That Was The Year That Was…Hello 2013

Well I thought I would put together a review of my year in 2012 – mainly for my benefit to reflect on the things that I have done, and to judge how far I will have progressed when I look back next year. I have been lucky to work with some super talented and creative people in 2012- for that  I am forever grateful

This was my first full year as house photographer at Newcastle o2 Academy – during the year I shot over 250 gigs there and at other venues. I have also done an array of music videos and photo shoots. I will try to put some of my highlights below.

The year started with me getting busy finishing the edit of the video for the single  Your Melodica by The Union Choir. A year later and I still feel very proud of my first music video. I am looking forward to their album this year

Later in January I took on a commission  to film Bridie Jackson and the Arbour album launch at their sold out gig at Gateshead Sage . It was a real test we used five cameras and a load of memory cards. We even filmed the two support acts Matt Stalker and the Fables, and Nathalie Stern. I spent most of January, and February editing this. It was a challenge and  has led to more people commissioning my work.

Later in the month I did an impromptu photo shoot with Bird Island

Bird Island Photo Shoot  2012

At the end of the month I done the last  ( for the moment) of my live acoustic High Bridge sessions with Tusk. Which we filmed in my studio – I love this band. I stopped doing these just because of limited time – I would like to do more of these in 2013

During the month I was busy shooting bands

The Maccabees Newcastle o2 Academy 29 January 2012-4.jpg

The Maccabees Newcastle O2 Academy 29 January 2012

February kicked off with Howler at The Cluny – where I got hit by of all things an apple thrown from the stage

Howler Newcastle Cluny 1 February 2012-5.jpg

Howler Newcastle Cluny 1 February 2012

It was a pleasure to do the first promo shots for Symphonic Pictures. I done the last Detroit Social Club photo shoot with Johnny and Dale, it is nice symmetry that I have done the first photo shoot with their new band. I can’t wait for their new EP later this year – they work so hard and have some fantastic tunes.

symphonicpicturesportraits-3  symphonicpicturesportraits-2  symphonicpicturesportraits-1  symphonicpicturesportraits-4  symphonicpicturesportraits-5

The poster below was designed by Paul BurgessGraphic Design

Symphonic Pictures Press Pictures by Paul Burgess Graphic Design

They were also the first band to take part in my AAA project ( more details of this project can be found in a earlier post) – here is an image from the shoot

symphonic pictures aaa

In February I also started work on the Natasha Haws video for her first single Stepping Stone. It is a beautiful song. It was a real pleasure to work on this

Some of my live shots from February

Those Furious Flames Newcastle Academy 4 February 2012-4.jpg

Those Furious Flames Newcastle Academy 4 February 2012

Shinedown Newcastle Academy 10 February 2012-6.jpg

Shinedown Newcastle Academy 10 February 2012

Blackout Kerrang Tour Newcastle Academy 12 February 2012-6.jpg

Blackout Kerrang Tour Newcastle Academy 12 February 2012

Metronomy NME Awards Tour Newcastle Academy 9 February 2012-1.jpg

Metronomy NME Awards Tour Newcastle Academy 9 February 2012

Brand New Newcastle Academy 16 February 2012-2.jpg

Brand New Newcastle Academy 16 February 2012

Melanie C Newcastle Academy 26 February 2012-7.jpg

Melanie C Newcastle Academy 26 February 2012

Bridie Jackson and the Arbour Gateshead Central Bar 29 February 2012-1.jpg

Bridie Jackson and the Arbour Gateshead Central Bar 29 February 2012

Gem Andrews Gateshead Central Bar 29 February 2012-3.jpg

Gem Andrews Gateshead Central Bar 29 February 2012

March was a relatively quiet month – I was shooting a load of gigs and editing videos. The highlight being  at the end of the month when the summer came to the North East coast and we filmed a live session by Fantasy Rainbow ( I just wish we could have better sound ). We were all blown away by the sheer talent of his performance. All the videos from this session are from one take. Ollie just got out of his car played his songs and left

Some pictures from March

Black Stone Cherry Newcastle Academy 20 March 2012-5110.jpg

Black Stone Cherry Newcastle Academy 20 March 2012

Killing Joke Newcastle Academy 13 March 2012-3.jpg

Killing Joke Newcastle Academy 13 March 2012

Ajimal Newcastle Lit and Phil 19 March 2012-3.jpg

Ajimal Newcastle Lit and Phil 19 March 2012

You Me At Six Newcastle Academy 27 March 2012-6051.jpg

You Me At Six Newcastle Academy 27 March 2012

In April we filmed a gig at historic Morden Tower featuring the mighty Watchers and the Chapman Family. It is great to have had an opportunity to film at a venue that is steeped in history . It was great that two of the best live bands around kept it loud for their sets. I am especially proud that the NME picked up the Watchers video for their powerful song Cut The Ribbon. Looking forward to more great things from them in the coming year.

I also filmed the last song of the night Kids by the Chapman Family

I was also busy with photo shoots with  Nadine Shah, Collectors Club, and The Railway Club

Nadine Shah April 2012

Nadine Shah April 2012

Collectors Club Photo Shoot Newcastle April 2012-3.jpg

Collectors Club Newcastle April 2012

Railway Club Newcastle April 2012

Railway Club Newcastle April 2012

This was also a fun shoot with Darren Hubbard of Distraction Records for Narc magazine. Outside the public toilets on the Bigg Market.

Darren Hubbard Distraction Records Photo Shoot Newcastle February 2012-6.jpg
Some of my live shots from April

The Futureheads Gateshead Sage 8 April 2012-7562.jpg

The Futureheads Gateshead Sage 8 April 2012

Brilliant Mind Newcastle Cluny 6 April 2012-7177.jpg

Brilliant Mind Newcastle Cluny 6 April 2012

The Watchers RPM Courtyard Newcastle Record Store Day 2012-1.jpg

The Watchers RPM Courtyard Newcastle Record Store Day 2012

Architects Newcastle Academy 10 April 2012-8098.jpg

Architects Newcastle Academy 10 April 2012

May started with a trip to London to shoot the Dan Sartain at The Lexington – which was wow. One of my gigs of the year

Dan Sartain The Lexington London 5 May 2012-5.jpg

Dan Sartain The Lexington London 5 May 2012

I made a video for the Greeting Committee single Show Me The Lights of Home. It was a real fun shoot in adverse conditions – it was a rainy bank holiday weekend when we shot the outdoor footage. We all made the most of it and we made a mad video – of which I am immensely proud. We all put a lot of time and effort in planing and making the video on a very limited budget. I should also thank again Dan Horn for teaching me so much during the location shoot – and doing a great job as the man in the cow suit

A promo shot we took during the second day of the location shoot

The Greeting Committee  B-W Location Shoot May 2012-7.jpg

I visited paris at the end of the month and got to see and shoot the mighty Howler – I think the shot below my favourite live shot of 2012

Howler Paris Fleche d'Or 26 May 2012-2.jpg

Howler Paris Fleche d’Or 26 May 2012

Howler Paris Fleche d'Or 26 May 2012-2.jpg
Lucy Rose Communion Festival Hoult's Yard Newcastle 11 May 2012-2.jpg

The first weekend of June was the weekend of Evolution Festival  on the banks of the Tyne  my image of T-E-E-D featured in the NME

T-E-E-D NME June 2012
T-E-E-D NME June 2012

Summer is a perfect time for outdoor location shoots – even in the North East of England.

We turned the inside outside with So What Robot to tie in with their single release Work and Play

So What Robot Newcastle  June 2012

We also got lucky with some early morning sunshine for a shoot with Tusk  who have since signed with local innovative label Tiny Lights

Tusk Promo Shoot June 2012---9.jpg

You would think it was sunny on Tyneside during June – this shot is from a sunny June morning with Gem Andrews. I was also privileged to photograph Gem’s debut album Scatter  cover in 2011

Gem Andrews  Shoot Newcastle  June 2012--2.jpg

I also done a shoot with OFF! – it was such a buzz to be in the company of such legends  – a little nerve-wracking but mainly very exciting

Off!  Newcastle  June 2012--2.jpg

They also took part in my AAA project

Off ! AAA Project

Some Live Shots from June

Off! Newcastle Academy 22 June 2012-4.jpgWilliam Control Newcastle Academy 12 June 2012-1.jpgMaximo Park Newcastle Record Shop Gigs 16 June 2012-3-dw.jpgTyler Hilton Newcastle Academy 14 June 2012-1.jpgMiles Kane Newcastle Evolution Festival 3 June 2012-5.jpgGuitar Wolf  Newcastle Cluny 5 June 2012-13.jpg

July was the month I restarted my Instamatic for the People project of casual portraits of individual musicians taken with an instant print camera. One of my favourite bands Howler

relaunched this project .

Brent Mayes of Howler Stockton 6 July 2012

Brent from Howler, and the rest of the band looking at the Instamatic for the People book

They also were happy to take part in my AAA project – here is the contact sheet

Howler band Portraits

My contact sheet from the shoot with Howler

Copyright David Wala

I also took some shots with Sound of Guns

Sound of Guns Newcastle July 2012

They also took part in my AAA project


I also done another shoot with So What Robot  I love working with these guys – we come up with ideas – then workout how to make it happen. They are always willing to take a risk

So What Robot Newcastle August 2012

Some live shots from July

The Prison Library  Newcastle Cluny 4 July 2012-0491.jpg Howler Stockton Ku Bar 6 July 2012-21.jpgCollectors Club  Newcastle Cult Festival 8 July 2012-3263.jpgThe Fall Newcastle Cult Festival 7 July 2012-2557.jpgThe View Newcastle Academy 10 July 2012-1.jpg

August was a surprisingly busy month with photo shoots and video making, but not so many live gigs to shoot

The first Sunday of August was spent in an Italian Restaurant doing a location shoot of the band Bison Hunting served up on a plate. It was such a fun shoot .  I am so happy that our ideas worked practice as well as in theory here is one:

Bison Hunting August 2012

They also took part in my AAA project

Bison Hunting AAA

I also done a shoot with The Watchers – we done the shoot at sunrise hoping to catch some golden light – but all we caught was some clouds and rain. However that did not stop us and we got some strong images.

The Watchers Northumberland August 2012

So pleased they have taken part in the AAA project

Watchers AAA

For the shoot I did with Retriever – we did get that golden sun we were hoping for

Retriever Newcastle August 2012-004.jpg

They also took part in my AAA project on a different day at their practice room

Retriever Newcastle August 2012
Ollie Catt or Fantasy Rainbow also took part in my AAA project – he liked the images so much that he used them as his press shots and were featured in magazines and on websites



On the same night I took some shots of the Jacuzzi Boys – who were super friendly and definitely wanted to do some interesting shots. I photographed them for my Inatamatic for the People project and took a band portrait which is one of my favourite shots of the year and when  writing four month on they are still using the shot as their Facebook page profile picture

Jacuzzi Boys Newcastle Cluny August 2012

I also done some shots with Franz Nicolay  – the last time I saw him was when he was playing with the Hold Steady.
Franz Nicolay Gateshead Central Bar 24 August 2012-1.jpg

He also took part in my AAA project


I also made two videos in August the first for Sonner for their epic We Go Forth Tonight single – it was great working with them and I hope you like the video we made.

I also made a video with a completely different style and as much fun – super proud of this

Some live shots from August

Tusk Newcastle Tyne Bar 28 August 2012-5.jpgWarm Digits Mariner 9 Spanish City Whitley Bay 11 August 2012-11.jpgSo What Robot Newcastle Cluny 3 August 2012-2.jpg

September was mainly about live gigs and editing videos.

I did take this promo shot of Sonner when we were filming extra footage for their video in early September

Sonner Promo Shot

Some live shots from September

Patti Smith Newcastle Academy 4 September 2012-1.jpgAcrobatic Society Sunderland Plugged Inn 15 September 2012-2.jpgNadine Shah  The Little Room Sunderland  15 September 2012-2.jpgSue Denim Newcastle Academy 8 September 2012-4.jpgThen Jerico Newcastle Academy 20 September 2012-6.jpg

During October I was busy with photographing and filming gigs.

I took this shot for Narc magazine of Fearbox

Fearbox Newcastle October 2012

I took this shot and others from the Soundcheck before The Union Choirs gig at the Lit and Phil in Newcastle.

The Union Choir Soundcheck at The Lit and Phil Newcastle 6 October 2012-11.jpg

Some live shots from October

Gallows Newcastle Academy 8 October 2012-8.jpgHowler Manchester Club Academy 24 October 2012-12.jpgPalma Violets Newcastle ClunyEmergency Room Newcastle Academy 28 October 2012-5.jpgLucy Rose Newcastle Academy 30 October 2012-5680.jpgToy Newcastle Cluny 29 October 2012-2.jpgSpector Newcastle Academy 31 October 2012-6.jpg

November was my busiest month of the year for gigs.

I also managed to do a photo shoot with Hooded Fang

Hooded Fang Newcastle 2012

They also took part in my AAA project

Hooded Fang Contact Sheet

Some of my live shots from November

Steel Panther Newcastle Academy 7 November 2012-1.jpgPenetration Newcastle Cluny 5 November 2012-8.jpgNadine Shah Baltic Gateshead 19 November2012-4.jpgAZ Deathrays Newcastle Think Tank 17 November 2012-2.jpgBen Howard Newcastle Academy 16 November 2012-2.jpgClock Opera Think Tank Newcastle 18 November 2012-4.jpgAriel Pink's Haunted Graffiti Constellations Festival Leed Brudenell 10 November 2012-23.jpgKindness Constellations Festival Leeds Brudenell 10 November 2012-15.jpg
It was great to be busy in the last month of the year – at the time of writing I am still finishing some of the work that I started in December.

I done a brief photo shoot for my AAA project with the Chapman Family


This is a digital shot used to test the lighting ( a modern day Polaroid )

I am also excited by a series of themed portraits that we have done with the super creative Peculiar Disco Moves. Here is one image from the series more will follow in 2013

Peculiar Disco Moves December 2012
I also made a video with The Prison Library of their song Certify which is part of their No Fireworks EP release. It was a challenging shoot as it was in a working studio so we were limited with the space and how we could light the room. However I love the energy of the song and the way that we have captured it.

You can see the video here  

As it was the end of the month it was also the last gig for Sonner . They played a storming set at Plugged Inn in Sunderland. Here is their goodbye picture

Sonner Goodbye Picture

In December Rizzle Kicks were kind enough to stop their sold out gig O2 Academy Newcastle while I changed my memory card and pose for some shots… busted. Super cool guys. I never knew that I could still blush

Rizzle Kicks Newcastle Academy

Some live shots from December

483631_542138585814055_1569668922_nThe xx Newcastle Academy 11 December 2012-6.jpgEnter Shikari Newcastle Academy 9 December 2012-7.jpgNeville Staple Newcastle Academy 23 December 2012-1668.jpg537683_552735641421016_13634335_n

Well that is my year in review – certainly fun, and very proud of my work . Thank you to everyone that has helped me out and worked with me throughout the year.

I am working at something I love doing and I hope I can keep moving forward in 2013


Never Play It Safe Safe – Symphonic Pictures Promo Shots – Spaghetti, Pancakes, Rats, Soup, and Other Shenanigans

Back in May 2011 it was a privilege to have Symphonic Pictures play their first gig at my Instamatic for the People exhibition opening. Therefore I was happy to be involved with doing the photography for their first set of  press photographs.

When Johnny from the band contacted me with the idea/inspiration for the shots my first thoughts was that they would make an impact and I loved that they were not playing it safe.

It took a few weeks for the band to assemble props, to which I also contributed. We used a painted a  background and tried to emulate the lighting of 1960s shoot by at times using just the modelling lights and other times flash. It was also an opportunity for me to shot with my medium format Mamiya RZ67 camera, and use some hard to find  expired Agfa portrait film which I had saved for something special. The subdued colours also helped to give that retro feel to the images.

The shoot took 5 hours and we tried to pay attention to detail for each individual portrait. It was testament it was a relaxed atmosphere throughout and that we all committed to getting the exact images that we originally envisioned.

The images were then given to Paul Burgess Graphic Design to work his genius the lettering and finishing touches

I have to say it has been so amazing working with such a creative bunch of people.


Thank you




Weekend Update

I was reading an article recently about how music photographer’s should promote themselves. It made me realise that I should do more, although I do feel people will get sick of hearing the usual just shot this, done that etc. However if you do not promote yourself people will think that you have nothing going on.

Currently I am very busy with my photography I am shooting live gigs, doing promo videos, editing a five camera live video shoot that I directed, and doing album covers and press shots. I will be adding more information about these soon

This week I have photographed seven bands over three gigs. Some of the images are below:

So Many Wizards Head of Steam 8 March 2012

Brilliant Mind Head of Steam 8 March 2012

Symphonic Pictures Newcastle Academy 6 March 2012

You can see all my live shots on my Flickr site

I did have one disaster I shot a gig by Nero – who are DJ duo who stand at the top of a 7 metre plinth – and all you can see are there two heads above the parapet. Before the gig I tried without successa to get permission to get access to the balcony or stage so I could get some interesting shots. I have sent them to Newcastle Academy – but I doubt I will put them anywhere else. As ever I was prepared and knew what to expect and tookj my 70mm-200mm lens for the close up shots. I will learn from this and move on.

Here is one of the better images:

Nero Newcastle Academy 8 March 2012

They say you should end on a high. Back in January  I done a video session with Tusk in my studio. I was pleased with the lighting and the black background, and the tight composition. I think they sound fantastic. We also done some photographs – here is one of them below:

Tusk at David Wala Photography studios. Newcastle upon Tyne January 2012

I am very proud of the video and the camera work of my team Daniel Robson, and Jill O’Donnell. I finally edited the first song this week.

Thank you for reading this – I will hopefully be updating with more things soon

This is what I call a weekend update

Instamatic for the People Exhibition Extended and Other News

It seems ages since I updated this  blog as I have been so busy – I will try harder to update it more often.

The Instamatic for the People exhibition at The Cluny in Newcastle has been extended until the end of August – if you haven’t been there is still time.

Also The Cluny are featuring some of my images in their gallery it can be viewed here: The Cluny Gallery

It is always a buzz when some of my photographs are featured by an artist that I am a big fan – so I was delighted when his record label One Little Indian linked up to the gallery of some images from his gig in May at The Cluny

Dan Sartain Newcastle Cluny by David Wala

I have been busy with photo shoots over the past few weeks and will be posting information about these soon

For anyone that came to my exhibition and gig were surely blown away by Symphonic Pictures , this week I am going to see Symphonic Pictures play an intimate gig at La Bocca cafe for more details please follow the link. They are also playing at the Other Rooms on 1 August.

Also my friend Paul Rose is playing a gig in Nashville next week and it looks like exciting times ahead for him sending him positive vibes. I have so many happy memories of touring around Germany with him – coincidentally it is my photograph on his home page 🙂

Anyhow you might find this surprising but I find it uncomfortable talking about my work so I am going for a coffee. I will write more soon





Special Performance at Tonight’s Instamatic for the People Gig and Exhibition.

It’s funny how things work out.

Back in January I met David, Johnny and Dale for the first time when I did a photo shoot with Detroit Social Club, and tonight they are all supporting my exhibition. I feel lucky to know them

David Burn is doing a DJ set and will keep the tunes coming through the evening.

Johnny Bond and Dale Knight will be unveiling with their new band Symphonic Pictures in their first public performance – it is an honour and a privilege  that their first gig will be at the Instamatic for the People gig at The Cluny

Let the music and video do the talking – check out the video out on You Tube preparing for the gig on Wednesday 25 May


All of these people with me are helping with my exhibition and gig - Thank you Photo: Jill O'Donnell

Teenage Cancer Trust Buckets and Branding Have Arrived

The people from Teenage Cancer Trust have dropped the buckets and some branding for the gig on Wednesday.

Although it is a free gig I am confident people will give generously on the night. I always think the best of people and I know that my friends and people visiting will donate what they can on the night – that is all you can  ask for.

I was not surprised that all  these people have offered their time and effort without a fee: The Cluny, The Greeting Committee, Brilliant Mind, Symphonic Pictures, Gem Andrews ,Simon Donald, David Burn, Paul Burgess Graphic Design, and Image Visual Communications – without these people the gig/exhibition would not be happening really touched by how kind people are – thank you so much.


Teenage Cancer Trust Buckets - hoping we can raise a decent amount of money for this great cause

Teenage Cancer Trust Buckets Ready for the Exhibition and gig

Place your donations in these buckets on Wednesday