Capturing wonderful moments and emotions of shows and of fans can be intimidating, but it is totally worth it in the end. The first show I had the opportunity to shoot was nerve-racking. I even had a panic attack on my way to The Garage. I managed to calm down, I did the interview I had with a band, and starting taking photos. The whole experience was absolutely incredible. I took some good shots and they were put up on Garage Music News.
I photographed my second show, my first hardcore show, on November 8th, 2014. It was the “New Blood” tour with Bent Life as the headliner and Cross Me was the supporting band. A hand full of locals played as well. I went in expecting the same outcome as my first show, which was a mainly metalcore show. I’ve never been so unprepared for a concert in my life.
I’ve seen “hardcore dancing” a few times before, but I have never been so up close and personal. The crowd was flailing on each other and stomping. Their moves varied from the two-step, the floorpunch, to the windmill and to the spin kick. I had myself positioned in a rather bad spot and my head smashed against the wall. I had to stop for a moment and just breathe and re-gather my composure. The show took place in the lounge, which often doubles as a merch room. I was surrounded by sweaty bodies thrashing all around me and hitting me. If I hadn’t been wearing the neck strap from my camera I would have dropped it and been completely devastated.
The lesson I took from this particular show was be prepared for anything and to always wear the neck strap as uncomfortable as it is.
I also learned that it’s a good idea to go ahead and talk to some band members after the show. I went up to Tyler, the vocalist of Cross Me, and thanked him for a really rad show. He had noticed the camera and asked to send them a link once the photos were up.
I sent them the link to my post on Garage Music News a few days later and never heard back. I figured they didn’t like my photos–those situations happen. About three or so months later, in January, I received an email from them out of the blue. They asked if the could use a photo or two of mine for their promo poster and Flexi package.
On April 25th, I finally received the flexi package in the mail. Seeing your work printed out and for sale, in a package deal, is one of the most validating and exciting experiences. Especially if you’re just starting out.
There aren’t many classes or even DIY videos on the internet on how to become a concert photographer. It is something that comes naturally, but is something that takes work. For example, I need to work on actually taking less photos at each show, finding new angles instead of standing in one spot, experimenting with the flash, and having more confidence in my work. The more shows you have the opportunity to photograph, the more developed you’ll be as a photographer.