There’s nothing more rewarding to me than to be a concert photographer, even if it’s been on and off. There’s something about being there in the moment and enjoying the music that makes me want to photograph it. It’s a bit of a tough road sometimes, but being able to really put myself out there and continue working hard makes everything worth it. However, sometimes people try to get into the concert photography business for the wrong reasons, and when you’re in the process of starting over or starting from scratch, it can feel discouraging. That’s why I’ve made a list of all the (right) reasons to become a concert photographer:
You enjoy music of any kind
Even though I love music and may or may not be guilty of listening to music through my headphone at max volume, I hadn’t actually started going to concerts until I started doing concert photography. I do make it a point to not limit myself on the type of concerts I go to either – dive bars are fun to shoot, though I love the comfort of being at the photo pit. I try to learn about the bands I’ll be requesting press passes for as well and in many cases, I end up finding songs I like that I can add to my own playlist. The less you limit yourself to what type of gig you’ll shoot, the more you can learn and enjoy different music.
You like a challenge (and its reward)
Whenever I speak to other photographers not in the same field as me, I constantly get the comment that it must be tough to get good pictures with all of the movement involved, not to mention the lighting and other factors. I’m the complete opposite: I don’t think I can take a still life image for the life of me (no pun intended), so I stick to movement; It’s really a huge weakness of mine but will be something I work on hopefully this year. There will be countless images that don’t work out because of all of those factors mentioned, but it’s such a rewarding feeling that you get when you see that your efforts pay off and that portfolio-worthy picture was taken by none other than yourself.
You’ve got experience in photo & video editing
The most daunting, yet fun part of any type of photography is the editing process. Between the different techniques and trends that are constantly coming out, there’s a lot to guarantee you’ll never get bored (as long as you don’t edit all hundreds or thousands of pictures you take each gig)! Extra bonus points if you’ve got experience enough to not get frustrated at the amount of images that you’ll end up taken where the dreaded red light appears.
As someone that would intermittently do concert photography, I’ve gotten to understand just how important it is to be consistent and to never give up. I’ve been a photographer since 2012, but all throughout the years I’ve gotten multiple rejections and been ignored in the industry, not to mention all of the hoops I’ve had to jump through just to get an email on who to send a request to. Despite all of this, I’ve learned not to ever give up and because of it I’ve had the opportunity to share the stage with bands I never thought I’d get the chance to photograph. It takes being relentless and not being easily discouraged in order to shine, but once you network with other photographers and become more involved, you’ll find the support from other photographers is the best!