Dennis Morris' Portraits of Reggae Rebels and Punk Rockers


"From the first time I saw a photograph being developed and printed, I was hooked. I couldn't believe it. It was like magic." — Dennis Morris

Dennis Morris via

Dennis Morris, a legendary British photographer, is a camera connoisseur ever since he was 8 years young. In the East End, where he grew up, he was oftentimes called as Mad Dennis because of his penchant and preference for photography over football. At age 11, one of his photographs was printed on the front page of the Daily Mirror, a newspaper in England.

It was 1973 when Morris’ music photography career began. Morris was 14 years young when he was invited by Bob Marley to photograph the reggae remainders of the UK Tour. His shots of Marley and The Wailers became so popular and the images appeared on the covers of Melody Maker and Time Out even before he turned 17.

images via

After a few years, the frontman of the punk rock band Sex Pistols, Johnny Rotten (who was then an ultimate reggae fan), personally asked Morris to be the band’s official photographer. Morris trailed the band and took innumerable undisputed shots of Rotten, Vicious, and the rest of the band.

images via

Dennis Morris has written two photobiographies:

1) Bob Marley: A Rebel Life: A Photobiography, 1973-1980

image via

This is a visual celebration of the king of reggae, Bob Marley. Morris photographed him for several years until his death in 1981. The book includes 150 photographs, 50 of which are in color. “Can I take a picture of you?” were his first words to Marley.

2) Destroy: A Photographic Record of the Sex Pistols, 1977

image via

This is a stunning black and white photographic compilation of the Sex Pistols which were taken within a span of 12 months: from their business travels to their inevitable downfall. According to Morris, “The Sex Pistols were the voice of the young, white youth of England. But it was done in a different way.

To date, Dennis Morris continues to be a pioneer in music photography. He now lives in London with his family. View more of his collections, exhibitions, and publications at

written by basterda on 2011-07-29 in #lifestyle #reggae #sex-pistols #punk #johnny-rotten #sid-vicious #photographers #books #dennis-morris #music #bob-marley


  1. superlighter
    superlighter ·

    living far from these scenes I have fed my imagination with his images in my youth days. Thank You Mr Dennis Morris!

  2. explorette
    explorette ·

    wow sid!! nice shots!! i love the sex pistols!!

  3. explorette
    explorette ·

    just bought the destroy book :)

  4. basterda
    basterda ·

    @explorette: How was it? :)

  5. sidsel
    sidsel ·

    @explorette: Gotta get one too! :-)
    I have a nice collection of Photography books about the Punk Era and yet I've never heard about this one before!

  6. copefan
    copefan ·

    brings back memories....... ahhhhh my punk days! seems so long ago..... flippin' eck it was a long time ago! ....... jesus i'm old! well not as old as jesus, but then that depends on which jesus your talking about!

  7. shoujoai
    shoujoai ·

    one of these Sid Vicious Pictures was already my favorite when I was a teen! I always wanted it as a poster, but did not find it

  8. myvitaminx
    myvitaminx ·

    if only he took a pictures of black sabbath,iron maiden and led zep it could be more awesomer!!

  9. sgurd4
    sgurd4 ·

    I want the Bob Marley book! How lucky Dennis Morris is for being able to work with those artists.

  10. weaselwiththecam
    weaselwiththecam ·

    Thank you for the article, and for bringing to my knowledge yet another amazing photographer.

  11. zooweemomma
    zooweemomma ·

    gee, where do i get the destroy book?

  12. basterda
    basterda ·

    @sidsel: What other punk-related books do you have?

    @shoujoai: Sid's photo, the one where he's sitting on the bed, is my favorite! I own a shirt with that print. :)

    @myvitaminx: Dennis Morris also photographed the bands: Bush, Oasis and The Prodigy.

    @weaselwiththecam: You're very welcome! :)

  13. 134340
    134340 ·

    Nice blog!

More Interesting Articles

  • Share Your Lomo'Instant Timelapse Video Rumble

    written by icequeenubia on 2014-12-11 in #competitions #videos
    Share Your Lomo'Instant Timelapse Video Rumble

    Step up your Lomo'Instant game by creating a timelapse video of your snapshot as it develops. Share the magic with your friends and score some piggies from us!

  • Vintage Gallery: Marcus Selmer's Costume Portraits

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-08-22 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Gallery: Marcus Selmer's Costume Portraits

    Marcus Selmer was the first daguerreotype photographer of Bergen, Norway. He was up-to-date with new technologies and even shifted to wet plate collodion process, a more practical alternative to daguerreotypes. In the 1850s, he also made a series of portraits highlighting folk costumes, from floor-grazing bunad dresses to men’s mink coats. The prints were sold to tourists as a remembrance of traditional Norwegian culture.

  • Newcomer of the Week: conkirwantaylor

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-05-17 in #world #lifestyle #videos
    Newcomer of the Week: conkirwantaylor

    Con immediately felt at home the first time he started browsing through the community's collection of inspiring photographs and articles. Treating film photography as a form of a challenge, he enjoys shooting candid portraits and spontaneous street photographs. Meet our newcomer of the week from United Kingdom, Constantin Kirwan-Taylor!

  • Shop News

    New Item: Revolog 36exp Plexus

    New Item: Revolog 36exp Plexus

    Feeling experimental? We have the perfect film for you. Load up a roll of Revolog Plexus 200 on your favorite 35mm camera and shoot as you normally would.

  • Vintage Gallery: John Dixon-Scott's Archive Project

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-08-16 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Gallery: John Dixon-Scott's Archive Project

    In 1926, John Dixon-Scott started going around his native Britain in search of urban and rural scenes to photograph. His goal was to record something of the country he believed was under the threat of change. By 1946, he had over 14,000 photos ranging from posed portraits to idyllic landscapes.

  • My First Lomo Affair: Sonjay and her Holga 120 CFN

    written by Eunice Abique on 2015-05-23 in #gear #lifestyle
    My First Lomo Affair: Sonjay and her Holga 120 CFN

    Sonja started her analog adventures during her teenage years. She took her first film photographs when she was 13 and has been in love with the magic of the process since. Her idea of a perfect day involves developing film rolls while listening to jazz and having a cup of tea in between. In this interview, she recalls about her experience with her first Lomography camera, a Holga 120 CFN.

  • How (Not) to Make It in New York

    written by carlybrunatti on 2015-09-05 in #world #lifestyle
    How (Not) to Make It in New York

    Everything I had fit into eight boxes and two suitcases. That’s all I had collected in my 22 years on earth, eight boxes and two suitcases. My friends and I moved to Brooklyn in the dead of winter, just after a huge snowstorm. I came from California and had no real experience living in snow. All of it was magical to me.

  • Shop News

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Immortalize your best shot on Aluminium!

    Carefully enlarged from your negatives onto premium photographic paper by lab professionals, each picture is a unique piece of craftsmanship.

  • Discontinued Efke Films Available Now!

    written by shhquiet on 2015-06-29 in #gear #news
    Discontinued Efke Films Available Now!

    It's time to get experimental With Lomography, Efke and Ilford Films! Transform your photographs into fascinating snapshots that evoke fantasy and magic. It’s the stuff that dreams are made of: green foliage becomes white, blue skies turn as dark as the night and purple colors taste sweet like candy dust.

  • The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    written by wesco on 2014-11-27 in #reviews
    The New Petzval Lens: For Portraits with Swirly Bokeh

    My brother purchased the new Petzal lens by Lomography and Zenit through the Kickstarter campaign. Last spring, I was able to borrow it for a few weeks. Read on to find out my first impressions of this portrait lens!

  • Daniela Majic's Secret Garden Through the Petzval Lens

    written by givesmehell on 2015-05-01 in #people #lomoamigos
    Daniela Majic's Secret Garden Through the Petzval Lens

    Daniela Majic is a Canada-based portrait photographer who tells unique, dreamy, and fairy tale-like stories with her camera. She blends her love for fashion and craft-making in creating a theme that seems magical. Here's an interview with Majic along with a series of photographs from her latest work shot with the Petzval Art Lens, "Secret Garden," which wraps around a very intriguing concept.

  • Shop News

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Fuji Instax Wide 300

    Shoot wider and bigger with this new instax camera that has film format twice the size of the instax mini films!

  • Vintage Gallery: The Pictorialist Work of Rudolf Dührkoop

    written by lomographymagazine on 2015-08-22 in #world #lifestyle
    Vintage Gallery: The Pictorialist Work of Rudolf Dührkoop

    From amateur to internationally exhibited photographer: Rudolf Dührkoop’s trajectory was aligned to the Pictorialist credo of artistic effort. The movement aimed to make photography more valuable through the practice of complex techniques. Dührkoop himself studied photogravure, which made some of his prints more tonal and charcoal-like.

  • The Rescued Film Project

    written by hannah_brown on 2015-02-10 in #world #lifestyle
    The Rescued Film Project

    The Rescued Film Project collects, develops and archives undeveloped or unwanted film from all over the world. Recently, the group acquired 31 rolls at an auction in Ohio, which, as it turns out, were from World War 1 and featured some amazing photographic footage of that time. Founder and film technician Levi Bettwieser talks about this exciting project.

  • Through the Dollhouse with Melanie Martinez

    written by mindofmyra on 2015-05-04 in #people #lomoamigos
    Through the Dollhouse with Melanie Martinez

    Melanie Martinez is a woman of many talents. Not only is she a unique singer and songwriter, but she is also an avid photographer who captures the tour life from a perspective like no other. It's time to share the special moments of her Dollhouse Tour and to figure out what makes her mind tick.