Nick Elliott

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Nick Elliott rock art photographer at Pinewood Studios in 2015

Nick Elliott is an English rock art photographer best known for his black and white images[1][2][3][4] of some of the world's well-known musicians.[5] Described as "one of the world's leading rock and music photographers"[6] his work has been likened to Bob Gruen, Mick Rock, Henry Diltz, Jenny Lens and Anton Corbijn[7] and his images have been featured on album artwork and in the media.[8]

Early life[edit]

Born in Peterborough, Cambridgeshire, Nick grew up and was schooled in Stanground[9] before leaving to pursue a career as an editorial photographer with East Midlands Daily Press (EMAP) newspapers The Peterborough Evening Telegraph and The Peterborough Advertiser.[10]

After completing training in editorial photography, Elliott moved on to work in the Magazine Division in the EMAP group shooting for titles including: Anglian Times, Motor Cycle News[11] and Motor Cycle Racing.[12]

He left EMAP to pursue a freelance[9] career and continued in editorial photography and was commissioned by International Publishing Corporation (IPC) for Truck Magazine, Car Magazine, and Auto Car,[10] alongside EMAP and other media and publishing houses.[3]

During this time, Elliott also shot royal and celebrity stories including the Queen, Princess Anne, the Duke of Bedford, Barry Sheene's win of the world 500cc Motorcycle Championship and Dave 'Boy' Greene's British Heavyweight title attempt.[9]


After a successful career in editorial photography, Elliott's career moved onto working in creative advertising and was commissioned by London agencies such as; Saatchi & Saatchi, Yellow Hammer, Carlson, Young & Rubican,[3] GGT, Ogilvy & Mather, MSBK and Publicis.[13]

During this period he shot many major above and below-the-line campaigns for blue-chip companies and brands such as Jaguar, Marlboro Cigarettes,[4] Coca-Cola, British Airways, Walt Disney,[14] Lloyds TSB Bank, British Telecom, and Sheraton Hotels.[13][2]

In 1990, Elliott won 3rd in Euro Best Advertising Awards with Publicis' campaign 'If You're Not Feeling Too Special' for Sonatogen[11] and, after shooting Prime Minister John Major in 1991, was commissioned by TBWA to photograph the 1992 UK general election billboard campaign for the Liberal Democrats[3] depicting the message 'light at the end of the tunnel'.[15][16]

Rock music[edit]

Elliott's first encounter with shooting rock music professionally came early in his career when he photographed Trapeze[12] for the Peterborough Evening Telegraph[10] when the band performed in his home-town of Peterborough in 1973.

After Elliott's work in music photography became increasingly in demand[17] he went on to specialise in that area.

Elliott has photographed: Alice Cooper, Amy Winehouse, Bill Wyman, Blondie, Bob Geldof, Bon Jovi, Def Leppard, Garbage, Idlewild, Motorhead, Metallica, Nickelback, Ozzy Osborne, Robert Plant, Roy Wood, Saxon, Status Quo, The Blockeads, Thin Lizzy, ZZ Top.[18]

In 2010, Elliott received a call from his agent in the USA booking him for a shoot at the Country Music Association (CMA) awards which took him to Nashville, Tennessee[19][12] and he also became official photographer for The O2 Arena in London and Planet Rock radio station.[20]

Much of Elliott's work has included photo-documentaries with Earl Slick, Mike Harding, Planet Rock, and most recently the recording of Ed Graham, former drummer and founding member of The Darkness, personal and professional life since leaving the band in 2014.

Published work[edit]

Elliott's images have been published extensively in the media[20] and licensed for use in CD covers, promotional material and live performances[6] with commissions by record companies, record labels and independent music artists, and his work has been exhibited in throughout the UK, Europe, and the USA.[21][22]

In 2011, Elliott was approached by specialist music book publisher Rufus Stone[23] and released his debut book, TEN-A Decade In Images of his favourite images from ten years of the legendary Cambridge Folk Festival.[24] It was officially endorsed by the folk festival organisers Cambridge City Council[25] and included quote by some of the musicians featured in its pages such as Richard Hawley, Fairport Convention, John Tams, The Levellers, and Steve Earle.

Elliott went on to release a follow-up book, 50Folk[26] as a personal celebration of 50 years of the festival in 2014 and a year later released third book, Three Weeks One Summer,[13] documenting the pop band The Marmalade during the making of their Penultimate project of a CD, DVD, and vinyl record with promotional booklet all shot by Elliott[27]

A fourth book, Ice Cream & Sun Cream, was released in 2017[28] and was entered for an award at the Vienna Photo Book Festival.[29]

TV, radio, and film[edit]

In 2013, Elliott was invited to have a starring role, appearing as himself, in a music video for singer Gary Curtis' single Crazy Love[30] and also made a cameo appearance alongside singer Anne Nolan, actress Sally Geeson, and actors Paul Barber and Brian Murphy in Curtis' video for If Every Day Was Like Christmas.[31] Both videos were filmed at the legendary Pinewood Studios.

Elliott guested in a short film, The Guardian, by Aturn Films[32] in 2015 and in the same year made a further cameo appearance in music video Why by Gary Curtis and Anne Nolan.[33] A further appearance in Curtis' All Alone At Christmas alongside Gary Ashburn, Sally Geeson, and Jerome Blake followed in 2015,[34] which was also filmed at Pinewood.

In 2016, Elliott made two different cameo appearances in Ed Graham's Puppets To The Supreme Commander video for their single Pagan Xmas.[35][36]

After numerous interviews in the media about his work and career, Elliott was invited to co-host a specialist rock show, Tracks of Nick's Years, on community radio station Endeavour FM, which ran for 7 episodes from in 2014.[37] The following year Elliott's radio show Sound And Nick's Vision began airing on the award-winning radio station Siren FM.[38]

Exhibited work[edit]

  • 2009: Gods of Rock - Willow Gallery (Halestead, Essex)[39]
  • 2009: Guitar Heroes - Mandell's Gallery (Norfolk)[40]
  • 2010: Blues Brothers - Doric Arts (Norfolk)[17]
  • 2010: Celtic Queens - Storm Fine Arts (Norfolk)[41]
  • 2010: Gods of Rock - Studio Gallery (Henley-on-Thames)[5]
  • 2010: Gods of Rock - Mandell's Gallery (Norfolk)[40]
  • 2010: Just This Side of Sane - J Gallery (Northamptonshire)[42]
  • 2011: Here Come The Boys - Gallery At The Dome (Worthing)
  • 2011: Guitar Heroes - St Pauls' Gallery (Birmingham)
  • 2011: UK Tour – Studio Gallery (Henley-on-Thames)
  • 2011: UK Tour - Aubrey Art Gallery (Essex)
  • 2011: UK Tour - The Barge Gallery (Stratford-upon-Avon)
  • 2011: Guitar Heroes - Muchos Cuadros (Hockley, Nottingham)[43]
  • 2012: Festival of Colours – Storm Fine Arts (Norfolk)[44]
  • 2012: Rock Art And Wine (RAW) - Château Les Carrasses (France)
  • 2015: Size Matters – Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire

The 2015 exhibition Size Matters at Cholmondeley Castle, Cheshire, was attended by 65,000 people[45] and featured 13 images measuring a massive eight meters high in what was believed to be the largest outside art exhibition of its kind ever.[2][46]

The images exhibited were a collection of Elliott's typical black and white creations of household name including E-Street Band's Nils Lofgren, Thin Lizzy's Ricky Warwick, Beverley Knight, Motörhead's Lemmy, The Darkness' Justin Hawkins, Simple Minds' Jim Kerr, Skunk Anansie's Skin and Europe's Joey Tempest.[47]


  • 2011: TEN-A Decade In Images (Rufus Stone Publications)
  • 2014: 50Folk ISBN 9781320352857
  • 2015: Three Weeks One Summer ISBN 9781366441300
  • 2017: Ice Cream & Sun Cream ISBN 9781366421609


  1. ^ "Norwich Rocks!". Fine City Magazine: 36. July 2010.
  2. ^ a b c Pochin, Courtney (2 June 2016). "My life as a rock photographer". Eastern Daily Press.
  3. ^ a b c d "Spotlight on photographer to the rock stars, Nick Elliott". Norfolk On My Mind. January: 12. January 2008.
  4. ^ a b CAT (September 2010). "Fine Interview". Fine City Magazine. September: 46.
  5. ^ a b "Gods of Rock at Gallery". Henley Standard. April 2010.
  6. ^ a b "Win a unique Nickelback print!". Kerrang!. September 2005.
  7. ^ Higgins, Gina (3 April 2016). "SHOOT TO THRILL - NICK ELLIOTT ROCK PHOTOGRAPHER". American Noir. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  8. ^ "Win An Exclusive Rock Star Photo Print". Planet Rock Radio. July 2010.
  9. ^ a b c Clark, Paul (March 2002). "Rutland Times". Rutland Times.
  10. ^ a b c Genever, Charley (Sep 2015). "Spotlight on Nick Elliott". Peterborough Presents.
  11. ^ a b Williams, Howard (Feb 2002). "A Day In The Life of a Rock Photographer". The Style Magazine Lincolnshire: 15.
  12. ^ a b c Green, Sean (July 2011). "TCR Ireland Radio". TCR Ireland Radio.
  13. ^ a b c Oswin, Julie (March 2016). "Nick Elliott rock photographer". The Guild of Photographers' Creative Light Magazine. Issue 12: 26.
  14. ^ "Nick Elliott: style and craft and rock 'n' roll..." Kings Lynn Magazine: 89. November 2013.
  15. ^ Hussell, Lesley (21 March 1992). "Shooting A Party Line". Marketing Week.
  16. ^ Arnold, Chris (April 1992). "Follow The Leader". Creative Review.
  17. ^ a b CAT (June 2009). "The Finest Art In Music Photography". Norfolk On My Mind. June.
  18. ^ "The Mustard Show". Mustard TV. 4 Feb 2015.
  19. ^ "No Sleep In Nashville". Fine City Magazine. December 2010.
  20. ^ a b Lazzari, Adam (December 2012). "Capturing Legends of Rock Music". Eastern Daily Press.
  21. ^ "Nick Elliott: Style and craft and rock 'n' roll". Kings Lynn Magazine. November: 90. November 2013.
  22. ^ Stein, Barry (November 2012). "Nick Elliott - Shooting Rock 'n' Roll". The Rhythmic Lounge. Fall: 50–51.
  23. ^ "Sue Marchant's Big Night In". BBC Radio Cambridgeshire. June 2011.
  24. ^ McLaren, DJ (29 July 2011). "BBC Look East". BBC Look East.
  25. ^ Havergal, Chris (May 2011). "Book puts festival in the frame". Cambridge News.
  26. ^ Barnard, Emma (May 2015). "Rocking The World of Folk". KL Magazine. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  27. ^ "Rocking out on the North Norfolk coast". Lynn News. 17 September 2013.
  28. ^ Betts, Marc (2 March 2017). "Norfolk rocks! Photographer of the stars puts county in frame with new book". North Norfolk News. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  29. ^ Edges, Tracey (19 March 2017). "Sunday Girl Book Review". Siren FM.
  30. ^ "Crazy Love". Ivory Tower Entertainment.
  31. ^ "If Every Day Was Like Christmas". Ivory Tower Entertainment.
  32. ^ Kate, Prout (8 September 2015). "ITV Anglia News".
  33. ^ "Why". Ivory Tower Entertainment.
  34. ^ "All Alone At Christmas". Ivory Tower Entertainments.
  35. ^ Puppets To The Supreme Commander. "Pagan Xmas".
  36. ^ Puppets To The Supreme Commander. "Behind The Scenes of 'Pagan Xmas'".
  37. ^ "Tracks of Nick's Years". Deep Red Radio.
  38. ^ "Sound And Nick's Vision". Southside Broadcasting.
  39. ^ Ford, Anna (20 November 2009). "Remember Rock Gods". Halstead Gazette.
  40. ^ a b CAT (November 2009). "Guitar Heroes Rock Norwich Gallery". Fine City Magazine.
  41. ^ "New Art Collection Goes Down A Storm". Norfolk On My Mind. March. March 2010.
  42. ^ "Let There Be Rock". What's On Where Magazine. November: 19. November 2010.
  43. ^ "Guitar Heroes on display in show". Nottingham Post. 7 March 2011.
  44. ^ Mason, Jolly (March 2012). "Festival of Colours". Storm Fine Arts.
  45. ^ "65,000 attend exhibition by Peterborough-born rock photographer". 16 July 2015. Retrieved 2017-04-05.
  46. ^ Williams, Lee (Oct 2015). "CMR Nashville". CMR Nashville.
  47. ^ Biddle, Sophie (16 May 2015). "Cromer-based company help rock photographer's exhibition escape the conventional gallery". Eastern Daily Press. Retrieved 2017-04-05.

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