TOP MUSIC PHOTOGRAPHY TIPS
Experienced pro Matthew Higgs shares his expert advice
PHOTOGRAPH THE SUPPORT ACTS
Most concerts have two or three acts that will take to the stage before the headliner, so always photograph them too. not only do support sets give you the chance to test out your gear and check your settings before the main event, but you never know which acts may end up becoming the next big thing!
CONSIDER THE LIGHT
stage lighting changes quickly, but often follows a pattern. take a few seconds while shooting to consider what the lighting may do next. this will allow you to time your captures for the second that a musician is perfectly illuminated or positioned at the end of a spotlight for more impact.
USE A VARIETY OF COMPOSITIONS
A set of images that features a wide variety of compositions in varying orientations is more interesting for viewers, and offers editors the chance to use them in varying ways. While there’s nothing wrong with grabbing that classic frame-filling portrait, it shouldn’t be the only thing you shoot.
BE AWARE OF MIC STANDS
While getting clear shots of an artist’s face can sometimes seem a challenge on busy stages, it’s worth finding clear angles for the most flattering shots. i’ve seen hundreds of photos where a microphone appearing to sprout from someone’s nose has ruined an otherwise fantastic photo.
LOOK FOR MOMENTS
the best music shots don’t tend to be the ones where a frontman or woman is statically stood behind a microphone. the interaction between band members or with the audience, jumps and funny facial expressions will all lead to much more memorable captures.
DON’T JUST FOCUS ON THE SINGER
When you first start photographing it can be easy to get hung up on shooting a band’s most recognisable members and to forget to also capture that drummer tucked away at the back of the stage. however, it’s often photos of these ‘forgotten’ band members that can sell best after a show.