Ian Tilton is a professional, award-winning rock photographer with over 30 years’ experience. Based in the north-west of England, he began his career in the Eighties, taking photos of bands as diverse as Nirvana, Guns N’ Roses, Iggy Pop, The Smiths, The Stone Roses, The Happy Mondays, James and Oasis. He has since spent years shoving himself in front of the loudest rock’n’roll speakers in the world and in the process captured some of music’s most iconic moments.
He was the first European photographer to shoot Nirvana and his picture of an exhausted and tearful Kurt Cobain in Seattle was hailed by Q Magazine as one of the six best rock photographs of all time. His photos of The Stone Roses have gone down in rock photography legend.
Ian Tilton comprehensively documented the famous Manchester club the Haçienda and his colour shots of the interior, alongside fantastically atmospheric photos of the club in full swing, capture the design and excitement of that legendary place.
His images have been published in numerous books and exhibitions on The Stone Roses, Guns N’ Roses, Nirvana, The Charlatans and Manchester music, and he’s undertaken many commissions for record companies and bands and for magazines which include Sounds, Select, Melody Maker, Mojo and Q.
Today Tilton retains a strong interest in music photography and is also an acclaimed theatre photographer. He also enjoys promoting and working in the fields of disability and mental health and is a qualified counsellor and personal assistant.
After losing his hearing at the age of fourteen Tilton studied to become a photographer, refusing to let his hearing difficulties get in the way. Tilton has stated that he’s determined that his deafness was and never should be an issue. “Life is about what’s possible – not about disability”.
John Robb writes about Ian Tilton: “Capturing the moment, stealing the soul, and flashing it back in brutal black and white or an expansive colour, Ian Tilton infuses his photos with a flair and a lust for life, underlining them with distinctive bled borders. These are photographs that spit energy and vigour, mirroring a genuine love for the subject, which is all too rare in the increasingly hack media pool…”