The most asked question on any photography forum is “How can I find a publication to photograph for?” Before you begin looking for a publication, you have to have a portfolio that properly represents your work. With venues cracking down on camera policies for concerts, it’s getting more and more difficult to actually take photos at shows. Most photographers starting out think that their photos have to be of big name celebrities, because it will make their portfolio seem more impressive. That’s hardly ever true. It doesn’t matter if you’re shooting a multi-platinum selling artist or an open mic at a dive bar. If it’s a good photo then it will speak for itself. So why not start small? Here are few benefits to shooting smaller gigs:
Local band gigs usually have a really relaxed vibe and it can give you an opportunity to get some interesting shots.
Show off your ability to adapt to any setting
Shooting at a small bar or venue allows you the chance to demonstrate that you can photograph in low-light settings. A good photograph isn’t just about how interesting a musician’s pose is. It also depends on the area surrounding the subject. A blown-out background or blurry subject will take away from your photo, so focus on working in limited settings. It will speak volumes to any employer looking at your portfolio if you can make anyone look like a rock star in a dim, cramped venue.
You can shoot past the first three songs
Usually a photographer can only shoot a limited amount of songs at a concert. Shooting a smaller gig gives you access to the entire setlist and can be a huge advantage. It gives the opportunity to focus more time on finding different angles that can give your photos a drastic look.
You never know who will be the next superstar
Blowing off the chance to shoot a concert simply because the band or artist isn’t “famous enough” is limiting yourself. Besides the fact that you should support your local music scene, you also never know what will happen to that small band that you shot at a bingo hall or singer you photographed at an open mic.
[This blog consists of actual concert coverage (photos with notes on camera settings, venue lighting, etc) as well as articles on the ins and outs of concert photography. If there’s a specific topic regarding concert photography you would like to see an article on, please go to my Formspring account – it’s an anonymous and easy way to submit questions as well as feedback!]