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Thread: Getting into Concert Photography

  1. #1

    Default Getting into Concert Photography

    I recently photographed a small concert gig and really liked it alot. The artists were my sister's acquaintances so when one of them approached me to photograph their gig, i agreed to it immediately. It was my first time doing it and really it was fantastic. Just loved capturing lights and fogs with the artists.

    How do i go around starting this officially? Do i go to recording companies or local bands and ask them if they need a photographer for their gigs and covers? I'm just looking into small local bands just to start out first. Any advice on this? Appreciate everyone's help!

    Cheers,

    Don.

  2. #2

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    I recently photographed a small concert gig and really liked it alot. The artists were my sister's acquaintances so when one of them approached me to photograph their gig, i agreed to it immediately. It was my first time doing it and really it was fantastic. Just loved capturing lights and fogs with the artists.

    How do i go around starting this officially? Do i go to recording companies or local bands and ask them if they need a photographer for their gigs and covers? I'm just looking into small local bands just to start out first. Any advice on this? Appreciate everyone's help!

    Cheers,

    Don.
    Not much market locally. I would say no such market at all in a real world sense.

    The music scene in our country is considered very small. The musicians are mostly indie artists, which means they are hobbyists, when they perform, they are paid little. They don't earn enough money from their own performance gigs to pay you, if they do pay you its from their own pockets - money from their real day job/parents/just rich, after a while, they start feeling its unnecessary costs. Especially there are a lot of photography hobbyists willing to do it free immediately, as you had yourself recently did.

    The real big shows from the money making music industries, that is, the real stars and celebs - they already got their own photographers, AND they also got the media (newspaper/magazines). How do you, me, or any of the rest of the 1000+++ photographers out there compare to get in? If you get my drift.

    I used to charge a musician half the rates of what I charge commercial clients for events, she paid me with her own money. After a few years, she went on to become full time musician. She no longer hire me I think because after becoming a full time musician her income took a dive and also it became highly unstable.

    Had a young guitarist friend who play locally and regionally southeast asia, occasionally USA even, and still, he had never ever asked me even once, (himself is a film photography enthu), contending with deep orange blurry pics from wannabes - just BW it and keep the sharp ones with lucky compositions.
    WTB Manfrotto RC4 L Bracket

  3. #3

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    In general, you would need to be part of a media organization, or work for the organizers (like Lushington, etc).

    But for fun, you sometimes just need to be lucky.

    Alpha

  4. #4

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    I recently photographed a small concert gig and really liked it alot. The artists were my sister's acquaintances so when one of them approached me to photograph their gig, i agreed to it immediately. It was my first time doing it and really it was fantastic. Just loved capturing lights and fogs with the artists.

    How do i go around starting this officially? Do i go to recording companies or local bands and ask them if they need a photographer for their gigs and covers? I'm just looking into small local bands just to start out first. Any advice on this? Appreciate everyone's help!

    Cheers,

    Don.
    Hi Don,

    My suggestion for you is to continue to enjoy the concert photography, attend concert and obtain permit to shoot... then ask yourself, why you want to be in this line.

    To enjoy 1 shoot, yes, for long term, you need to ask yourself if you really interested in it.

    Once you can answer that, then it is time to post here again and seek for more advise as you should know your vision and how that works for you.

    I used to love Interior Photography, always wow me when i photograph some high end houses, but that is when I shoot less and perhaps less than 500 properties in my portfolio. After that, most looks the same to me... just another space for me to photograph. So I finally found that I love photographing people, Children in particular... hence, I am doing children photography now and after more than 1000 families, I love it more and more....

    Doing photography business is never easy, but it is easier when you do what you enjoy. Unfortunately, life is practical and you need income to sustain your lifestyle... this is the part when doing photography is not fun.

    I wish you best of luck.

    Regards,

    Hart

  5. #5

    Default

    Thank you seniors for your inputs! I love capturing facial expressions, strong ones like how musicians sing to their hearts and letting the expressions out. I have yet to determine weather this is really what I love to do, I won't know if I don't try some right?

    Getting into a concert is easy, just pay for the tickets and you're in, getting the permission to shoot and getting access to the pit (if that is what they call it) is hard. How do i have the chance to do it? Am I suppose to speak to the manager or something? Making trades?

  6. #6

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    How do i have the chance to do it? Am I suppose to speak to the manager or something? Making trades?
    It's like I said 2 posts up:

    "you would need to be part of a media organization, or work for the organizers (like Lushington, etc). "
    Alpha

  7. #7

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae

    It's like I said 2 posts up:

    "you would need to be part of a media organization, or work for the organizers (like Lushington, etc). "
    Yes I've read your post and still wonders how to approach organizers or Media company. I have need a strong portfolio in concert photography compared to others out there. That is why I want to start small first, on local artists.

  8. #8

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    Thank you seniors for your inputs! I love capturing facial expressions, strong ones like how musicians sing to their hearts and letting the expressions out. I have yet to determine weather this is really what I love to do, I won't know if I don't try some right?

    Getting into a concert is easy, just pay for the tickets and you're in, getting the permission to shoot and getting access to the pit (if that is what they call it) is hard. How do i have the chance to do it? Am I suppose to speak to the manager or something? Making trades?
    Ask them what they need to give you the permit really. Email them or call them to find out?

    You don't have a lot to bargain so be prepare to give them what they want.

    Sometimes if you know someone inside, it will get you through the door easier, so keep talking to people and find it out. I am not familiar with concert photography but the more people you talk to, the more chance that someone would know someone who would perhaps use some of your service. You just to negotiate the deal if you are in the position.

    Good luck.

    Regards,

    Hart

  9. #9

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Thanks hart. I just contacted my friend's sister who is inside an event organization. Hopefully she will give me a chance in this line for awhile

  10. #10

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    Thanks hart. I just contacted my friend's sister who is inside an event organization. Hopefully she will give me a chance in this line for awhile
    Ok good luck.

    But remember, if you feel that you are being exploited, it's time to stop and move on.

    Take care.

    Hart

  11. #11

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Agetan

    Ok good luck.

    But remember, if you feel that you are being exploited, it's time to stop and move on.

    Take care.

    Hart
    Thanks hart! Will definitely keep a lookout. Just met with her. She agreed to let me do afew small events and see my performance. Of course paid. But it's a starting point

  12. #12

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    And remember this, as an event photographer, all photos you take will have to be handed over to, and thus, belong to the organisers, and ultimately, the artiste(s). You are not be allowed to post any of the photos anywhere without their express permission.

  13. #13

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by dodgethis View Post
    And remember this, as an event photographer, all photos you take will have to be handed over to, and thus, belong to the organisers, and ultimately, the artiste(s). You are not be allowed to post any of the photos anywhere without their express permission.
    Not always to be this case if you could transfer the copyright over to yourself. Of course, that generally means that you have something that you can use to negotiate with the one who purchase your service.

    Of course, you can hand them over if you think you should, but I wouldnt do that to be honest.

    Hart

  14. #14

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    This is a very small niche market international and locally. Our biggest star photographer in this area is a guy named Eddie Sung. He's shot both locally and internationally both as a paid shooter and for his own pleasure - however his is a story with a twist. He retired early and to keep himself busy he took up photography and loved music.... His initial portfolio was from shots taken at concerts international and local - look he could afford to fly to the US for a concert that tickets are so hot if you had to scalp they would cost $500 - $600 US.

    The problem with this is that for big named gigs if you are shoot as a accredited shooter you have to jostle with the pool which is about 4 to 10 photographers in the pit for the first 3 to 4 songs max. You are not allowed to be there the whole concert and if the lead singer gets huffy it can suddenly become a 1 song shoot or you get eject out of the pit because he/she/it took a dislike to your face. If you think you can buy a ticket to shoot from the stands - well look carefully at the ticket - it say for the dollar you paid the show organizer you have no rights to a seat, you can be asked to leave if the show organizer says so, you cannot make any recordings by sound, video or stills. Bouncers normally come to take your cards and camera gear from you if you are caught shooting. Also most gigs have a bag search for camera with long lens.

    After said that it is fun to do if you enjoy it - did a series of jobs years back when younger in the film days and a couple more after switching to digital. Best gig I did was covering the Phua Choo Kang the musical - fun and it paid well 1.4K for 7 hours. Market sort of collapsed after that prices went south so bad it was like we pay you $400 plus credit line no rights to use pictures for portfolio all right retained by company hiring. Which translated to me like WDF you think I just fell off the tree ???

  15. #15

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Thanks ellery for sharing your experiences!

    Tough market actually. Especially local. Judging by the economy the prices will definitely go down. But that's not what i'm concern of, i love music as well as photography. A great combination if i were to do concerts and small gigs. I don't actually mind being paid little because if it's something worth your time doing it, it's worth every second you do it.

  16. #16

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by Sgdevilzz View Post
    Yes I've read your post and still wonders how to approach organizers or Media company. I have need a strong portfolio in concert photography compared to others out there. That is why I want to start small first, on local artists.
    No, you just need to pick up the phone, and call them up. Ask for an event coordinator and introduce yourself.

    You need guts to make it in this world.
    Alpha

  17. #17

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by Rashkae

    No, you just need to pick up the phone, and call them up. Ask for an event coordinator and introduce yourself.

    You need guts to make it in this world.
    Thanks for the advice, already contacted an event organizer. Not a huge organization but it's a starting point for me.

  18. #18
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    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Try baybeats 2012 if you are below the age of 25, you can land in esplanade to shoot for their event, yfest and baybeats this June. The application is at baybeats 2012. Just google their site.

  19. #19
    Senior Member
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    2,548

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    The professional end of concert photography world wide is dominated by Fin Costello and a couple of others. These are the guys who churn out the majority of concert photos for the press and bands themselves. Most major acts these days have an onboard photographer, who is quite often their management representative. Local press photographers and others who have a demonstrated need to photograph a gig will usually be issued a permit. On larger gigs you only get 1-2 songs typically to get your shots unless hired directly by the band. Flash is absolutely forbidden at most gigs.
    The Ang Moh from Hell
    Professional Photography - many are called, few are chosen!

  20. #20

    Default Re: Getting into Concert Photography

    Quote Originally Posted by greybear View Post
    Try baybeats 2012 if you are below the age of 25, you can land in esplanade to shoot for their event, yfest and baybeats this June. The application is at baybeats 2012. Just google their site.
    Its a good idea if end of the day someone wll go through your images. If not, can just be one of the seated audience and shoot from there. Esplanade has loosened up on DSLR restrictions since majority of tourists bring dslr now however the no flash rule is still in place.
    You wont see me much less remember me but i am the guy who makes you look good.

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