What is concert photography?
Concert photography is the process of photographing a live performance, typically at a concert. Concerts can be musical or non-musical events in which music is played.
There are many types of concerts that take place, including rock concerts, jazz concerts, classical music concerts and opera performances among others. It can involve a single performer or a group of performers.
Concert photography is a challenging field, mainly because photographers have to work with less-than-ideal lighting conditions and adverse weather conditions. In addition, the fast movements of rock musicians make capturing the right moment difficult in low light situations. Photographers also need to beware of not getting in the way of security guards who are responsible for maintaining a safe distance between the audience and the performers.
A concert photographer’s job is to show the best side of each performer – whether it is a solo artist or a large group – be able to capture their entire performance, from start to finish. Sometimes, concerts can last hours with hundreds of different movements, posing challenges to the photographer.
How to get started in concert photography?
The best way to get started in concert photography is to start small. Many local cafes and bars hold gigs led by bands which are perfect for beginner photographers to practice their skills at. Local musicians hold gigs at bars, cafes or street festivals. It’s a great opportunity to get out there with your camera and take a few snaps of the performers.
Once you’ve honed your skills, it’s time to start attending local concerts where popular bands are playing. If crowds are large, use a zoom lens to capture the performance at a distance so that you aren’t crushed in the crowd. A mid-range telephoto lens will also help frame close-up shots of the band.
Once you’re ready to take your career as a concert photographer to the next level, it’s time to start attending concerts that are held at larger venues such as stadiums and amphitheaters.
What equipment do you need for concert photography?
The most basic equipment needed for concert photography is a camera, of course. It’s recommended to use DSLRs with high-fps capabilities and fast shutter speeds. Generally, all that’s required is the standard lens that comes with your camera (if you don’t already have one) along with an extra battery or two, but if you want to get more serious about concert photography, you will want to invest in lenses meant specifically for concerts.
There are two different types of lenses that are needed for concerts. A standard lens or zoom lens is perfect for capturing an entire performance at a distance, while the other type of lens called a prime lens offers greater optical quality than your standard zoom lens, but it doesn’t zoom. A prime lens is perfect for capturing close-ups of performers as they stand still on stage, such as their facial expressions and arm gestures.
It’s also important to carry around a monopod (a single-legged support used in photography) or tripod with you because concerts can last several hours, and you don’t want to miss a single moment of the show by changing your batteries or having to reposition your camera every time there is movement on stage.
Lastly, it’s important to carry around extra batteries with you because photographing concerts can often be exhausting given the heat, humidity and general exhaustion that comes from standing on your feet all day.
What is the best camera for concert photography?
It depends on the type of concert that you’re photographing. Generally, concert photographers use DSLRs with a standard lens or a zoom lens.
If you’re only going to be photographing local musicians in bars and cafes, then any brand of camera should be fine. However, if your career as a concert photographer is going to take you to bigger venues such as stadiums and amphitheaters, then it’s best that you invest in a DSLR with high frame-per-second capabilities and a fast shutter speed.
What camera settings for concert photography?
The main challenge for concert photographers is to get the right exposure in low light conditions, while using fast shutter speeds. The speed of performers’ movements can be unpredictable so this requires a lot of effort on the part of the photographer.
One approach is to go with slower shutter speeds, which results in blurry images because it takes time for the shutter to close. A long exposure or shutter speed in concert photography is a way of capturing the movements of the performers, which helps convey their emotions and energy. This effect should be considered when framing your picture, as you need to have at least 1/80 second shutter speed which will freeze movement adequately.
Once you’ve mastered using slow shutter speeds, it’s time to start experimenting with faster shutter speeds. If you are photographing popular performers who move quickly across the stage, a fast shutter speed will freeze their movements better at 1/250 second or even higher.
A tripod can help keep your camera steady during low light conditions but may not be practical in some situations depending on the venue and your access to it.
The ISO setting is one of the most important settings in concert photography as it determines how sensitive your camera is to light. In low light conditions, you can increase the ISO setting to make your camera more sensitive which will allow you to use a higher shutter speed. A high ISO might introduce some image noise but the resulting photo will show more definition because of it.
As you gain more experience with concert photography, you might want to try using aperture priority mode in order to capture both foreground and background elements which can help convey the movement of the entire band.
Lighting is one of the most challenging aspects in concert photography when shooting outdoors during evening or night performances. You can use a speedlight to light the main performer, allowing you to capture their expressions better in low light conditions.
Once you’ve mastered concert photography, consider photographing other events such as weddings, school activities or parties. These types of events are simpler to photograph with different lighting and focus challenges that come with them.
What lens for concert photography?
When attending smaller venues, a zoom lens can be helpful as you need to change your perspective constantly in order to get the right framing of the performer. A mid-range telephoto lens with a focal length of around 70–200 mm will help you capture close-up shots from a distance as well as extreme close-ups if your subject is near the stage. This focal range is also useful if your target is a band that performs in dark rooms or at night.
A zoom lens is also helpful for larger concerts as you have to be able to cover more space and capture more of the audience’s reaction to the performance. A 24-70mm lens can come in handy because of its wide-angle and mid-range focal lengths.
What aperture for concert photography?
For concerts with bright lights, you should use small aperture sizes to get more light into your camera and avoid underexposure. You can also go with wider aperture values in order to create a shallow depth of field which will only focus on the main performer while blurring out distractions in the background.
If you are shooting a concert with low lighting, large aperture values should be avoided because you need to allow more light into your camera. This can lead to underexposure and a loss of details in your photo.
What ISO for concert photography?
When photographing a larger venue or a band that uses a lot of lights during their performance, you should use a higher ISO in order to get faster shutter speeds. This will prevent your photos from coming out blurry or dark if they move quickly across the stage.
When photographing at night or in low light conditions, the only way to get fast enough shutter speeds is to use a high ISO which can introduce some image noise and decrease image quality. You can use software tools to reduce the noise afterwards or you can try shooting at a lower ISO if your camera has an excellent low light performance.
What white balance for concert photography?
Automatic white balance is not suitable for concert photography because of the different lighting conditions on stage and off stage, which might result in your photos having a yellow, orange or blue tint. You should use a custom white balance in order to get more accurate color representation that isn’t affected by the lighting conditions on stage.
What shutter speed for concert photography?
In this type of photography, you need to be able to freeze motion as well as convey movement with your images. This is why you need to use a shutter speed that can capture fast movements and is not too fast or too slow.
For smaller venues with brighter lighting, you should use slower shutter speeds in order to avoid movement blur and produce sharp images of both moving and still subjects. Using a tripod is recommended if your camera has image stabilization features as they might fail to compensate for motion.
For larger venues with darker lighting, you should use faster shutter speeds in order to avoid underexposing your photos. You can also increase your ISO or widen your aperture values in order to get enough light into the camera and avoid motion blur that occurs when using longer shutter speeds.
How long does it take to get good at concert photography?
As with anything else, practice is the key to improving your skills in concert photography. Keep an eye out for live events and performances near where you live or work so you can attend more concerts to build up your portfolio.
How to photograph performers?
When photographing a performer, you should try to capture their energy and emotions as well as the feelings of those who are enjoying the performance. You can experiment with different angles and poses to see what feels most natural for you as a way of capturing the performer’s movements accurately.
How to make money in concert photography?
You can sell your concert photos to music magazines. Magazines need original content so they will accept your work as long as it’s of good quality and meets their specific requirements for subject matter and style. There are also stock photography agencies which pay you for rights to your photos for use in other magazines, advertisements, posters and other printed materials.
A good way of getting started is by donating your work to free media outlets or blogs which cover smaller concerts or indie bands. These types of venues don’t have their own photographers so they will accept your work and give you great exposure if your photos are of good quality.
How much money do you get paid for concert photography?
The more popular a band or performer is, the more expensive concert tickets are to purchase. With that in mind, it’s no surprise that well-known bands can sell out stadiums with thousands of screaming fans and make upwards of tens of thousands of dollars in revenue. But how much of that money will go to the photographer?
Unless you are hired by a media outlet to take photos, the only payment is for each photo sold. This means that you are competing with multiple other photographers who are trying to sell their own concert photos to news outlets or music magazines, which can make it difficult to get paid a fair price.
A concert photographer can expect to make from $10-$100 per photo if their photos are sold to a magazine or website, which means that you should take as many photos as possible in order to get the most money for your work.
The most important thing to remember about concert photography is that it’s all about capturing the emotion of the performance as well as those experiencing it, which can be challenging with fast moving subjects. As you begin photographing concerts, don’t rely too heavily on your autofocus system because it may not be able to keep up with the pace of a performer’s movements. Because of this, you should practice manual focus and use a low ISO setting to ensure that nothing is too out-of focus when taking your photos.
Another useful strategy in concert photography is to take a lot of photographs in order to capture different expressions. You can then take these photographs to a photo editor and compare them to see which ones show the most emotion.
Ready to get started? Check out these 12 tips for concert photography