Shooting for Editorial
Now we're going to dive into editorial shooting. This is generally what a lot of photographers getting into music photography are going to experience. You're not shooting for the band. You don't have special access. You're there for three songs and you're out, for the most part. And this is the standard, first three songs, no flash. These are kind of the general rules that almost any venue is going to have, and certainly most artists are going to have, where you have three songs to shoot, may or may not be from the photo pit, and they don't want you to use flash. And when you prepare for a concert for an editorial shoot, research is always key. If you can look up the venue, the artist, the tour itself, and key moments for that show, it's going to pay off for you. And again, you can just go to YouTube. You can go to Instagram for other music photographers who have covered these tours and just see what images they're making. Maybe you see opportunity for an epic shot that someone capture...
d, or a moment that's really well-lit onstage. And these can be on YouTube where a fan is simply recording a song or two on their phone, and you're gonna get this really valuable intel that can kind of give you a leg up and help you prepare for nailing these shots. In terms of individual elements of concert photography, you can capture in those three songs, there are kind of two general buckets or groups. You know, there's the performance itself, in which you have individual performers, and the full group production. And then there's the kind of more atmosphere side. I consider that the crowd, individual fans, and the venue. So this might be getting a crowd shot from front of house, showing through hands in the air, or even a shot of the marquee outside, setting the story for the show itself, or the line of fans outside before doors. And really, for me, live music photography it's all about telling the story, and it's capturing images that tell the whole complete story of this event. It's not just the individuals onstage, 'cause that could be kind of any place. And if you're covering for editorial, they really wanna see what this is about. You know, if it's a specific local venue, they want it to be grounded there. If you're just shooting tighter shots of the form or kind of like head shots or from the waist up, it really could have taken place anywhere. So if you have a venue you're shooting in and it's specific, maybe there's a weird part of the stage, it's really narrow or it's a really deep stage, and a long kind of shotgun venue, showing that off and including those elements and keeping it specific to where you are can be part of the storytelling that you do as a music photographer. You know, and overall, when I approach an editorial assignment, I'm looking at it as creating a mini portfolio, almost. And just like portfolio, you wanna show range and depth. You don't want to show the same elements over and over. So if you're delivering photographer selects to a client for an editorial shoots, you want to approach it like you're building a portfolio in a sense, where you're not including, half images are not just of one member of the band. Or it's not a number of images from the same song and the same lighting treatment. You wanna kind of shoot in a way, even if it's just for three songs, that really captures the fullest breadth of the concert and it shows that kind of range, whether it's detail shots using different lenses, different angles, different positions, capturing different lighting. So showing variety is huge.