HE LOOKED down at what he had captured and found something entirely new. A peculiar frontier beckoned; a latent passion stirred.

As a photographer covering the Scottish music scene, Bazza Mills is ubiquitous. His lens will be familiar to stages all over the country; his name is known to artists of all persuasions.

Over the past ten years, he will have shot hundreds upon hundreds of bands, his eye casting across a generation of talent.

Like many, he fell into it. Sparked by a curiosity, buoyed by the challenge, Bazza forever populates the photo pits across Scotland, snagging snapshots of the biggest acts on the circuit.

Each image is a moment on display. The thrill of pausing life and recording history never subsides. It's pure raw substance and it's right there in front of him every time he looks down at the camera to assay his work. Something entirely new each time.

"I probably always had a wee aspiration to pick up the camera," he said. "But I don't think, back then, that I would ever have the opportunities I have had.

"Some of my favourite artists have used my images on their social media. I've had my pictures used for album covers and tour posters. People seem to like them."

Indeed, the appeal was ever constant, with Bazza's fascination with taking pictures and live music starting very young.

He recalled: "I've been interested in photography since about the age of four when I got my first camera a Kodak pocket Hawkeye Instamatic. I did a lot of travelling as a kid and used to be attempting to capture the moment all the time.

"I blame my love for live music on my parents who took me to a Neil Diamond concert in Melbourne when I was one."

Liam Gallagher at TRNSMT. Picture by Bazza Mills

Liam Gallagher at TRNSMT. Picture by Bazza Mills

He went on: "I was always going to gigs throughout my teens and when the first digital cameras came out used to try and capture some shots from the crowd.

"Around 2013 I invested in an entry-level camera and took it into an Ugly Kid Joe concert at The Garage and thought I had caught a few decent snaps. The band's Facebook ended up using one of the shots a couple of times and their singer Whitfield Crane commented it was one of his favourite shots of the year."

Since then, the former Lornshill Academy teacher he has trained his sights on some of the biggest names, including Liam Gallagher, Sam Fender, Richard Ashcroft, Faithless, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Pink and others.

Some of the biggest moments come from shooting The View's final gig before their previous hiatus, and shooting an iconic from-behind image of Gerry Cinnamon at TRNSMT.

He's also had some of his images used for album covers, including Kyle Falconer.

Bazza gave to the bands and in many ways they gave back. The encouragement that came from an artist showcasing his work – from the appreciation of his efforts – is hard to match.

He added: "Before I knew it I was capturing some of my favourite artists on stage: Ocean Colour Scene, Stereophonics, Richard Ashcroft, Paul Weller, Liam Gallagher to name a few and most ended up using my shots on their socials."

His love of live music was also a major factor in Bazza's longevity. Taking pictures at shows remains the perfect marriage of his passions.

"I've always loved music," Bazza added. "I don't really watch TV or anything, it's always just music.

Alloa man Jamie Pollock spent years plying his trade as a songwriter in the area. Picture by Bazza Mills

Alloa man Jamie Pollock spent years plying his trade as a songwriter in the area. Picture by Bazza Mills

"Learning about the music helps as well because you pick up on the riffs and drum fills so you can get yourself positioned and ready for the shot because you know the song.

"And learning about artists helps. A lot of photographers set up right in front of, say, the singer trying to get that perfect shot. But a lot of artists don't want to see photographers, they want to see the crowd. So, what can often happen is they will move away from the photographers to try and connect with the crowd, and if you know where to be – sort of out of the way a bit – they can come to you and give you something a bit different.

As time marched on, he began to uncover the wealth of talent that had been operating under the radar in some of the smaller gig venues. There was a raw energy, free from commercial considerations – a real music scene.

From there he continued to develop his own craft, but Bazza never missed a moment to help emerging artists.

The Forth Valley man said: "Being out and about with the camera I quickly realised there was a terrific live music scene through in Glasgow with so much talent it was frightening.

"Guys like John Rush, Brownbear, Billy Mitchell and Gerry Cinnamon became my new favourites alongside The View and festival favourites Colonel Mustard.

"I also struck up a friendship with Alloa singer/songwriter Kieran Fisher, who is now like a little brother to me. It has been incredible to see him evolve as an artist.

Bazza has been an avid supporter of Alloa band TONTO. Picture by Bazza Mills

Bazza has been an avid supporter of Alloa band TONTO. Picture by Bazza Mills

"And I love to support artists, especially local ones. I remember when Emme Woods was playing one of the small stages and TRNSMT and I was getting funny looks from people because I left the act on the main stage to go see her. But I used to teach her and it was great to see her perform and hear her voice. And look at her now – she's in The Joy Hotel, doing so well.

His focus remains the same, his drive undeterred. In the last week alone he was been out to see some of his favourite acts in The View and Ocean Colour Scene.

Looking back on the last decade, Bazza embraces his achievements. But there is always room to improve.

He said: "I'm often asked what has been my favourite image I've captured and can honestly say there are only a handful I've been completely happy with. Kyle Falconer's album cover, the iconic shot of Gerry Cinnamon at TRNSMT being two.

"I got a few of Pink when covering her Hampden show for the Sunday Mail and I was delighted when Richard Ashcroft used some of my shots a couple of years back.

"It's funny the experiences that have come my way just from picking up a camera and taking some photos. Not bad for a school teacher."

Gerry Cinnamon at TRNSMT, captured by Bazza Mills

Gerry Cinnamon at TRNSMT, captured by Bazza Mills