A couple weeks ago I published an article on The Photoletariat about my feelings on the state of concert photography. We had a pretty tremendous reaction on social media and A Photo Editor picked up the article as well. Photo bloggers watch out, I have arrived!
#3 – Music Photographer = Music Fan + Camera
Obviously photographers who devote themselves to music have a great appreciation of it, but you can’t let being a fan come in the way of being a good photographer.
Respect for the subject is fundamental (ask the late Jim Marshall) but idolization can breed saccharine, sentimental and corny images. It also can take your concentration away from seeing the show. I’ve watched many ‘photographers’ bopping around, singing along, cheering and partying while they miss great shots. Sure, a show is fun and exciting, but be a professional and put the passion into the images.
If you move into portraiture it is important to have the guts to be a creative peer to the subject and not a fawning acolyte. Fans are people that a musician will smile and take a snapshot with. A confident, respectful and appreciative photographer is someone a musician will open up to, collaborate and work with. That attitude can begin with how you approach a live show.