Ben Rayner Gets Up Close with Liam Gallagher for ES Magazine
As one of the founding members of Oasis Liam Gallagher is a bona fide rockstar, and someone that Ben Rayner has admired since he was a kid. “Oasis has been my favorite band since I was a child. I saw them in 1996 and many times after so Liam was actually the one person I wanted to shoot my whole career,” he says. When ES Magazine called Ben to shoot Gallagher for the cover he jumped at the chance to spend time with an artist he admires and bring translate his personality to still images. “I was a huge fan so I was super happy and I am really happy how it turned out,” he says.
Part of being a total rockstar means that Gallagher has a unique energy to him. It’s that energy that makes his music specially honest and able to speak to millions of fans. It’s that power that turned him and his band into an international movement for the better part of two decades. And it’s that energy that jumps off every frame. In order to get that come through, Ben didn’t try anything fancy at all. In fact, he did the opposite. “I directed him somewhat but I wanted him to be him, so I really wanted to capture him as he is and I hope that came through,” Ben says. “He knows who he is. He’s not trying to be anything else.” Whether it’s a raised eyebrow or a grimace of consideration passing across his face, rather than offering a series of pristine moments, Ben offers a window into who Liam Gallagher is beyond the music and the fame and the tabloids. They’re quiet moments, and surprising.
Ben didn’t have a ton of time with Gallagher to get a broad range of images, they spent some time in the studio and took a stroll down the street, but Ben wanted to offer a wide look at Gallagher with a series of different aesthetics. So Ben mixed up the medium, using his regular camera, and then a few others to offer a selection of looks and feelings. “I shot it on an old Fuji instant camera from the 90s, and also a point and shoot from the 90s just to mix it up, to try some different things,” Ben says. “It can add some variety when you’re shooting a celebrity and you don’t have much time and it just adds variety to the sequence of images.” Not to mention that Oasis was such a significant band from the 90s and using equipment from that era feels appropriate. “It becomes a bit more timeless,” Ben says.
Check out Ben’s shoot of Liam Gallagher, and the rest of his portfolio here