Jill Furmanovsky is one of the legends in rock music photography. Her unparalleled 50-year career has seen her photograph many of the biggest names in music, direct music videos, publish books and exhibit her work internationally. Jill is the lady behind some of the most iconic images in the Abbey Road story, documenting Pink Floyd’s session in the 1970s and those of Oasis in the 1990s. Jill joined Abbey Road as our first ever photographer-in-residence between 2017 – 2018. Read on, to find out more about her work.
Rockarchive founder, Jill Furmanovsky, was born and brought up in Rhodesia (now Zimbabwe), her parents moved to London in 1965 when Jill was eleven. She became a member of the Beatles fan-club and hung around outside Abbey Road as teenager, hoping to catch sight of the Fab Four. Her first rock shot was of Paul McCartney standing outside his house with two of her school friends taken on a Kodak Instamatic.
Following a foundation course at Harrow School of Art, Jill studied textile and graphic design at the Central School of Art and Design. After only two weeks training in photography, she had a lucky break when she was offered the job of official photographer at London's premier rock venue, The Rainbow Theatre in 1972. She went on to shoot for all the major magazines and weekly music press as well as working directly for bands and solo artists.
Musicians photographed in her 50 year career include many of the biggest names in rock music: Pink Floyd, Bob Marley, Eric Clapton, Blondie, The Police, Led Zeppelin, The Pretenders, Bob Dylan, and Oasis are but a few. She has also directed videos for Oasis and The Pretenders.
Jill's book The Moment 25 Years of Rock Photography (1995) is a seminal work in the genre. Her subsequent book, Oasis - Was There Then: A Photographic Journey(1997) followed a ground-breaking exhibition of the same name that toured the UK. Her recent book Oasis at Knebworth (2021) was on the Sunday Times best seller list. One of Jill’s proudest assignments was being artist in residence at Abbey Road Studios in 2017-2018.
Jill has won many awards for her music photography including The Jane Bown Observer Portrait Award (1992) and 'Woman of the Year' for Music and Related Industries (1988).