photographing the photographer

If the internet has taught us anything, it is that ‘japan’ were a frequently photographed group of individuals (she said with uncharacteristic understatement!). Modern day access to photographs from across the decades, uploaded onto countless tumblr and facebook pages, seem to suggest that never a day went by without someone shoving a camera into their (rather astoundingly beautiful) faces.

Steve has oft been quoted as saying this is one of the reasons he first developed an interest in photography as a creative outlet. Tired of always being told how to stand and what to do, he was keen to be the person on the other side of the lens….and being around a number of professional photographers, with access to some of the new technologies coming out of Japan (the country) helped foster this interest.

He has been responsible for taking some of the most iconic photographs of his former band-mates over the years; pictures which give fans an insight into the admittedly insular and sometimes isolated world they inhabited during Japan’s tenure as ‘band most likely to…..’ with a series of intimate back stage portraits, beautifully shot street scenes and glimpses into the world of the recording studio…..

David at The Manor Studios
David at The Manor Studios – photo by Steve Jansen


Richard, Mick, Rob at The Manor Studios. Photo by Steve Jansen

The band had an enduring professional relationship with photographer Fin Costello, who documented them across the years and accompanied them on their final tour in 1982 – which resulted in the most amazing record of their last few months, in the form of the Sons of Pioneers book.  Fin also captured a number of shots of Steve which reflected his continuing interest – photographing the photograher, as it were…..(and yes, I was sorely tempted to title this piece ‘A Batt & Costello’………)

Fin C 002

Fin C 003

Fin C 003

Fin C 004

Fin C 001

In the Darkroom


Steve recently responded to a question on ‘sleepyard’ regarding these pictures of him taken by Fin

Those images were taken in the darkroom belonging to photographer Fin Costello. He showed me the first steps in black and white printing. I never had a my own darkroom, always used commercial labs but it was a nice thing to have experienced. I would often develop my own film but that didn’t require a darkroom.  steve jansen – sleepyard. january 2015

All photographs (unless otherwise stated) by Fin Costello

Steve Jansen prints are available to purchase via his imageshop

Steve’s sleepyard tumblr –

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