Lead photo by Gretchen Robinette.If you are just starting out shooting live music, the essential step to becoming skilled and getting published is to shoot A LOT of shows. Shoot everything! Shoot hip-hop, rock, folk, punk, death metal, and mariachi. There are so many venues, clubs, and stages that do not require a photo pass, so if you don’t have one, don’t let this discourage you from shooting music. Shoot in as many different venues as you can, making all your mistakes on smaller bands, then once you do get a pass, you won’t be fumbling.
I’ve been photographing live music since 2006, and over the years I’ve been smashed against monitors, kicked in the head by crowd surfers, beer thrown on my camera, a couple black eyes, several broken lenses, and a lot of good times. Below are some tips for shooting concerts that I’ve picked up along the way.