybody.  It’s not really that different.  The only difference is perhaps that they’re not as aware of things as much as say somebody who get photographed all the time.  They didn’t know their better side or what light they like.  You don’t have any of that.  Many of them came in the studio and had never had a portrait done.  The only thing they had shot at them were guns.

The Photography books of Bryan Adams are available at:  http://bryanadamsphotography.com/books/

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When asked to write this article, I found myself thinking there is so much to write about. I enjoy shooting many types of Photography. Shooting from Macro shots to Concerts, and many things in between, I enjoy the challenges of the different situations. Owning also a Studio that has Green Screen, which holds another interesting world of endless creativity with backgrounds.

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