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Tutorial: What should be in your bag if you’re photographing a music festival?

Any photographer will tell you that outdoor festivals can be the best place to get great photos of different acts, from a hot, new band on the smallest stage to a headliner who has been around for years. But what should you bring if you’re shooting a music festival? If you’re going to be on grounds for three full-days, make sure you’re prepared!  Continue Reading

Tutorial: Choosing the best camera settings for concert and live music photography

Concert photography is a style of photography like nothing else, with flashing lights, unpredictable movements and oftentimes dark venues. Many photographers such as Olga Topchii (you can find her work at https://www.olgatopchii.com/) demonstrate the benefit of understanding how to manually control a camera to get the best results in concerts. Having the right setting in these dark venues can make or break your images. So getting your camera geared up and ready to shoot can be tough even for the best concert photographers, as there really is no one go-to series of photo settings.

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Tutorial: Do’s and don’ts of photographing a show from the photo pit

So, it’s your first time shooting a show, and you don’t want to majorly mess up. We’ve all been there! Some of us were lucky enough to have someone there to help along the way for the first show, but most others do not have that luxury, so here are our tips of how to prepare for your first time in the photo pit.

DO know the photo policy. Most venues and artists have the basic “first three songs, no flash” policy when it comes to shooting from the pit. There are still venues out there that may allow more, or less, so it is important to ask when you arrive to be sure. If you are shooting directly for the artist, rules differ a bit, and you will be granted more access than the other photographers.

DON’T have a flash on your camera. Even though you’ll be hard pressed to find an artist that allows flash, photographers still sometimes will keep their’s attached. You won’t look cool for having a bigger camera body – you’ll just look like you don’t know what you’re doing.

DO be respectful of the people around you. Photographers are more like a community than anyone else. Do not lean on other photographer’s shoulders to balance your camera, and do not push anyone out of the way if they are in the spot you want to be, and be sure to try to duck down if you are passing in front of someone shooting. Remember that everyone there is doing a job, and everyone there has a common goal of getting that one perfect shot. Do not jeopardize another person’s shot on purpose to get yours.

If you see this coming, get out of the way for security.

DON’T hang out in the pit if you aren’t shooting. If you have a photo pass and aren’t shooting, find a spot in the crowd and watch with the other fans. Pits are tight and hard to move around, so the less unnecessary bodies the better. At festivals especially, you’ll get glares and angry looks from people who are shooting if you’re in the pit just to get a great Snapchat or to dance.

DO move around and let other photographers shoot from prime spots. This one benefits you and those around you. A lot of the time, if a photographer has already gotten some awesome shots from their prime location, they will get themselves out of the way to allow other people that opportunity too. Keep in mind though, it is not cool to stay in one place the whole time. That takes the opportunity away from everyone else to shoot from that position. Get your shots, and go.

DON’T hold your camera above your head to take a photo when you are in front of someone. Not only does it block the view of the other photographers, but it blocks the view of the fans at the show too. There are some instances where it is necessary, but try to be mindful of who all is around you, and think of other ways you could possibly avoid it. Unless you absolutely have to, that is, so be quick about it if you decide you just need to get a higher angle.

Turn around a bit too. The crowd can be a great subject to shoot.

DO listen to and respect the crew and security. The crew and security guards at shows are some of the most important people at shows. They take priority over photographers any day. Crew members are necessary for the show to go on, and security guards are necessary to keep everyone safe and in a danger-free environment. Concert-goers safety is above taking photos at all times under every circumstance. Aim to arrive in plenty of time to ensure that you can make it through any necessary physical access control measures and security checks before the show begins. An increasing number of venues now invest in physical security equipment and barriers from the one stop shop for turnstile gates to control the crowds so arriving early is fundamental.

DON’T check your camera non-stop while you’re in the pit. Chimping, or checking your camera to see the shots you just took, should not be done in the pit. You have 15-minutes to shoot, and you’ll be surprised how many shots you miss while bent over checking to see if you caught a jump shot. Get your gear set at the beginning of the set and run with it. Check your images after your time in the pit is up.

DO exit the pit when your time is up. Staying after the time allowed will not only put you on security’s bad side, but make it seem like you don’t know what you are doing as well. Depending on the venue, you are allowed to shoot from the crowd, so take advantage of that! Just don’t ruin the fun of the crowd around you. Keep in mind that it is a photographer’s job to take photos of the natural environment around them, not to disturb and disrupt it.

This post was written for DominiquesPhotos.com. Read more of Dominique’s writing and see her photos here.

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