Fifty years ago, half a million people gathered at Woodstock to celebrate peace and love. Photographer Henry Diltz was the official photographer of the historic event. He took thousands of photos at the festival, and to this day people ask him to use his images. In this marvelous short film, you can hear Diltz’s story and watch the iconic festival through his lens.
Bob Dylan is a phenomenal songwriter, but when it comes to speaking to fans from the stage, we can say that he is a man of few words. However, this changed on Tuesday evening in Vienna. The crowd tried to take photos of the concert despite the strict “no photo” policy, which made Dylan stop the show and speak to the photo-snapping fans to call them out.
Film is very rarely used in music photography anymore. Primarily the reason for this is because of social media and instant news. There’s no time to go home and start pouring chemicals onto film to develop it, or wait until the morning until a lab opens to do it for you.
For festivals or stadium gigs we would bring our laptop with us and start sending out photos minutes after the artist stepped on stage. This is what people expect with modern technology.
Yes, you have read it right. When doing concert photography Gear matters! Compact cameras, bridge cameras, DSLR, crop cameras, full frame cameras, mirrorless cameras, zoom lens, prime lens, the list goes on and on. But I’m not going to talk about camera bodyies and lenses (surprised?). That really doesn’t matter, the best cam or lens are the ones that we have, we just have to learn how to use them and how to make the most out of them.
Taking a break from their usual “X tips in Y minutes” type videos, COOPH interviews concert photographer Michael Agel in this one. It’s a peek into the world of somebody who’s been doing music photography for a living for over 30 years. COOPH caught up with Michael during the Montreux Jazz Festival, where offers up some advice for budding concert photographers.
Now that the music Festivals are starting, I think it’s a good time to share what’s in my bag for Music Festivals. Last year, I was the official photographer of eight Summer Festivals here in Portugal, and this was the gear that I’ve used on all. On one of them, I also took an extra monitor, but not in my bag.
As the official photographer, I have a place to safely store my extra gear. I also have a place to transform into my office for the festival days, so I don’t have to carry all the stuff with me.
Copyright infringement is all too common these days. It seems especially so in the music industry. One would think that fellow creatives, like musicians, would understand copyright and know better. But it turns out that they often don’t. Typically, when the photographer contacts them about it, the ensuing conversation is quite amicable. The images are taken down, or credited, and occasionally a fee is paid.
In this instance, however, not so much. When concert photographer Adrienne Row-Smith recently discovered some of her photos were being used by the band and its record label, she reached out. And while the band were being quite pleasant about the whole situation, their record label most certainly was not. DIYP reached out to Adrienne to find out more.
More and more performers are trying to ban smartphones during their concerts and only allow professional photographers to take the shots. However, Kendrick Lamar is taking a different route. He will not ban his fans from using smartphones at his shows – but there will be no professional photographers allowed.
Photographing huge gigs like those of acts like Bon Jovi is the dream of just about every would-be concert photographer. To go on tour with them, get exclusive behind the scenes access, and have millions of people see your work? Well, that’s just fantasy. For most of us, at least. But for photographer David Bergman, that’s been his reality for the past seven years.
This video from AdoramaTV profiles David’s journey as a concert photographer. David talks about how he started off his career, and shot for big clients including Sports Illustrated, through to finding himself touring with Bon Jovi.