Stephen Wright - Hypergallery

Stephen Wright

Early days

Stephen Wright, as a young man at the start of his career, took a photograph of The Smiths outside the Salford Boys Club which has become one of the most famous images in rock history; one that is now in the collections of the National Portrait Gallery Collection, Manchester Art Gallery and Salford Museum and Art Gallery.

Born in in Oxfordshire in 1960, Stephen found himself in Manchester in the early 80s with his £150 Nikon camera and an ambition to record the Manchester music scene that was capturing the imagination of the country.

I like the casual, staggered way they are standing, and they're nicely framed by the arches. But I always say it's the band, not the photo, that is classic. The Hacienda and The Free Trade Hall were the venues. New Order and The Smiths were the stars.

Stephen first photographed The Smiths at a live show

He submitted the pictures to their label, Rough Trade. He subsequently received a commission for a session with the band for their upcoming album The Queen is Dead.


He has photographed a host of other music icons including Nina Simone, James Brown and Prince.

Stephen continues to work from his studio in Berkshire, just down the road from Hypergallery!