There are the stories, I’m sure you’ve heard them. Annie Leibowitz hanging out with the Rolling Stones. Bob Gruen photographing John Lennon on New York rooftops.
Let’s face it, second to being an actual rock star (we’ve all used a hairbrush as a microphone at some point, right?) being a music photographer and capturing all of the action, has a certain allure to it that for many of us, is hard to shake. But how do you actually do it? How do you photograph a rock concert or show?
Let’s start by getting one thing straight, your first show is not going to be a recording artist at the height of their fame. Even if it was, you will not have the skills you need to be able to do it justice. These shows come with time, effort and a good portfolio. The best thing to do is start with lower expectations.
Step 1. Find a band to shoot
Although it may seem a little daunting, this is pretty simple. There are two ways to go about it.
Firstly there is Social media. Search for musicians in your local area. Many towns and cities will have Facebook groups for live music, which is a great place to start, and most bands will have some sort of Social Media presence. You can check out their music, see what photos they already have and find out where they are playing. From here, you can simply send them a message and see if they would be happy for you to take photos at their next gig.