Tag Archives: live performance photography

Man playing guitar

Tips and Tricks for Shooting Concerts and Live Performances

Concert photography is exhilarating. Fact!

Let’s face it, what could be more exciting that standing a stone’s throw away from some of the world’s greatest idols and having the privilege of taking incredible portraits of them?

If you’re a passionate music lover then shooting concerts and live performances will feel a little bit like heaven, well ok A LOT LIKE HEAVEN!

When shooting concerts performers are going to be about as dynamic as they ever get. They are also going to be unpredictable. To top it all off, you have to deal with low light conditions, fast paced subjects, and best of all the sweaty, screaming groupies.

Are you ready? Then let’s roll…

Prepare Yourself

There is nothing worse than being unprepared when that perfect moment arises. It may sound obvious but charge your batteries, and take a spare in case of emergency! You will also want to use medium size memory cards and have a few blank ones on hand to ensure that all your images aren’t stored in one place.

Be Incognito

If you’ve ever been to a concert before you’ll have noticed that the stage crew always wear black. This isn’t because they are some sort of gothic cult – the fact of the matter is that this way they don’t distract the audience. On that note, you too should wear black. You’ll be invisible to the crowd, and easier to identify by other personnel.

Buy A Fast Lens

One of the first things people want to know about when shooting live performances is what lens to use. The trick is you can use whatever lens you want as long as it’s a fast one. Stage light is usually so low that only a fast lens will do if you’re to have any chance of capturing a sharp image.

Always Use Spot Metering

Live music events have varying lights that change rapidly, so you’ll never know whether the light is still going to be hitting the artist’s face in the next second or so. If you don’t want to end up with a load of badly under or over exposed images switch from evaluative metering to spot metering.

Shoot In RAW

RAW is the only way to shoot when it comes to photographing concerts and live performances. Sure you’ll need more storage space, but it is totally worth it as you’ll have the ability to alter advanced settings such as exposure and white balance in post. Forget to switch your camera to RAW and the images will most likely be unsalvageable.

Take A Lot of Photos

Last but by no means least, our final piece of advice to any budding concert photographers out there is to take a lot of photos, and when we say a lot we mean A LOT! The truth is you’re gonna end up with a bunch of throwaways, so make the most of what precious time you do have to shoot by taking as many captures as possible. If 600 shots in 3 minutes doesn’t sound doable to you – you’re in the wrong line of business!

Got any more photo tips to add for shooting concerts or live performances?

Let us know in the comments below…

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