Struggles of a concert photographer By Lola Louise

By MediaMonkey

June 26, 2024

From one sub genre of photography to another, each has their own challenges but nothing tops the experiences I’ve had recently for the very first time. Something that you have to somehow learn to deal with or tackle it in post.

Lighting and smoke. I thought continuity was the bane of my existence but oh no. I had no idea how much chaos can come from the beauty of the haze coming from the stage. You think it’s in focus and when you import your photos, disaster. The blurs all over the footage, make it look completely out of focus, even though it looked fine when being taken.

I never understand why they need smoke for some shows, it just is very unnecessary but it seems to be the norm these days. The worst I’ve seen was an older venue, the smoke was everywhere and thick. Imagine taking 600 photos and then having to bin over 200 of them.

The lights, some colours need to be banned, they look so pretty at a distance but it’s a photographers nightmare. Blue and lilac or purple are pure torture, it’s like driving on a highway at night with street lights beaming down, if you’ve experienced that like I have, it distorts your vision and makes it confusing.

I always have to change my settings every few seconds, one move and you have to essentially start again. You could have a standard setting for concerts and it still wouldn’t do well.

One thing that me and another photographer have picked up on through multiple concerts is the fact they use the worst colour lights for the support acts and the better ones for the main. It’s not exactly fair. It’s not that easy to have some white lights, they’re much better.

Another thing that bugs me majorly is finding the perfect time to shoot the photos, you have to blend in and if you don’t have the best or newest mirrorless camera, you’re gonna hear the constant clicking for every photo. I genuinely don’t know how loud it is as I’m obviously closer to the camera than others are but I’m always worried that I’m distracting everyone else. It’s probably not as loud as I’m thinking. I’d hate to ruin the performance for anyone. Concerts are sometimes so precious as there’s never the guarantee these days that the artist will return to your city or, what I think is the worst thing, the ticket prices soar to an unaffordable level. Everyone knows that people are trying to charge over £300 per ticket, it’s unfortunate for sure.

I have so much appreciation for photographers who have mastered this craft, in time, maybe I can say the same.

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