"All too often in this game you just don't know where your next cheque is coming from" - Danny North, music photographer."
It was the toy camera key ring present from his wife that really did it for Danny North - a rising star in the music photography firmament.
For Yorkshire-based Danny (34) it's always been about music - but his initial game plan was to strike a major chord on the band scene rather than in the creation of music imagery.
"Ever since my dad took me to see Iron Maiden play live I just knew that music was going to be my life" he tells Litebook. "Then he bought me a guitar and gave me full support when my wife Michelle and I played together in a band. We weren't bad at all and played to 2000-strong audiences from time to time."
But he adds: "Doing anything at all creative and original is always tough and when you are a support band you often end up playing for not much more than diesel money."
It was when Michelle, his childhood sweetheart, bought him a VGA camera that Danny finally realised that his career in music ought to be as a photographer, not a guitarist."This toy camera triggered everything for me" he recalls. "It was my first realisation of the sheer versatility and immediacy of digital technology. I did start a BTECH course in photography when I was sixteen but all these years later this camera really opened my mind as to future possibilities in the profession."
Danny moved up to a Canon 2MP point and shoot camera, "I searched for one with manual settings so I could do exactly what I wanted creatively" - and began shooting portraits of Leeds-based bands for a fanzine.
"I wasn't making any money but I was getting my work seen" he says. "Then the New Musical Express (NME) saw my images and gave me a commission.
I remember earning £75 for photographing a gig - and I was like a kid in a sweetshop.There I was doing something I loved and I was being paid for it.
I had also spent some time as a sound engineer in a working men's club, handling the sound for various bands, but I would also have to worry about drunks spilling beer on my mixing deck - so that wasn't a very creative period for me.
But to start working at a job you really love and feel that you are actually getting somewhere is just the best feeling of all"
Now Danny is becoming well-known in the industry. He is the tour photographer for top band, The Kaiser Chiefs and he's a major contributor to Spin Magazine (New York) plus many other titles, including national newspapers in the UK.
He has also just picked up a coveted commendation in the elite Lex Van Rossen European Music Photographer of the Year Awards; hosted two exhibitions and published a book.
A recent stills highlight was a commission to be on stage with Oasis.
The Societies of Photographers Convention and Trade Show at The Novotel London West, Hammersmith ...
You have 235 days until The Societies of Photographers Convention starting on Wednesday 20th January 2021