Concert and Live Music Photography: Clubs, Bars, and Small Venues
May 25, 2012
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From the photo.net site, very extensive advice on photographing in the places where so often the music is the best and where you can get close enough to capture the energy and excitement of a live band.
“Clubs, bars, and small venues are the places where most concert and live music photographers get their start, the reason being that there are fewer restrictions since the performers are less likely to be famous. These are often the best places to catch bands on their way up and sometimes on their way down. Unfortunately, these venues are typically the ones with the worst shooting conditions. The good news is that when you start out shooting in the worst conditions it only gets easier as you work your way up.
One of the biggest problems you are going to have when shooting in bars and small clubs is dealing with the crowd. About 99% of the time there isn’t going to be a place for photographers to set up. The key is to get there early and stake out a spot at the front of the stage. The best spot isn’t dead center but usually just to the left or right of center. Standing off to the left side a bit allows you to get a better angle, especially when the lead vocalist uses a mic stand. This way the mic isn’t blocking the singer’s face, and you can get a nice three-quarter side shot instead of straight ahead. Singers who don’t use a stand are more apt to move around, so in this case placement isn’t quite as important. Even if you showed up early and staked out your spot, be courteous to the people behind you. If you’re constantly blocking someone’s vision with your camera, things can get out of hand quickly, especially in a bar scene where you’re mixing alcohol with a situation that could be potentially volatile.”...MORE
Alt-J ©Keith Barnes