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Tuesday, 7 December 2010

Quid Pro Quo for Army Photographer Pictures

When Status Quo shot their music video for In The Army Now with the British Army, Corporal Steve Blake, a photographer with the Royal Logistic Corps, went along to capture the moment. Now his images have been immortalised in the Quo's own European tour brochure.

Whilst 4th Battalion The Rifles, based at Bulford Camp, performed their drills to the beat of the Quo classic, and Francis Rossi and his fellow bandsmen experienced the Army at its loudest on Bovington tank range in Dorset, Steve, 29, was busy recording the events on his digital camera.

And now the ‘Quo’ have chosen Steve’s pictures to use in their glossy A3 Quit Pro Quo tour brochure, which has been produced in support of the band’s European tour, which runs until September next year.

Steve, who is based at Headquarters Land Forces in Andover, was delighted to be tasked with the job of photographing the Quo at work alongside the British Army.

He said: “They wanted a photographer to cover the actual recording of the video to get a third person’s view on how the video was made, stuff behind the scenes on the band, how they interacted with the troops and to get a real homely feel on what Status Quo were doing for the charity Help for Heroes.”


During the two-day shoot Steve, who hails from Seaford, East Sussex, was able to capture the rock legends relaxing with the troops, between shoots, and operating some of the Army’s weapons. The band members saw demonstrations of heavy artillery and got to ride in a Sherman tank and some of the Army’s other armoured fighting vehicles.

“They’re an absolute blast to work with,” Steve said. “Considering they are reasonably mature gentlemen, it’s certainly not the case with their personalities, they’re very humorous. It was a good two days working with the Quo. Yeah, it was a really good experience.”

Having offered his photos to the Quo’s manager Simon Porter, Steve assumed they just wanted them as a keepsake of their two days with the Army. He said: “About a week after I sent the photos Simon contacted me to say the pictures were great and that he’d like to use them in the tour brochure, and would that be okay.

“I didn’t think much of it until I received the brochures in the post. To see one of my pictures filling the centre spread as well as my images on the three consecutive pages felt like a fantastic achievement, in my eyes.

“They say size doesn’t matter, but the picture size - one image on a centre spread of a big A3 booklet - and to be credited for those as well, is fantastic.

“From a photographer’s point of view, getting that much coverage in a publication which will be sold around Europe to people at every concert they perform at between now and September next year is something that will be a long-lasting memory for me.”

Over the last year, Steve has photographed numerous celebrities, both military and civilian, one of the highlights being Trooping the Colour, where he photographed the Queen. “I’ve been to the Help for Heroes concert at Twickenham, too,” he said, “which was full of celebrities like James Blunt and Robbie Williams.

“It was also a privilege to photograph the first reunion of Robbie Williams and Gary Barlow on stage in 15 years. It has been a really busy year so far.”

Steve’s work doesn’t end there, however, as he is about to deploy to Afghanistan, the day after his 29th birthday , to photograph operations. He said: “This month in Afghanistan is going to be something a bit different to what we normally cover and hopefully we’ll be back in time for Christmas.”

Army Photographers

It’s not just images of war being captured. The every-day life of the British Army at home and around the world is recorded by photographers like Steve, who are employed by the Royal Logistic Corps.


  1. Really enjoyed your presentation at Horsham PS last night. Many thanks. I wish your text on this site was not so difficult to read though - the light grey against the black background makes it almost impossible. Great photos though

  2. I do apologise. I will look into changing it.