Starting Small in Concert Photography

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If you are a photographer who enjoys music, we’re positive that you’d had the urge to be a concert photographer. It’s a hard field to get into, and if you really want to improve, you have to sell your soul on occasion to get close to the stage. The are a lot of hurdles in the way to getting better at this style of photography. But one of the biggest issues newer photographers can have is access–but local free festivals provide an excellent opportunity for practice that doesn’t cost your soul. Here are some tips to use them to your advantage.

Play With Different Lenses

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To make yourself stand out as a concert photographer you need to develop your own eye and style. In doing this, it’s important to find what lenses suit you. Choosing a lens shapes how you see the talent in front of you. At many local festivals the stage is generally accessible. You can’t go backstage but you can get close. You can decide whether you want to use a lens like a Sigma 24-105mm f4 or a Tamron 70-200 f2.8. You can also play with a prime lens like a Nikon 24mm f2.8 D. When using local music festivals as a lab, you may find the lens you like is completely different from is recommended.

Refine Your Composition

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If your images look like everyone else’s a local festival can help you change that. If you want your images to look different, you need to practice–but don’t get discouraged because it takes time to develop any skill. Through playing with various focal lengths you can create a different image. At a local festival there is no pressure to perform, since you’re not being paid most of the time. The only person you need to satisfy is yourself.

Practice Looking For The Moments

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One for the most important things to look for in concert photography is the moment. That time when the musician is so into the music the universe does not matter. At a local music festival or concert you have many chances to look for this. There will be times where you will have relatively few people in your way and you can focus on the performer.

Interact With People

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One of the best things to learn at a local music festival is how to deal with people. For little to no cost you can throw yourself into a crowd and learn how to get your shots. You don’t want to learn this while on the clock. At crowded concerts you and your gear can get banged around and dirty easily. A local concert can help you learn to deal with these situations.

Enjoy Yourself

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Don’t get so caught up in your photography that you miss the concert. Learn when to put the camera down and enjoy the music. Remember you have to drink water and eat, too. These are little things, but they’re easily forgotten. This is important because you have to learn to enjoy yourself at a concert. If you are miserable at a concert it will show in your images. A musician likes to know you are into the music and they will perform for you.

Gevon Servo

Gevon Servo aka @GServo is an eclectic, NJ/NY Photographer. He’s a Nikon shooter, by choice nevertheless, will always test any piece of photography equipment. He believes that like ‘Photography’, ‘Coffee’,’Beer’ and ‘Comics Books’ and other things ‘Geek’ “You must try everything once to discover what you want to try again.