Marieke Macklon - Band Photography

Marieke is a London based music and portrait photographer. Since starting out at the age of just 13, she has carved her way through the world of photography to create her own unique style. Her vibrant, atmospheric shots give such depth and personality to all the artists she works with. We recently managed to snag some of her time to find out a bit more about her work. She's offered us an insight into some of the techniques she uses and provided words of wisdom for any band or artist planning their next photo shoot. 

Can you give us a brief step-by-step guide on the workings of a successful shoot?

I don’t really have a step-by-step guide that I follow, but I make sure that the band/artist, the management and myself are all up to date with what is happening. Communication is key. And for the rest, I make sure I have the kit ready, I sometimes make a check list to run through every detail of the shoot and I normally have my lighting assistant Ben with me, who is also a fantastic photographer and film maker and we also work really well together. I then rock up at the shoot and it all goes from there!

Once you know a bit more about the artists, what techniques do you use to bring out an identity that represents their music?

Getting to know the individual/band is very important to me, so listening to what they want, what their inspiration is, what their stage presents isand how they want to represent their music to their audience, is what will help me reflect it back into the photos.

Can you give us any examples of information bands have given you prior to a shoot, that has really helped to get the desired outcome?

Bands have normally given me information about what kind of background they would like in the photos and what kind of vibe/style they want from the photos.

For example: 

The shoot I did with the band called Nova Twins, was located in a hardly used car park, somewhere in Peckham. They are an incredible talented rock /grunge duo and wanted to have their music and fashion style reflect into the photos. So with some cool added lighting and editing, I managed to create this punky grungy look into the photos, which they wanted.( Tom, see attached two photos ) 

Nova Twins

Are there any things you do, that you find make a band feel more at ease during a shoot?

I make sure that the conversation is flowing and I frequently show the photos during the shoot, so that the band has an idea of how the photos are going to look like, when they are finished. I am also open for any ideas from the band, so if they see something cool, I am very happy to go along with it. Working well together will certainly help to make the shoot a success.

How would you describe your style of photography?

Ooosh, that’s a tough question. My style has changed so much since I started 10 years ago and I think it’s still changing. I grow alongside my photography work and you can certainly tell the difference between my style from a photo taken 8 years ago and from a photo taken last week. but describing my style now, I would like to say that my style of work is vibrant, atmospheric and has a bit of an analogue vibe going on. I like to play with different types of colours, gradients etc. and I love creating different types of presets that I can submit into my work.

Are there any genres of music that you find easier to capture the essence of? Or does that not have an effect on the shoot? 

Not really no, but each shoot comes with one or more challenges.  It’s hard work, but it comes witha million times more pros than cons. I love my job so much. It has helped me get through some dark times in my life, such as heart break and personal loss and I cannot see myself doing anything else. It’s a part of me, that I will never let go. I will probably lose touch with myself, if I didn’t have photography in my life. I live and breathe it. How cliché that may sound.

Hiring a photographer for live and promo shots is pretty standard practice for bands, but can you tell us about some of the more unique scenarios that you’ve done band shots? Such as behind the scenes, interviews, in the studio etc. Does this allow you to capture more intimate moments?

Sure! If I’m not photographing a promo or a live gig, then you can easily find me snapping away backstage or behind the scenes at a music video or a live session. It certainly allows me to photograph intimate and personal moments. My favourite shots, are when I capture the artist or band spontaneously laughing and just being themselves.  It creates warmth and rawness to the image. I prefer those shots to the posing ones.

Some of the Techniques Marieke Uses:

Colour Selection:

Hidden Charms

Secret Company

YUNGBLUD

Unusual Viewpoints:

Hidden Charms

Secret Company

FEWS

Black & White:

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

YUNGBLUD

YUNGBLUD

YUNGBLUD

YUNGBLUD

Natural Lighting:

Vels Trio

Vels Trio

Reflections:

Laura Marling

Laura Marling

Behind The Scenes:

Mollie King

Mollie King

Portaits:

Marika Hackman

Marika Hackman

If you like Mariekes work and would like to get in touch with her about a shoot,
you can do so below.