At the Concert
Up to now, we’ve discussed getting ready to photograph a concert. Now, let’s look at a closer look at being at the concert.
Photo Pit: In the pit, do the opposite of what most photographers will do. They will immediately crowd into the center front. If there’s a good time to be an outlier, this is it! Begin at the edges of the photo pit. If you’re not in a pit, consider moving to the perimeter of the concert venue, such as the side and back walls. Why would you want to follow our advice and move to the fringes when everyone else moves forward?
When you’re front and center to the stage, as most pets are, you’re shooting at a sharp angle up. That’s not always a very flattering angle. It’s also a tight shot. If you’re shooting with a fixed lens, you’re going to be too close.
Shooting from a greater distance affords you a better angle and composition. It also gives you more flexibility to move around as you’re not crowded upfront. Plus, you always have the option to move in closer.
Backstage photography: If you are fortunate enough to be given backstage access, work efficiently and unobtrusively. Expect to see people running around doing their backstage jobs. Do not get in anyone’s way. Do your work as quickly and discreetly as you can. Remember that the performers/musicians are either getting ready to step out on stage and focus or just wrapping up their concert. Do your job quickly. Honor any rules or restrictions you’ve been given.
Crowd: Don’t forget to shoot a few pictures of the crowd and even the venue as well! Depending on your goal for the job, crowd photos might be useful. Crowd shots are used just as frequently as rock star imagery!
Be nimble: While we’ve now advised you several times in this post to plan ahead, do your research, and so forth, you can’t plan for everything. Thus, be ready for anything or, at least, for the unexpected. The best photographers aren’t just technically savvy. They also are nimble, adaptable, and can react when their eagle-eyes see a great shot. Most photographers develop these skills with experience, but sometimes anticipating something is simply a gift when you’re unsure what it might be.
Be alert. It’s crucial to be aware of your surroundings at all times, both for your photography and your safety. A lot goes on at a live music event, especially if it’s not a seated concert. Keep an eye on your surroundings and your gear.
Lighting: As we said above, lighting can be extremely tricky at a concert. Some concerts will have lights that go from light to dark, flash, and change colors. It can be hugely challenging to account for those changes.