After recently changing my profession from full time musician to photographer, I thought it only right that I write a blog on some of my past shoots, photographing musicians and their performances.
Firstly, in my opinion, whether I have an instrument in my possession or a camera, the ultimate goal is giving the audience/client a wonderful experience and memories they will cherish forever. I have, in the past, been more nervous pointing a camera at a single person than I ever have performing on a stage to thousands of people. (I'm not sure why because if I make slight errors with a camera then I can either re-shoot the image or edit the image before the client sees the final product).
I always have great fun experimenting, trying to catch the atmosphere or movement in music. Music is such an expressive language and any image should really bring that out. For the above image, I wasn't actually looking through the view finder as my camera was practically on the floor so I pointed my lens in the right general direction, lowered the shutter speed as much as I could then waited for a moment when this drummer was going around the whole kit so I could catch as much motion in his arms as possible.
The image above was taken in a small rehearsal room but with the use of some coloured flash gels, it gave a lot more "jazz club" type atmosphere to it. When I'm photographing groups of musicians, I really enjoy photographing at a rehearsal rather than a performance. I get a lot more freedom without getting in the way of the paying audience. It also means I have complete control over the lighting.
When I was asked to capture some images of one of the many Military Wives Choirs, I knew that in the particular church they were performing in was small and dark. Also, with the choir being small, it would have been very difficult not to get in the way of the paying audience and potentially spoil the evening for them, also making the choir look unprofessional.
For these choir images, I suggested to them that I go along to the rehearsal in the afternoon so I could set up a couple of lights and get some higher quality images than I would have been able to if I were only shooting the concert.
Of course, I did cover the concert, as I wanted to get some wider angle images with the audience in view just to help capture the atmosphere of the evening.
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