Many of you reading this blog on a regular basis are aware that I go to a lot of gigs and festivals and that I’m a huge supporter of SA Music. Since 2011 I’ve been delving into Band Photography, I’ve met most of the prominent band photographers in South Africa and I’ve learned a lot from them.
I’ve photographed bands all over the country. I’ve taken photos at Up The Creek, RAMFest, Oppikoppi, Park Acoustics, FORR, Mieliepop, Park Acoustics, Old Mutual Music in the Gardens, Synergy Live, Rocking the Gardens, Arcade Empire, Tings ‘n Times, Cafe Barcelona and other awesome venues, events and festivals.
I feel a sense of pride for what I do and I’ve gotten praise from various individuals, venues, organizers and brands for my work. I’ve learned a lot over the years about Band Photography.
Today I’m providing you with 5 Useful Band Photography Tips
1. Respect the artist
When you’re at a gig, try not to get into the lead singer’s face and try not to get in their way if you have the privilege of taking photos on the stage that they’re playing on. Remember that performing live is an emotional outlet for most musicians. Try not intrude on the process, rather enhance it.
2. Respect the crowd
When you’re taking photos at a venue, don’t take photos of people in the crowd that don’t want to be photographed. Remember that some people frown upon the fact that you will be posting photos of them looking intoxicated on Facebook and that some people don’t like photos at all. On the flipside: If some music loving fans want you to take a pic of them, do it. Have some business cards handy for those folks who ask you where they can view their photo too.
3. Limit flash usage when you’re doing band photography
Most venue / festival organizers allow you to use flash at their events, but that doesn’t mean that you should abuse it.
Artists and Bands love exposure, but letting their flash go off permanently in their faces may irritate some of them or might make them feel trapped on the stage or give them the impression that you’re a proud member of the French paparazzi who stalked Princess Diana before she died. Also respect requests from organizers and artists that request that you don’t do flash photography during their set.
4. Respect your fellow photographers
Take note that it does get crowded in media pits and in front of stages at gigs, festivals and other events from time to time. At one stage or the other you’ll be sharing the pit with other band photographers. Respect them. Try not to get in their way while they are shooting.
Look around you when you’re moving around to get that perfect shot. If someone is at a spot that you’re looking for, wait for them to finish their burst of shots and try not to occupy the same spot for too long – give other photographers a chance. It’s all about mutual respect for each other.
5. Have Fun!
Remember Band Photography is all about having fun! Embrace your passion for photography and music! Enjoy the hours of editing that follow after ever successful shoot! Enjoy that moment every single time you press “Post Photos” after uploading a photo album on Facebook.
I trust that all the aspirant Band Photographers out there will find these tips useful. Please feel free to share this article with your friends on Facebook and Twitter. Remember: Sharing is Caring.
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If you live in South Africa and you're looking for a live music gig or music festival to attend, feel free to check The SA Gig Guide on our sister site (SA Music Zone).
You're also welcome to feed your brain some knowledge on our other sister site, (Interesting Facts).