Michael Spencer Jones is one of the UK’s most influential rock photographers responsible for creating some of the most iconic sleeve art in recent British rock history.
Michael became interested in photography from an early age but developed a strong passion for the art whilst studying the great American photographers of the 20th century, photographers such as Alfred Steiglitz, Edward Steichen and Paul Outerbridge. He also became fascinated with surrealism and the work of Angus McBean and the ’pop art’ album covers of Hipgnosis, and these influences are evident in the imagery he created for Oasis and The Verve during the Britpop era.
Michael was accepted into Bournemouth & Poole college of Art to study photography & film, and during his time there frequently travelled to London to assist the accomplished advertising photographer Stak, in his Mayfair studio. It was here where he learned much of his craft. He also became acquainted with Stak’s close friend, fashion photographer Terence Donovan, who encouraged him to pursue a career in photography.
After graduating from Bournemouth with a distinction, Michael moved to Manchester where he soon became involved in the ‘Madchester’ music scene, meeting Tony Wilson of Factory Records and photographing the Happy Mondays and Stone Roses amongst others. He met with Oasis in 1993 after Noel Gallagher had seen his photographs appear on the covers to the English rock band The Verve.
As well as working within the music industry, Michael has captured many famous faces with his simple and emotive style of portraiture often using natural or available light to create an intimacy between the subject and viewer. It was using this style of portraiture that Michael produced his series of acclaimed portraits for the permanent exhibition ‘Children in War’ at the Imperial War Museum North.
More recently Michael has produced a major limited edition work ‘Out of the Blue’ – The Oasis Photographs, a portfolio and book, which provides a valuable insight not only into his work as a photographer but into to the workings of one of the world’s greatest rock bands.