Preview: Steve Best's stand-up photography book, Comedians

Jimmy Carr. Copyright: Steve Best

Comedian and skilled photographer Steve Best is known for taking brilliant photos of stand-ups, both on stage and behind-the-scenes.

As Harry Hill explains: "The fact is, no one takes photos of comedians like Steve. Why? Because he knows us, because he's one of us. No one captures the atmosphere backstage like him because no one has the access - to us he's just Steve, and he's got his camera with him again, we stop trying to impress or be funny - no mean feat for a comic - and CLICK! he's got us."

Comedians by Steve Best

Now, Best is set to release his favourite images in a high-end book.

Simply titled Comedians, the 240 page hardcover publication, printed on 170 gsm silk stock paper, is available to pre-order now.

As the book's blurb explains: "Comedians gives us an exclusive and revealing peek behind the curtain of the British Comedy scene. Steve Best's own years on the comedy circuit have not only taken him to the four corners of the planet but helped him to gain the trust of some of the funniest people on it - and with it an open door to the four corners of their dressing rooms.

"Being in the exact right place is only one thing, however. Being there at the right time is another matter entirely; and none more so than when it can be measured by the split-seconds of the camera's shutter. We are very fortunate, therefore, that Best's mastery of photographic timing is faultless because with it we get such a complete picture.

"The look exchanged between Julian Clary and the compere Paul Thorne, at the Ealing Comedy Festival, was as fleeting as can be, but its depth does not escape Best's eye. There is such camaraderie and affection between the two comedians. There is admiration. Well-wishing and gratefulness. And we sense the shared adrenalin rush.

Image shows from L to R: Paul Thorne, Julian Clary. Copyright: Steve Best

"We know that it is Joe Rowntree who must be about to go on because we can hardly breathe for him whilst Michael Fabbri must just have triumphed because Best captures his immortal smile for all eternity.

Image shows from L to R: Joe Rowntree, Michael Fabbri. Copyright: Steve Best

"In Best's image of Barry Cryer we have a whole career in the mirror, and we can't tell whether the name-call is about to happen or is as long gone as any of the nerves that used to go with it.

Barry Cryer. Copyright: Steve Best

"And who knew that Jack Whitehall might ever take anything seriously enough to show any nerves, or to feel the need to actually plan any of his material for that matter? But of course he does, and of course he has to - as Best reveals so perfectly to us.

Jack Whitehall. Copyright: Steve Best

"And so it is with Harry Hill. Everything is there in the moments of stillness that Best portrays - the meticulous and hard-working people behind the comic personas we know and love."

Harry Hill. Copyright: Steve Best

Talking to British Comedy Guide, Steve says: "This project has been so close to my heart for so many years and I now have everything in place to produce a beautiful high end photographic masterpiece. I really do have the best designer and fine art printers on board. The book will look absolutely fabulous."

Jo Caulfield. Copyright: Steve Best
Shaparak Khorsandi. Copyright: Steve Best
Image shows from L to R: Omid Djalili, Jack Dee. Copyright: Steve Best
Lee Mack. Copyright: Steve Best

Best has kindly allowed us to share a few of his snapshots on this page, but there are many many more exclusive images showcased in the book, so head to stevebest.com and pre-order your copy of Comedians now.

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