Kevin Cummins (photographer)

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Kevin Cummins
Born1953 (age 69–70)[1]
Manchester, England
EducationSalford College[2]
Known forPhotography

Kevin Cummins (born 1953)[1] is a British photographer known for his work with rock bands and musicians.[3][4][5][6] His work is held in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery[1] and the Victoria and Albert Museum, London.[7]


Cummins studied photography in Salford.[8] He started photographing rock bands in the mid-1970s in Manchester.[9] Cummins had a 25-year association with the NME,[10] including 10 years as their chief photographer.[11] He has photographed numerous bands and musicians. His images have been seen as a contributing factor in the rise of the Madchester and Cool Britannia scenes.[12]

Cummins was instrumental in establishing City Life,[13] Manchester's what's on guide and was a founding contributor to The Face, the style magazine where he won an award for Magazine Cover of the Year.[14]

Cummins's photographs have been used extensively in cinema and TV documentaries including Grant Gee's Joy Division and John Dower's Live Forever: The Rise and Fall of Brit Pop.[15]

He worked extensively for the Royal Exchange Theatre in Manchester when it opened in the late 1970s through to mid-1980s. He shoots regularly for the National Theatre in London, most recently Harper Regan and Mrs Affleck.[16]

A lifelong Manchester City F.C. supporter,[17] Cummins documented City's final season at Maine Road in the book We're Not Really Here.[18]

In 2005, British pop artist Peter Blake produced a screen print based on one of Cummins' Joy Division prints.[19]


  • The Smiths and Beyond (2002)
  • We're Not Really Here: Manchester City's Final Season at Maine Road[18]
  • Juvenes (2007). Edition of 226 copies.[20]
    • Joy Division: Juvenes. Cassell, 2021. ISBN 978-1788402712.[21]
  • Manchester: Looking For the Light Through the Pouring Rain[22][23]
  • Joy Division (Rizzoli, 2010)
  • New Order (Rizzoli, 2015)
  • Assassinated Beauty: Photographs of the Manic St Preachers. London: Faber & Faber, 2014. ISBN 978-0571312139.[24]
  • Telling Stories: Photographs of The Fall. London: Mitchell Beazley, 2022. With a foreword by Simon Armitage. ISBN 978-1784728250.


Solo exhibitions[edit]

Group exhibitions[edit]

Awards and honours[edit]

In November 2009, Cummins was awarded an Outstanding Contribution to Music Photography award by the music industry website: Record of the Day.[32]

In 2015 Cummins was awarded an Honorary Doctorate (Arts) by Manchester Metropolitan University.[33]


Cummins' work is held in the following permanent collections:


  1. ^ a b c d e "Kevin Cummins - National Portrait Gallery". Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  2. ^ Phillips, Sarah (2011). "Photographer Kevin Cummins's best shot". The Guardian.
  3. ^ Cummins, Kevin. "Richey Edwards". The Observer. 14 December 2008. Retrieved on 3 February 2009
  4. ^ Savage, Jon. "Spit and polish". The Guardian. 24 September 1999. Retrieved on 3 February 2009.
  5. ^ "'My family were horrified': Unseen Sex Pistols photos to go on show in London". The Guardian. 8 September 2021. Retrieved 8 September 2021.
  6. ^ "25 things you didn't know about The Stone Roses: NME recreates an iconic cover by Kevin Cummins". New Musical Express. Archived from the original on 19 April 2009.
  7. ^ a b Museum, Victoria and Albert. "Search Results - V&A Explore the Collections". Victoria and Albert Museum. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  8. ^ "Rock can be a hard place - Media, News - The Independent". 27 September 2009. Archived from the original on 27 September 2009.
  9. ^ Cummins, Kevin (2007). "Closer to the birth of a music legend". The Observer.
  10. ^ "Photographer Kevin Cummins and Steven Wells honoured at music industry awards". New Musical Express. 27 November 2009.
  11. ^ "Wilson: a portrait".
  12. ^ "Biography of Kevin Cummins which appears on Red Eye's site" (PDF).
  13. ^ "Short biography on Vauxhall's Style Council website (takes quite a long time to load up)". Archived from the original on 30 January 2009. Retrieved 22 February 2009.
  14. ^ "Kevin Cummins". Rockarchive. Retrieved on 3 February 2009.
  15. ^ "Kevin Cummins (III)". Internet Movie Database. Retrieved on 3 February 2009.
  16. ^ "NT : What's On : Productions : Mrs Affleck". National Theatre. Retrieved on 3 February 2009.
  17. ^ a b "Maine Road finale charted". BBC News. 9 September 2003.
  18. ^ a b We're Not Really Here: Manchester City's Final Season at Maine Road (2003)[ISBN missing]
  19. ^ "Peter Blake Love Portfolio Archived 31 December 2008 at the Wayback Machine". Paul Stolper. Retrieved on 3 February 2009.
  20. ^ "Juvenes: The Joy Division Photographs Of Kevin Cummins - Record Collector Magazine". 2008. Retrieved 9 September 2021.[ISBN missing]
  21. ^ "Joy Division: Photographer Kevin Cummins on capturing the post-punk icons". BBC News. 27 October 2021. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  22. ^ "Manchester: Looking for the Light Through the Pouring Rain". New Statesman. 2009. Retrieved 9 September 2021.[ISBN missing]
  23. ^ "Kevin Cummins on Manchester music". The Guardian. 19 September 2009. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 9 September 2021.
  24. ^ Nightingale, Jo (2014). "Assassinated Beauty: Photographs of Manic Street Preachers by Kevin Cummins : book review". Faber & Faber. Retrieved 9 September 2021.[ISBN missing]
  25. ^ "".
  26. ^ "Look back in angst". 6 April 2002.
  27. ^ "Paul Stolper Gallery". Archived from the original on 31 December 2008. Retrieved 3 February 2009.
  28. ^ Sampson, Kevin (2009). "From Berlin to Bootle". New Statesman. Archived from the original on 20 May 2009.
  29. ^ Anderson, Sarah (16 January 2012). "Beautiful Joy Division shots from Kevin Cummins' new exhibition". Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  30. ^ "New Order by Kevin Cummins - a new show in Manchester". The Guardian. 24 June 2014. ISSN 0261-3077. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  31. ^ Walters, Sarah (10 June 2014). "Never before seen photos of New Order in Manchester exhibition". Manchester Evening News. Retrieved 12 October 2022.
  32. ^ "Record of the Day full list of 2009 awards". Archived from the original on 21 May 2011. Retrieved 13 February 2011.
  33. ^ "Kevin Cummins receives honorary degree". Manchester: Manchester Metropolitan University. 2015.