Ringo Starr: The Beatles Drummer Turned Photographer

Many of us know Ringo Starr as the drummer from the Beatles, but did you know he is an accomplished photographer too? I think you may be pleasantly surprised to see what happened when he swapped his drumsticks for a camera.

Rock and roll stars are usually on the receiving end of a camera rather than taking pictures themselves. Ringo Starr experienced both sides of that equation, as he was just as keen to take pictures as he was being in them. The reason I know this is thanks to photographer and educator Tatiana Hopper's latest video, where she shares the story of Starr's love of photography.

The video starts at the beginning of Starr's life, where we learn that only five photos of the drummer growing up exist. While I'm sure many individuals living in a similar working-class environment can relate to this, it is sad to think that only a handful of pictures are all that there is to show of someone's childhood. In part, I'm sure this is why Starr was so keen to document later on in life when he had the financial means to. Next, we see various examples of his work, ranging from intimate pictures of his fellow bandmates to snapshots of his family. An interesting quote from Starr relating to photography is how he was photographing for now rather than for later. This is a different approach from many documentary photographers and something we could all learn from.

It really was a pleasant surprise to learn about Ringo Starr's photography. I'm not the biggest Beatles fan, but the pictures he made capture an era many of us cherish. I personally would enjoy his pictures even if they didn't have famous people in them. The fact they contain some of the most famous faces on the planet is just a nice bonus. In my opinion, the photo book he has produced would hold up with many of the other documentary photographers of the era, and that is a testament to his skill as a photographer.

What do you think of the work of Ringo Starr? Think it's any good? We'd love to hear your thoughts in the comments below.

Paul Parker's picture

Paul Parker is a commercial and fine art photographer. On the rare occasion he's not doing photography he loves being outdoors, people watching, and writing awkward "About Me" statements on websites...

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Did you know that Bill Wyman of the Rolling Stones also is a turned photographer. Right now he has an exhibition in London.