What Do Niall Horan and Hailee Steinfeld Have in Common? A 22-Year-Old Photographer From Dublin

Christian Tierney

Age: 22

Hometown: Dublin

Now Lives: in a three-bedroom house in Lucan, a suburb of Dublin, and on various tour buses.

Claim to Fame: Mr. Tierney is a self-taught photographer and videographer who has toured with Niall Horan (a former member of One Direction) and Hailee Steinfeld, and has photographed top music acts including Drake, the Weeknd, Demi Lovato, Kendrick Lamar and the 1975.

In January, Mr. Tierney was nominated for an iHeartRadio Music Award for tour photography. “I just try to understand people,” he said. “Every time I shoot somebody new, I take a different approach. You have to work out how to show their personality in a visual way.”

Big Break: At 15, Mr. Tierney started a YouTube channel on which he interviewed and showcased live sessions with emerging Irish musicians and others. “I always had a good ear for picking who the next big artists were going to be,” he said.

To book talent, he would cold-email managers whose artists were touring in Dublin. Macklemore and Ryan Lewis, then an unknown hip-hop act from Seattle, were among the first to say yes. When their 2012 hit, “Thrift Shop,” made them famous, it was easier for Mr. Tierney to book other artists, like James Bay, who recorded a video for “Let It Go” on the channel.

Latest Project: Mr. Tierney spent much of last year traveling in Europe and America for Mr. Horan’s “Flicker” tour. During the summer, he photographed Ms. Steinfeld’s shows. Though touring may seem glamorous from afar, there’s little time for sightseeing.

“When you wake up, you’re on tour, and you’re working until you go to bed that night,” he said. “Technically I’ve been to Sweden, but I haven’t seen anywhere except the inside of the venue.”

Next Thing: Next month, Mr. Tierney will join Hozier, an Irish crooner best known for the song “Take Me to Church,” on his American tour. “His show is very rock- and blues-based, which is quite different from the pop tours I did with Hailee and Niall,” Mr. Tierney said. “I saw him play six years ago in Dublin to a small audience, so to see his journey has been amazing.” After the tour, Mr. Tierney plans to move to Los Angeles.

On the Pulse: Though he no longer produces live sessions for YouTube, Mr. Tierney still has an eye for breakout talent. This year, he hopes to hear more of Dermot Kennedy, who mixes hip-hop production with traditional Irish songwriting, and Rosalía, a modern flamenco artist from Catalonia, Spain, who has been nominated for six Latin Grammys.

“She has such a unique creative vision and aesthetic that is very much her own,” he said. “I don’t think there’s anybody else who’s doing what she’s doing.”

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