I’d considered photographer Kevin Cummins to be one of the visual documentarians of Britpop, as his recent book While We Were Getting High testified, but I didn’t realize that he was also the man behind most of the iconic photos of Joy Division a decade and a half earlier. But he’s just released a collection of those images in Joy Division: Juvenes – originally published as a super-limited edition in 2008, it’s now being re-released in an expanded form with additional photographs and supporting material.
BBC talked to Cummins last month about what it was like to shoot the band, and how he feels about those images 40 years on. With regards to probably his most famous images – taken in 1979 on the Epping Bridge in Manchester, he says:
“Iconic is an easy word to use, but it is a defining image of that band. And it’s the picture that most people think of when they think of Joy Division.”Joy Division: Photographer Kevin Cummins on capturing the post-punk icons @ BBC
And in 2011, he further reflected on taking what The Guardian presented as his “best shot” out of a career of amazing images:
‘It almost doesn’t need the band. It would still be a Joy Division photograph without them’Photographer Kevin Cummins’s best shot @ The Guardian
In 2016, he talked to Dazed about what the Manchester music scene was like in the late ’70s and his experiences working with the band:
And in 2010, to mark the 30th anniversary of Ian Curtis’ death, NME ran a gallery of Cummins’ shots of the band: