I’m standing behind enemy lines with my weapon in hand. A low roar rumbles thru the darkness. The mob begins to chant, with fist in the air, calling out to their leader. The Curtains draw back and the first chord echoes across the stage into the audience. A wave of energy bounces over the sea of people. In sync with the pulsing lights. I take my stance, raise my camera and fire off like a machine gun with my prey in sight. Each shot capturing the beat in time.
Shooting concerts is just like going into battle. In preparing for battle I have always found that plans are useless, but planning is indispensable. I have had to dodge crowd surfers and the bouncers catching them. Been hit in the head with other photographer’s camera lens. Pushed my way thru endless crowds. Stayed perched in one spot to get the perfect shot. Climbed over railings just to get out of the pit. All of this just to obtain the money shot.
Timing is key in shooting a concert. Most artist only allow the first 3 songs to be photographed. No flash allowed. So be prepared for low lighting. The hardest part is competing with other photographers for a place to stand. Know your venue. Most of the time you will not have the opportunity to move very far.
Concert photography has become one of my greatest accomplishments. One the most important aspects is giving the viewer the opportunity to see the artist like they were standing in the crowd. I want my photos to portray the style of artist, the vibrancy of the lights and the energy of the music.
How did I get this job? One day I was browsing on myspace. Years back when myspace was still cool. I saw a post on the bulletin boards, ” In search of photographers”. So I jumped at the opportunity. I was a regular concert go-er of the venue. I had gotten my first SLR camera, A Canon Rebel XTI and wanted to use it every chance I got. It seemed like a no brainer just get in and start shooting. My first show was a band called Fuel. I was such a huge fan in my early 20′s. I remember going to see them at Revolution in Fort Lauderdale back when it was known as the Chili Pepper. Now of course the lead singer Brett Scallion, and love of my life, had left the band and was replaced with Toyrn Green. Never the less my first experience in concert photography felt natural and effortless. Like taking photos of old friends. I met the band after wards. Charming fellows. The photo below is me with Toyrn Green and Carl Bell of Fuel. Read more…