Let’s talk etiquette! I always think of the photo pit as a privilege, probably because I work directly with the bands’ publicists rather than the bands themselves, so it’s more pressure for me to do what I do correctly and without having to worry of getting rejected the next time I request another pass. The publicists don’t get to see what happens on the pit, but believe it or not, what you act like reflects clearly on your work. I’ve always been about vibes – that’s what got me into concert photography in the first place, and I thoroughly believe that that translates into anything we throw ourselves into.
For that reason, I think pit etiquette is beyond important! Here’s what I consider to be proper pit etiquette:
1. Never claim one spot for the entire three songs if you’re not the only photographer there.
This is simply a matter of putting yourself in another person’s shoes. If they’re stuck with a crappy angle because you won’t move, well first off that’s a d!ck move, and secondly, that person could be you at the next gig. I’m always very aware of the photographers around me and try to move around them, especially if they’re in the middle of shooting. This might be a bit trickier if there’s no pit, but we’ll get to that at some point in this blog.
2. Don’t be a shot blocker!
This is basically what it’s meant to sound like. I’ve gotten a few images where I have another photographer’s hand and lens right at the part where I was already taking a shot; Don’t be that person because chances are you’re going to build a reputation for yourself as a shot blocker and nobody really wants to claim that title, do they?
3. Move, Move, Move!
If there are a lot of photographers, for example during a festival, you’re going to be constantly on your toes trying to get the angles you can without claiming a spot. Additionally, if your mentality is to capture just about everything you can from the band you’re shooting, you’re definitely going to be moving around a lot to get as many angles covered as possible.
What are some rules you go by when you’re at the photo pit?