Tag Archives: concert

Rocking Faces Off

9 May

…not me…the musicians, of course.

Hearts & Thieves - Seb - www.heartsandthieves.com

Hearts & Thieves – Seb – http://www.heartsandthieves.com

I always wonder how much people enjoy photos of bands they’ve never seen.  I mean, if you’ve never heard their music, it’s virtually impossible to have an emotional attachment to them.
I would assume, if you’re like me, at the very least you probably appreciate the art behind a good image.  I mean, a decent portrait is still a decent portrait…in this case, they just happen to have bright lights and deep shadows.

Hearts & Thieves - Aaron - www.heartsandthieves.com

Hearts & Thieves – Aaron – http://www.heartsandthieves.com


I wonder…if the images were good enough, or the band members were attractive enough, would you check out the music?  Is it a bit like judging a book by its cover?

Hearts & Thieves - www.heartsandthieves.com

Hearts & Thieves – http://www.heartsandthieves.com

I suspect some people would.  I mean…I’m not saying you’d love the band.  But good images are part of what marketing a band is all about, right?  Wear the right thing.  Pose the right way (with at least some of the band facing away from the camera. haha) Say the right thing. Befriend the right people.
Most things in life are who we know, right?

Hearts & Thieves - Sal - www.heartsandthieves.com

Hearts & Thieves – Sal – http://www.heartsandthieves.com

Well…I suggest…if you’re going to give a band a try based on images alone, you start with this one, Hearts and Thieves.  They’re a great original band with a 90’s rock feel.

Hearts & Thieves - Rick - www.heartsandthieves.com

Hearts & Thieves – Rick – http://www.heartsandthieves.com

Connecticut is truly blessed to be the home of some amazing local bands.  Most of them you’ve never heard of, but I truly hope you do someday….hence this post. haha  I’m a huge advocate of creativity in all of its various forms, and encourage you all to show some of your fellow local creatives some love.

For those of you looking for a little info about what goes into good live concert photos, check out this previous blog post.


A Music State of Mind

23 Oct
Vertical Horizon - Matt

Vertical Horizon – Matt

Every week I think about what photo type thing I want to share with the world, and today, I want to share music.Wha??

I know, I know…wrong art form. 🙂  What I mean is, today I want to talk about the art of taking live concert photos.  There are two reasons for this…  First, I happened to take concert photos a week ago, and I just found time to edit them. And second, **spoiler alert** I may or may not have a super secret/awesome interview lined up with a well-known photographer who made music photography a cornerstone of his career, and he wants to share his story with YOU! **end spoiler alert**

So, let’s talk about a concert environment for a bit, ok?  As a general rule, it’s dark and it’s loud.  For larger concerts with a good stage set-up, you have stage lights to help show your subject, but it’s often inconsistent.  Your white balance will most likely be completely wonky (technical term) and your guitarist and bassist are probably moving at a much different speed than your drummer and your animated lead singers.  Add to the mix some obstacles to shoot around, and the permissions issue…and you have one big hot mess.

Sounds great…sign you up, right?

Hearts & Thieves opening for Buckcherry and Lit - www.heartsandthieves.com

Hearts & Thieves opening for Buckcherry and Lit – http://www.heartsandthieves.com

First and foremost, you want to think about the permissions issue.  Not every venue will allow “professional looking cameras”…aka DSLRs…without a photo pass.  Furthermore, some venues or artist management companies are now requiring you to sign away some of the rights to your photos in exchange for the photo pass.  In turn, this limits your use of the photos which may limit your desire to actually take the photos.

Phew!  That’s a lot to think about!

Okay, so let’s say you either go to a show that has no photography limitations, photo pass or otherwise.  The next thing to consider is the trade-offs.

Most concert halls are dark, which means you either need fast glass or you need to bump up the ISO.  So, do you prefer a super shallow depth of field which can make focusing (at least, it does for me!) tricky, or do you prefer a little bit of grain in your images?  For me, it’s a happy medium.

It’s also loud!  Now, I know that may seem silly to point out, but it can make a difference.  I actually went to one show that was so loud that the sound was vibrating the camera…I couldn’t figure out why every image was camera-shake-central, until I put some distance between myself and the speakers.  Suddenly the images sharpened back up. Haha

Rick of Hearts & Thieves opening for Buckcherry and Lit - www.heartsandthieves.com

Rick of Hearts & Thieves opening for Buckcherry and Lit – http://www.heartsandthieves.com

For me, personally, crazy colors and obstacles are rarely an issue.  I don’t mind if my subjects have magenta hair and neon blue faces from the stage lights…it’s just a reflection of the moment.  Similarly, obstacles aren’t usually too much of a problem if you have any sort of freedom to move around or shift from side to side.  Doing that requires a little bit of self-awareness in the dark though.  You’re not on stage…don’t break a leg!

Finally, think about the effect of shutter speed.  As I said, if your subjects are putting on a good stage show, they’re going to be animated.  Do you leave the shutter open longer to let more light in, even if it results in some blur?

So many artistic decisions to make!  And you haven’t even begun to think about composition…and how many leading lines you can find on a stage! haha

Atomic Tom - Phil, Luke

Atomic Tom – Phil, Luke

I know I have said this before, but concert photography is truly a great marriage of my two favorite art forms.  The passion of the musicians on stage inspires me as a visual artists, and their energy gives the images life.  If you’ve ever thought it might be fun to take some concert photos…well, you’re right.  It is. Do it. 🙂

Musical Mood

10 May
Joe Brooks, Tyrone Wells

Joe Brooks, Tyrone Wells

I’m in a music sort of mood, so piggybacking off of the last quotography photo, I’m going to share one of the images from a concert I attended a few days back.  Keywords: Joe Brooks, Tyrone Wells, Fairfield Theatre

I think I’m drawn to music only slightly less than I’m drawn to photography, and see so many parallels between the two.  The way consumers treat the art are completely different, but ultimately, both are an expression of self.  And having success in both mediums means facing a lot of the same trials.

During Tyrone’s set, Joe Brooks came out to share a song.  I smiled from ear to ear for two reasons.  First, I think that for them, there is a certain pleasure that comes from doing what you truly love, and having people embrace what you put out into the world.  We all need to be appreciated.

Second, I thought about how wonderful it is when musicians share in each other’s joy.  As I said, arts are an expression of self, but it thrives a community setting.  We creatives thrive in an environment of support.  To see the two musicians making music together just reminded me of how great that experience is, and can be for all of you.

Knowing all that, can you see why this photo would be a smile-maker?

If you don’t know of either artist, check them out.  They may not be your cup of tea, but you have to respect that they are willing to put themselves out there every night.

To see more images from the concert, check out my Facebook page – the full album lives there.  Oh, and hit the Like button please! =)

The Hours We Keep

30 Mar

Is it a requirement that creatives keep weird hours?  I spent all night editing photos (and watching girly movies…multi-tasking!) of Sister Hazel, taken at a recent music festival.  (On a boat. To the Caribbean.  It was amazing.)

As I finished, and began posting to various social media, I noticed another photographer-friend had also just put up a post.

Within minutes of putting up the images on Facebook, some of my musician-friends had already liked the photos. (Are we friends on Facebook?  If not, we should be!  Find me. =D)

The time? 2:27 AM EST.

Oh the hours we creatives keep!

The fruits of my late-night/early-morning labor:

Vertical Horizon - Matt

Vertical Horizon - Matt

Atomic Tom - Phil, Luke

Atomic Tom - Phil, Luke

The Alternate Routes - Tim, special guest Chip

The Alternate Routes - Tim, special guest Chip

Sister Hazel - Jett (and a ton of smoke and lights!)

Sister Hazel - Jett (and a ton of smoke and lights!)