Do It Yourself – Photograph shows
Maybe you already read the complete special in the first issue of my zine, or you read part 1 on doing a zine, part 2 on running a label, or part 3 on putting up a show on this site. This is the final part of the series.
Anyway, here’s the introduction in short again: When I started to work on the first issue of my zine I contacted some people with questions about what would be the best way to do “x” or how i could get “y” done. I figured other people would have the same questions, not only with zines, but with all other D.I.Y. aspects, that pretty much gave me the idea to do this D.I.Y. special. But since issue #1 is sold out and I still see people asking these questions, it’s probably a good idea to put it on here. Just sharing the knowledge. The most important thing though is to do it by heart and enjoy what you’re doing. Make some mistakes, learn from it. This time we’re talking about taking photographs at a show.
The more tips, the better, so please share your tips in the comments!
Fix yourself a spot, in the crowd or on stage, where you can stand firm. Depending on the venue, you’re bound to be hit if there’s any movement by the crowd. You don’t wanna fall on top of your own camera now, do you?
Look around during the show, if you only watch the show through the lens, the chance of missing something is much bigger. Especially when you know the songs the band is playing, there’s always that one moment where the crowd explodes or the band jumps in the air simultaneously. And that’s where you get the coolest expressions (and the ugliest ones too!).
Keep in touch with the bands. Every band is interested in photos, even yours. If it is’t for artwork or merch, it’s just for the sake of having photos of the show they played. At some point the band will recognize you, and then thing start to get real fun. You know you’re doing something good when a guitarplayer asks you to shoot his wedding.
If you want people to see your photos, get noticed. Take that camera everywhere, even to places where it is not allowed to shoot photos. If you slip in with your camera and shoot 10 photos, before security notice you’re already done.
Don’t expect to get paid. Even if you’re gonna get paid, it’s not gonna be that much. But instead just give away your photos to the bands, they appreciate that very much and a lot of times you’ll get free stuff, free entrance, free roadtrips or free whatever.
Go up front! From the back you will not be able to shoot any action packed shots so move that lazy ass to the front.
Don’t use too expensive gear for hardcore pics. Otherwise you would be too worried that something will break. And to shoot some nice hardcore pics you simply don’t need the best equipment.
Flash! In general the stage lights at hardcore shows suck bigtime. Because of the action on stage you won’t shoot any cool pictures without a flash.
Be selective. Don’t dump your compact flash card on the internet but only expose pictures that really stand out.
Keep an eye on the crowd. Sometimes the crowd is a more interesting subject for photography than the musicians. The interaction between crowd and musicians is what hardcore makes unique… try to capture those energetic moments.
The Five Do’s and Don’ts for taking showphotos
Do look for a good position. There’s nothing more annoying than a photographer concealing the band, it’s not you the kids come out to see. I prefer the border in front of the stage. You see everything and don’t conceal anyone.
Don’t be afraid of damaged equipment and getting hurt. It was your decision to take photos on a hardcore show. Take care for yourself, but when you follow tip 1 and don’t annoy the people, they usually keep an eye on you.
Do it fast! Some technical infos: A wide angled lens has a big depth of field that also stands for a faster focus. The less you have to focus the faster you can react and catch the moment of your choice.
Do it for the scene. There are many kids taking photos and hoarding them at home. Put the stuff online, that’s always the better choice, even when they are not the best ones. Often it is more the personal involvement than the professional realization which makes a good showphoto.
Don’t expect becoming rich. You can not earn money with photos of bands from the underground – maybe in 20 years. But this shouldn’t be the reason for taking photos on hardcore shows.
That’s it, you’re all set to become a ‘D.I.Y. master’ now. Right. Go create awesome stuff and share it with us!