Photographer of the Week:
What’s in your bag/what gear do you own? What would you like to purchase next?
I currently own a Nikon D5000, a 35mm f/1.8 lens which I use for the majority of my shooting, and an SB700 external flash. I’m saving up for a Nikon D800 now and cannot wait to make the switch to full frame. I’ll also be purchasing a 50mm f/1.4 lens soon, which will perform even better in low light situations.
How long have you been involved with photography?
I started with photography about six years ago and have been a professional photographer for three.
Who was the first band/artist you shot?
If I remember correctly, the first band I shot was named We Move Mountains. They were local and teenagers, playing in a sad, converted church basement. It was interesting to say the least, and my shots were barely passable, but what resonated with me the most was the feeling I got from the people, atmosphere, and the camera in my hand.
What did your first time in the pit feel like?
My first time in the pit felt right. I knew, without a doubt, that I was supposed to be there. After shooting hundreds of bands side stage and from the crowd, the marriage of breathing room and proper lighting was a dream come true. Hopefully that doesn’t make me sound pretentious, I simply mean that it was a welcomed change.
If you could give any advice to newer concert photographers what would you tell them?
I could honestly go on for days with advice to new concert photographers, mostly because I wish that when I was starting out, I had someone to fill me in. However on the other hand, everything is a learning experience and figuring things out on your own gives a great sense of accomplishment. That being said, my absolute, number one tip would be to network, network, network. Many people will tell you that a great deal of working in this industry is about who you know and that couldn’t be more true. More than anything, try to get along with your so called competition; causing drama and publicly disliking one another can incite some pretty awkward times when you’re stuck in the same photo pit for four hours. Plus, who knows what awesome advice and/or gear they may share with you.
What is your dream band/artist to shoot and/or tour with?
I have been lucky enough to shoot many of my favorite bands, excluding a band called A Day To Remember. They have been a favorite of mine for a considerable amount of time, and seem like a dream to photograph. They’re coming to my area in April and the anticipation has been getting to me since the day that their tour was announced. Picking one band to tour with would be a challenge because I think countless bands would provide amazing fun and experience.
Do you edit your photos? If so, what software do you use and how much time and effort do you put into your editing?
I use Adobe Photoshop CS5 to edit every photo that I publish online. The amount of time I spend on editing is on a photo by photo basis; some bands have great lighting, some play at venues that don’t lend themselves to quite so nice lighting, etc. There’s many different factors that contribute to how long I will spend, but I’d say the average amount of time is 5-10 minutes per photo, unless they need some serious help.
How do you feel your photography has changed since you first began? Do you expect it to change in the future?
I feel like my photography has done a complete 180 degree change since I began. I’ve had some wonderful experiences and opportunities and I’ve tried to use each to learn from. I better understand composition and how to use lighting to my advantage now, but more so, I believe that I have my own style. I feel most confident when I review my work and see myself in it and know that it’s something that other people will recognize as mine. I’m sure it will continue evolving and changing, probably throughout my entire career. I am constantly learning and altering my methods and doing what I can to improve as much as possible.
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