Archive for January, 2006

Tip#12 Get Published!

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

Okay, so you’ve followed tip#1. You’ve approached a music venue, and you give them free shots in return for letting you in to photograph all the local bands.
You’ve also followed tip#2, and always make sure that lots of photos show audience and atmosphere.
You use tip#4 so that you can get good lighting with your basic lenses and you’re bearing in mind tips 8, 9 and 11 when you can afford to upgrade your lenses.
You always remember tip#6, the giveaway of an amateur photographer.
And wherever possible you use tip#7 which will make your shots look professional.
When you can say yes to all of the above, you’re probably ready to start trying to get your photos published.
Make sure your portfolio is up to scratch… show it to some professional photographers and ask them if you’re ready for this step.
If so, make sure you have a good online portfolio. Get yourself a good website with a catchy domain name. Don’t cut corners here, image is important… especially for a photographer!
And now you find as many publications as you can, they can be purely online as well as in print. Offer your services for free or for cheap. Unfortunately, loads of other photographers will also be doing this and you need to be competitive until you get a name for yourself. Find as many places as possible that might be interested in photos. The more versatile you are, the better. You may need to shoot general news or portraits to get published. Go for it, the more experience you can get the better. Don’t get discouraged! Stay enthusiastic. Be friendly. Persevere. Build connections. Network. Get yourself out there. Be proactive… nobody can tell you exactly how to do this, but it’s how you start to build up a career as a photographer! Be patient. As you get more work, you can start charging more and being more selective. If you’re good enough it will all happen in good time with hard work. Good luck!

Tip#11 Equipment (Wide-angle lens)

Tuesday, January 31st, 2006

One of the first expensive lenses I bought was a 12-24mm Sigma EX, this is a really useful lens.
Advantages of a very wide angle lens:

  • A tiny stage/venue looks huge.
  • You can be onstage with a band and still get a lot in the shot.
  • In small venues, you can still get in front of the audience and get decent shots with your camera up the singer’s nose.
  • It’s ideal for rock photography, the perspective makes the viewer feel close to the action.
  • It’s easier to show the audience with the band.
  • Depth of field is much deeper.
  • You can handhold with much slower shutter speeds and still get sharp photos.
  • It’s great for promotional shots as you can get everyone in the frame more easily.
  • You can get arty effects from the way it plays with perspective.
  • You often want to show as much of the crowd as you can to communicate atmosphere… the wider the lens the more audience you’ll show!

I’ve already posted the following shot, but it’s my favourite example of a wide-angle lens. I was standing literally a few inches away from the guitarist.
Mr Shiraz

Kerrang XXV Tour

Friday, January 27th, 2006

I had a great time photographing Bullet For My Valentine a couple of days ago, a really nice bunch of down to earth lads, as were all the other bands that night. I also particularly enjoyed Still Remains and Aiden who knew how to put on a good show. It’s been a while since I saw a gig at Leeds University, the last time was about fifteen years ago when I saw Living Colour there. The crowd this evening was young, I’ve never seen a metal gig where virtually nobody is over eighteen. Very sweet.

Bullet For My Valentine crowd
Bullet For My Valentine crowd

Matthew Tuck from Bullet For My Valentine 
Michael Padget from Bullet For My Valentine
Jason James from Bullet For My Valentine 
Bullet For My Valentine 
Bullet For My Valentine 
Wil from Aiden 
Jordan Whelan from Still Remains

Tip#10 Promotional Shoots

Tuesday, January 24th, 2006

If you want to be a music photographer, you will need to take posed promotional shots of bands as well as live shots.
Study the great fashion photographers, remember… rock n’ roll is all about fashion, folks!
Do as many shoots as you can with experienced models, they will show you how to deal with people who are less comfortable in front of a camera and give you something to aim for. Models will often work in exchange for photos they can use in their portfolio.
Assist as many studio photographers as you can, they’ll show you how to put people at ease, use lighting, pose models, and so on. Learn how to create good lighting in your own shots.
Below are the results of some model shoots… it’s lots of fun.