Photographer Tells EJW What Working With Names Like Elton And Rod Has Been Like

Written by Chief Editor.

Frazer Ashford was the official Four Tops photographer for much of the seventies. Frazer's other subjects have included Elton, Dr Hook, Charlie Chaplin and Twiggy. He has now shared his thoughts with this Web site about some of his high-profile assignments. . . .
EJW: You've covered an incredible range of subjects throughout the years. What have these included?
FA: I have photographed royalty, rock legends, prime ministers, serial killers, mountains, lakes and sports in the UK, Vietnam, Ireland, New Zealand and America.
EJW: Could you discuss some of the rock legends?
FA: I shot Rod Stewart many years ago, as well as much more recently, during a TV show recording. The programme was called 'College Tour' and was for Dutch TV. Some students from Amsterdam flew in to question him about his life and music. Apparently the show uses many stars as its subjects and is very popular.
I've also taken photos of David Bowie and Elton John in concert. Many of the latter were shot at the Fairfield Halls in Croydon. But I have also taken pictures backstage. It was in 1976 at Wembley Arena or Earls Court. I'm not sure of the venue but remember the date because my wife was pregnant with our first child, and it was during the show that she started kicking--probably woken up by the loud music. Afterwards, we went to a party backstage hosted by Elton, and I took more pictures there.
EJW: Not too long ago, you ran a contest featuring one of your Elton John images. Did this garner a big response?
FA: Yes, there were entries from around the world. And the Elton competition was viewed by almost 14,500 people on Facebook alone.
EJW: For several years now, you have been giving talks. What are these like?
FA: The subjects seem to alternate between details of my career--mainly aimed at existing photographers and those who like pictures--and those who want tips about taking better pictures.
The talks have taken place in galleries and in every other kind of venue including a few dark and draughty church halls.
I really enjoy these events as I like meeting the audiences. Elton's name often comes up, as people seem fascinated not only by his music but by the man himself.
{Frazer also has started an online shop, and will be offering readers a discount. More details willl appear on this Web site soon.}