If you have been to a live music event before to either film it or photograph it, you will already know how hard it can be to get those great pictures you have only ever dreamed of. There are many things to consider when you are shooting live music and it certainly isn’t the easiest job to do. If you are looking for reasons why shooting music at live music events is so hard then have a look below at some of the many problems that can occur:
- Too much movement – The stage is often filled with equipment and band members that get in the way with each other, unless you are lucky. This means that when you are wanting to get a shot of one member jumping up and down singing on the microphone, another one comes in and joins them so you have to wait a little longer, or at least come up with something different. Sometimes your better off getting down low in front of the stage on a soft blanket or rolled up yoga mat and have your shots kept steady by your body weight, this allows you to get really interesting low shots into the lights.
- The lighting always changes – When you are in a room with thousands of other people there will often be plenty of other cameras about that are flashing through the event. Not only is that the only light to worry about, but you also have the event lighting to worry about, things like the disco lights and smoke. There are an endless possibility of certain lights flickering when you are about to take your dream shot that can always ruin it.
- Getting bumped into – There is usually a section for professional photographers to take advantage of so the public do not necessarily get in the way. But when you don’t have that advantage, you are always getting bumped in the back by other members of the public. Just as you are about to take your dream shot you are bumped in the back and you end up taking a shot of the floor.
- Your camera settings – Another problem could be that your camera doesn’t have the sufficient settings to take shots in a live event. There are things to consider such as white balance, and autofocus, not forgetting to mention all of the other settings that come into play.
- Forgetting equipment – This isn’t usually much of a problem for beginners, but for someone more advanced it is complete hell. When you arrive at the event and you realise you’ve forgotten a couple of important lenses or other equipment is the worst feeling, especially when you thought you were prepared for the event in question. The best thing you can do is make a list and prepare for the event a couple of nights before so you can run through the checklist a couple of times beforehand.
- Losing your beloved equipment – This is very easy done when in a concert with thousands of other people. When losing a lens it’s not as bad but if you lose a memory card or something else of importance it’s the worst feeling. It’s easy to panic during concert when you think you can take the best shot ever so you quickly forget about everything else in your equipment bag. Just be prepared and always keep an eye on things.
These are just a few of the many problems that can occur when shooting live. It’s impossible to say what will happen during an event so it’s always best to be as prepared as possible. The worst thing you can possibly do is lose your memory card near the end of the night when you have taken hundreds of pictures, some of them you knew were special. The main priority when shooting a live event is to remain calm at all times and don’t pressurise yourself into taking shots for the sake of it.
There are so many events around these days it shouldn’t be that hard to get into one to practise photography, but more often than not it is. If you are a keen photographer you’ll want to be in the best events to practise your photography, but you are disappointed to find out it’s not possible. Unfortunately in the live music photography industry, you can only get into certain events when you are a certain skill level. This means that if you are only practising photography, you are only going to be able to do that at events that aren’t very big. That is perfectly fine though, as you will be able to work your way up, and even though it will take you a while, it will certainly be worth it in the end when you are the go to person to hire for the biggest events in the world.
As above, getting into any concert isn’t going to be easy and it is going to take someone with a particular skill set to get involved, but that isn’t stopping you from trying. Many event organising want different people involved from different backgrounds who can produce something different, and that person is you. Whether you have just begun shooting pictures in your own garden, or you have sufficient experience already, you can be sure that there are still plenty of events to choose from. So, how do I get into these events? I hear you ask. Your only real option is to start at the bottom of the barrel and make a name for yourself in the industry. Have a look below at a few ways you can do just that:
- Social media – The best way of making a name for yourself is to get yourself setup on all of the social platforms that will connect you with everyone in the music industry. This will automatically give you an online presence that people can search for you. Of course, you will want to upload some of the pictures you have taken, whether that is in your local club or pub, it doesn’t matter, what matters is that they look good.
- Communicate with local pubs and clubs – There are always plenty of pubs and clubs in your local area without a photographer, and the reason for that is because they don’t want to pay for one. That’s good news for you because at this moment in time you aren’t in it for the money, that will come later, you are only in it to make a name for yourself right now.
- Search for events that allow photographers – Even though most good photographers get a pass to the front row and backstage, that doesn’t mean photographers can’t go in through the front door like everybody else. As long as the events in question allow cameras, that means you can go in there as a fan and come out with some great pictures of the event. This means you now have a portfolio to put on the likes of Facebook and Instagram for everybody to see.
- Tell your friends and family – Let your friends and family know what you are doing so they can get behind you and promote you on social media. This might not sound like much, but it can always help with the smaller events that then lead to the bigger ones. Who knows, it might turn out that one of your friends is already in the music industry one way or another, and it might create a chance for you to get involved too.
These are just a few of the things you can do to get your name out there as a music photographer; you could also use your local newspapers and online directories to give you a bit of free advertising. At the end of the day, anybody can be a music photographer, it just depends how badly you want it and what you are willing to do to get your name out there.
Photography by Dan Ox
If you are looking to get into music photography because you have friends that do it, or just because you like the thought of it on your own terms, then you will want to know the benefits of taking part in doing such a thing. There are hundreds of benefits that make music photography well worth it, and of course there are plenty of disadvantages too. Have a look below at the 5 best benefits when you are a music photographer.
- You get paid well – Depending on your overall skillset will obviously depend on how much you are getting per event. Some of the best music photographers in the industry are earning thousands per event and are working for some of the biggest music promoters in the world. There are of course other options jobwise, such as working for magazines or big websites – the job options are endless when you actually get good at doing it.
- You get close to your favourite musicians – Of course as a music photographer, you will get backstage passes and get to work right in front of your favourite performers – which is just another one of the many benefits to being a music photographer. Who knows, you may even get your chances to meet some of the biggest musicians in the industry and get offered your dream job working right next to them.
- Meet new people – When you are at an event you will get your chance to meet and socialize with the public, as well as other music photographers standing right next to you. This is especially great if you are an upcoming music photographer because you will gain insight on some invaluable tips and make some great friends in the process. The chances are that being so close to the musicians, you may even get to meet them too, whether that is backstage or after the show in question.
- Share your experiences with others – When you walk away from the event you will have a huge smile on your face as if you have achieved something special. There isn’t a better experience than sharing your music photography experience with your family and friends, not forgetting social media. The great thing about sharing your photos on social media is that if they are good, they will often be seen by thousands of people who would like to hire your services. So no matter how big or small the event is, you can be sure that it could pay off in the long run thanks to social media.
- Get to enjoy the events as a normal person – Of course, when you are taking your shots of the event in progress, you get to enjoy it as much as anybody else, if not even more. You get to see your favourite musicians close up and at their best which is yet another reason to take up music photography. There are so many benefits to being a music photographer in the sense you actually get to be there just like any other fan.
There are so many benefits in becoming a music photography that it would take too long to list. The main benefits above are just some of the benefits you will find when in concerts doing what you love, and you will find there are plenty more along the way. If you enjoy photography, the best photography you can do is in a concert because you will get to breath in the atmosphere as if you were the one on stage performing – it’s a great feeling all round.
Photography by Joe Diaz