photographing bands


I'm going to admit it. As a wedding/portrait photographer, I've raised my nose to show photographers. It always irked me that they would wander around with their automatic settings and built-in flashes and step on everybody else's feet and get in the way. Well, it turns out that their jobs aren't as easy or mechanical as I thought, and the last show that I went to, only about 10 pictures came out great. Good thing that it was for hobby-shooting and not for work, right? It was good to have been able to learn through it though, and here is some of what I found:

1. Make Use of Stage Lighting
As I had mentioned before, it could certainly be considered rude to be using your flash every time you take a shot, especially if you like to take a lot of shots to have a lot to choose from. Continuous burst, good. Continuous flash, not so good. The pictures above were taken of Tallhart at the TLA in Philly. The top photo was slightly adjusted (some curves to lessen an intense red tone) and the bottom one was not touched at all. (Except to add a watermark, to those who may be extra-super-knit-pick'y.) Stage lights are used to illuminate the performers to the crowd, but as a photographer, you can look at them as studio lighting set up for your convenience. Embrace it, and say goodbye to the dreaded flash. (Can I get an "amen" from the photojournalists out there?)

2. Connect with the Performers
When you know the music and the performers well, it will make capturing their essence simple and particularly enjoyable. If you're photographing a show as a job and you're not too familiar with your subject, look up some videos. Know how they move, that way, you'll be able to "predict" when and where to shoot. For me, shooting Eisley was a joy because they've been one of my favorite bands for years and I feel like I know them as good friends!

3. Try Some "Headless" Shots
A musician's instrument is his or her pride and joy. Why not make an instrument the focal point of a shot? Sherri drew this beautiful design on her guitar. Art like that definitely deserves at least one of its own pictures.

4. Don't Forget the Drummer
As you can tell, this is one that I didn't do so well. If you can move around, this is the best way to make sure that you get EVERYBODY in the band. If not, it may not be an easy task, so don't be too upset if you miss some shots!

5. Be Square
If it's tough to create a good composition because of where you're standing or where your subject is, you can always manipulate the image to improve its composition. Try cropping it into a square, this is a great way of creating a minimalistic image that will draw attention to the subject.

7. Enjoy the Show
Put the camera down and sing for a song or two. Just enjoy the music! That is, unless you're photographing a band as a job. In that case, don't even turn your camera off!

Happy shooting!
xo, e.m.

5 comments

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    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. Thank you! Your blog is adorable. You have a great eye for fashion and your photos are great. So very nice to meet you :)

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