Phil Nicholls was born in Cornwall and studied at Falmouth School of Art and Bath Academy of Art. A passion for music and the related rock images of cult photographer Anton Corbijn lead him to abandon fine art and specialize in photography.
In 1985, not long after leaving Bath Academy he received his first break in the music business scooping the Zigzag/Pentax Photographer of the Year Rock Portrait Award. This took him to London beginning his career as a freelance music photographer.
He joined weekly music paper Melody Maker in 1985 and over the next 12 years became renowned for his gritty, intelligent portraits of rock celebrities, developing into a major figure in his field. His iconic images of artists like Red Hot Chili Peppers, Amy Winehouse, The Prodigy, Bjork and Courtney Love have appeared in Vogue, Uncut, Q, The Guardian, Telegraph, NME and countless other titles, while his work has been exhibited in London, Brussels and Tokyo.
2003 saw the publication of the book Classic Cafes (Black Dog Publishing) with author Adrian Maddox, a study of London's 'greasy spoon' cafe culture. Word of mouth and great reviews saw the title quickly sell out its initial print run, and copies now change hands on Amazon for extortionate prices! In Spring 2007 Traditional Shops and Restaurants of London (New York Review of Books) was published, a guide to London's century-old establishments. Phil photographed 65 different venues for the book.
In December 2008 Savoir Faire London (New York Review of Books) was published. This collaboration with author Elaine Louie from the New York Times is a guide to some of the city's most interesting eateries, illustrated by Phil's evocative images. Savoir Faire was nominated for the Gourmand World Cookbook Awards 2010.
Now living in his home county of Cornwall Phil is working internationally in music, fashion and commercial imagery.
Involvement with American Music Club
Nicholls took the band photography that appeared on the Johnny Mathis' Feet singles in 1993.