Music Photography Explained 001

Well, every story has a beginning and I guess I should start at that part of this story... Pub Photography Starts Somewhere

Today, lesson number one, we're going to assume a few things.. (assumption... making an ASS out of YOU and UMPTION)

  • You've got a camera
  • You love music
  • You're mostly OK in manual, but you need some tips
  • You love music
  • You're ready to work hard!

So, let's assume you placed a virtual tick next to each of the points above and that you want to combine your love of music and photography, let us also assume that you're not into sleep, much and that you don't mind having urine slung in your general direction (Shoot a festival, you'll know what I mean!) and you don't mind making nothing for a load of hard work, late nights and not much love...

Jem Cooke at Regal Room

Still reading?

I started shooting bands, singers, guitarists, kazoo players (etc!) anywhere and everywhere, mostly pubs - your local pub may have a band once a week, ask them at the bar "Can I bring my camera and photograph your band?" -- Find the flyers around the place, find pubs and bands and shoot shoot shoot! MySpace the bands you find, add them and show them your photos... Facebook is another great way to find bands in your local area, ask them if you might be able to come along and shoot some.. Offer them pics if you're just starting out, or, if you're learning and a bit aware that your first few shoots are gunna be a bit crap - tell them that, too! "I'm new at this and really want to try it out!" --Honesty is the absolute best policy! -- Don't go up to some bar and tell them you're shooting for Getty! Don't sneak in... if you can't get in and you sneak in and get caught, you're just making it harder for yourself.

When you do start making yourself known in your local area, you get to meet people and occasionally other photographers who, despite being a bit standoffish to start with, generally all band together to help each other out (Unless they're "Metallica's tour photographer!")  make sure you talk to these people! security, staff, stage people... get yourself known (for good, not being a pain in the bottom!)

You have to push and push at this, it takes hard work, edits, self promotion and lack of sleep!

Tony Moore and Paolo Nutini

BUT (Ain't there always a HUGE but somewhere!)

If you're not into music, why are you doing it? You need to feel what you shoot, your shots need to show emotion - sure, you won't have love & hate dripping from your lens from the very start, but you'll get there... You need to understand how it all works - if you're at a very quiet gig, don't stand up the front snapping rounds off constantly - people are there to hear the performance, not how many frames per second your snazzy new dSLR can pull... If you're asked to move, move. If you're asked to go back-stage and do strange things with the band, run! In someone's lounge room with a well known, very very drunk Scottish singer once proved to be rather amusing!

Paolo Nutini at the Regal Room

So, stop reading this... Go to Facebook, Go to MySpace, go to your local pub and get busy shooting or get busy ... Oh.. just get busy!

Tomorrow we talk about "gear" and no, oh ye generation of Pink Floyd Fans - not THAT gear...