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Kevin Cummins

Kevin Cummins

Kevin Cummins was born within crying distance of Maine Road in Withington Hospital on 14 July 1953. His first game at Maine Road was a 3-1 victory over Leicester on 19 August 1961. Since then he has followed City over land and sea (and Stretford) for over 40 years. The rest of his time is spent earning a living as one of the world’s most venerated music and portrait photographers.

After studying photography for four years in Salford, Kevin embarked on a career that was to encompass a wide range of photographic work.The burgeoning punk scene in Manchester dominated his early work and he quickly became one of the premier documentary photographers of the era.

He then started working with Manchester’s prestigious Royal Exchange Theatre and was soon in demand by major theatre companies across the UK, most notably: The Royal Opera House, The Royal Northern Ballet, The Liverpool Playhouse and The Oxford Playhouse.

Kevin was instrumental in establishing City Life, Manchester’s ’what’s on’ guide and was a founding contributor to The Face, the influential style magazine where he won an award for Magazine Cover of the Year.

In 1986 Kevin was commissioned by Wigan Heritage Centre to photograph contemporary life in Wigan – an important period for the town as the coalmines were about to close. These photographs formed a major part of the Wigan Pier heritage tour for 15 years.

Since moving to London in 1987, Kevin has contributed to many major UK publications, including: The Observer, Esquire, Maxim, Elle, Vogue, Mojo, FourFourTwo, Sleaze Nation and The Big Issue.

He spent 10 years as the chief photographer for New Musical Express – the world’s biggest selling rock weekly – where his award-winning pictures were a major contributing factor in the rise of the Madchester and Cool Britannia scenes.

His work can be seen gracing many record sleeves and book jackets and he regularly contributes to publications in Europe and Japan.

In 1987, Kevin was commissioned by Salford City Art Gallery to photograph 40 famous Salfordians to celebrate the LS Lowry centenary. His personal choice included: Sir Alistair Cooke, Albert Finney, Celia Birtwell, Kenneth Wolstenholme, John Cooper Clarke, Happy Mondays and Graham Nash.He was subsequently short-listed for the Fox Talbot award. One of the premier photographic honours.

In 1999 The National Portrait Gallery chose three of Kevin’s photographs for their Icon’s of Pop exhibition.

Kevin’s first monograph: The Smiths and Beyond was published to critical acclaim by Vision On in March 2002.

In 2002, Kevin was a major contributing photographer to Rock X-posed, a kodak-sponsored US touring exhibition of the best Rock 'n' Roll photos in the world. The pictures are now exhibited permanently in the Rock 'n ' Roll Hall of fame in Ohio.
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