Photography by Katie O'Neill
Sharon Latham is a renowned photographer who came to prominence with Manchester City FC as the first female to hold the coveted position of official Premier League club photographer. Sharon’s subsequent commercial and editorial work has been in music and entertainment, most notably her association with Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds (NGHFB) Sharon’s exhibition, ‘A New World Blazing’ documents the band’s live performances around the world as well as rare and intimate glimpses of Noel behind the scenes.
Sharon Latham at the Ethiad with prints from her 'A New World Blazing' exhibition
Born in Bolton in 1967, Sharon’s first experience of photography was when she picked up her dad’s camera and explored the world around her.
Sharon secured the job of Senior Club Photographer for Manchester City FC in 2010. Her ten year tenure was during one of the most successful periods in the club’s history. She documented a succession of iconic moments including trophies in the English Premier League, FA Cup and League Cup. Sharon previously photographed Oasis at Knebworth, Maine Road and the Etihad Stadium, but it was at Manchester City where she re-connected with Noel Gallagher. Sharon recalls that “The first interview Pep Guardiola (Man City club manager) ever did was with Noel, and that was my last shoot before I left the club”.
Sharon & Noel at the Ethiad
Sharon Latham - 'Big Shaz' (Photo; MCFC)
“When I told Noel I was leaving, he said ‘Why are you leaving, you can’t leave, what are you going to do now?’ I mischievously said “I’m going to go on tour with you”… Noel said ‘ok then’ and that was that”. When NGHFB’s 2016 tour started I asked if I could shoot a couple of gigs, he said ‘Yeah, come to America’. I was only supposed to be there for two weeks and it turned into five years.”
The creative relationship forged with Gallagher inspired ‘A New World Blazing’, a highly anticipated photography exhibition documenting live performances as well as rare and intimate glimpses behind the scenes with NGHFB. The exhibition, which launched initially online, showcases Sharon’s ability to capture the heart and soul of the band’s tour.
Down the years I’ve been lucky enough to work with some of the best photographers in the world and I would put Sharon right up there. At its best a photograph should speak. What are the pictures saying? They are saying: We – NGHFB – have the best job in the world. To work, play, travel and party with these people is an absolute pleasure. I’m so happy that Big Shaz was there to capture these moments.” - Noel Gallagher
Sharon’s subsequent commercial and editorial work has been in the live music, sport and entertainment industry. She has photographed amongst others; Bruce Springsteen, Kasabian, Bon Jovi, Coldplay, Elbow, The Stone Roses, Muse, One Direction. She has worked with international celebrities and organisations and published several books. Sharon’s photographic work has appeared in magazines newspapers and digital media around the world. Her images are regularly used on Sky, BBC and ITV as well as being featured in a number of TV documentaries.
Beyond her technical skills, Sharon's character, passion for life, and personal connection with her clients have been the blueprint to her success.
Sharon Latham - Showreel
THE SHOOT: The Ethiad Stadium
Home of Manchester City FC, where Sharon became the Premier League's first female club photographer
Student reflection: Katie O'Neill
Photographing fellow snappers is always a little daunting, but photographing Sharon for the project was an absolute pleasure. The Ethiad Stadium was a perfect backdrop for the shoot and the autumn sunshine provided some dramatic lighting. Shaz was relaxed and sometimes mischievous in front of the camera but very supportive, sharing her own experiences and offering advice on locations and angles.
looking at you... looking at me
Katie & Shaz
We moved from the blue stadium seats to pitch side to the tunnel area and finally the dug out chairs where we photographed Shaz with her Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds framed images. This was quite a tricky shot, trying to avoid reflections in the glass frames.
I am very pleased with my final image selection and believe that they capture Sharon’s fun loving, larger than life personality. Sharon’s story is an important addition to the project.