Do you remember being a child and that first ride of a bike? It was exhilarating, exciting and full of complete freedom. As an adult those are qualities I search for in my daily life. Live music photography is a great place to find and let those qualities free. I am able to express those qualities and share my art with the world after each show with the hope to allow the audience to relive the show and others to experience it for the first time.
I have shot hundreds of concerts in my life progressing from an enthusiast to a serious photographer. As an enthusiast I would go to shows and take photos for fun trying to capture something great. A few times I would get that great photo but I would say 90% of my photos were garbage slightly off focus, over exposed and all other types of technical issues. Growth is an important part of life and I did focus on becoming better and capturing the images to bring you to the show.
I slowly began developing my style, brushing up on all of the technical aspects that make a great image. As soon as I truly understood my camera is when I started to capture the atmosphere, the image, the excitement and the artist. Each artist is unique in their performance, in their style, in their communication. Capturing the image you desire comes down to understanding the artist; do they have a signature pose or a signature song where all the action happens? Those are things you need to prepare for before every show. Shooting concerts is not just showing up and taking photos.
Now when I go into a show I am looking to capture that one image that presents the whole show to the outside and represents the artist in their best light. I will sit there watching, listening, and absorbing the music like a sponge. When this happens you essentially become one with the music, the mood, the fans and understand the excitement, awe and wonder. At this point the passion and love kick in allowing for images of the artist and bands soul. I typically stick to what I know best; acoustic, folk, country and Americana music because that music connects to me as a fan and photographer which allows me to capture my best images.
When I leave the show I am either really excited or disappointed because I connected or just did not get it. On those shows where I connected with my soul I am eager to process quickly and share. Music photography is much more than just taking pictures. If you are interested in music photography you need passion, love and the ability to let go and be free. Act like you are a child tasting your first sense of freedom and you will be able to understand what music and photography are meant to be.
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