This time I wanted to write about photographing concerts and doing music photography. This is an area that has always fascinated me, and it is for me one of the most exciting things to photograph.
There are a number of guidelines, or things you need to consider, when photographing concerts. It is particularly fun when you like the band or musician that you are photographing, but overall it is a fun subject in editorial photography.
One of the things to remember is the lack of control you have over what happens on stage, such as the lighting that is being used, or having to deal with the crowd or bouncers. As a photographer, you have to be aware of all that’s going on around you while trying to get great shots of the band. What you do control while photographing concerts is how you capture expressions, the timing of the light as it illuminates your subject, your lens, speed, and aperture choice. It is not easy to photograph concerts, but it is extremely fun.
Capturing expressions is an extremely important part of shooting concerts. You have to focus on the musicians, and how they express their love of music, their instrument, a particular song, the crowd, and the ability to do what they love in front of a crowd.
These expressions can come in different manners. From guitarists in the band interacting with the lead singers, the crowds, or other members of the band, these moments usually happen in split seconds and you have to be ready to capture them.
The way lighting takes place during a concert is also a crucial part of music photography. As a photographer, you have to capture lighting as it works its way around the band. This takes a lot of practice, and it takes shooting a lot of concerts with a great eye and timing. Good lighting combined with expressions and emotions make great photographs. You have to remember that as an editorial photographer you are telling a story and those photographs are your way of interpreting the concert.
There are other crucial concert images that you should consider. These involve those moments where the musician seems to stop mid-song and lets all the good energy come in. These are great shots because you witness the interaction between the musicians and the crowd. These are the moments when the lead singer usually stops in mid-song to simply listen to the crowd sing in unison, or they might just simply stop and absorb all the positive energy their music creates.
These are only a few of the things that you should consider when photographing bands, whether they are famous musicians, or local acts. The guidelines are the same, as the ultimate purpose is to capture music with photography. I’ve been fortunate to photograph some of my favorite bands. I’ve also photographed over 100 musical and performance acts during the course of close to 10 years. It is always fascinating, and every single show has been a new experience. So if your interest is concert photography, start with your friend’s band or local acts, experiment, photograph a lot, and enjoy every single one of those performances as they will always be unique.