Oxford School of Photography

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Tag Archives: gig photography

Concert and Live Music Photography: Clubs, Bars, and Small Venues

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

Stage and gig photography a few tips

Yes it is hard to get out and photograph when it is pounding down with rain, as it is now. This time of year many people make the effort to see concerts and other stage based performances and although photographing them might not be permissable if you have the chance and want to then there are a few tips that will help you do better.

This post from Picture Correct by Scott Wrigley may help you to do better, “While stage photography may seem simple to the naked eye, the lighting and constant movements that must be continuously mapped are akin to jumping on a trampoline, while balancing on an operating jackhammer, and snapping pictures. The overall public consensus is to take every possibly photograph of the on stage idol, post them all to Facebook, and allow friends to “ooo” and “aww” over how close their friend the photographer was to their personal hero.”.…more

Here are some shots from The Great Escape Festival in Brighton this year, as a festival for emerging artists it is a great place to catch the next big thing in a small venue and pub. These shots are of EMA, she is touted as being the next great rock star by The NME magazine, personally I don’t think so.