Shooting live gigs has been quite an experience for me. Totally different from what I’ve been documenting prior to my Rock Lomography side project. I admit, I’m still new in music photography but I would like to share some of my knowledge with fellow lomographers based on my one-year stint. Just a few simple tips if you’re trying out. Remember this does not conform to regular music photography guidelines. Here are the 10 Golden Rules in Rock Lomography :
1. Love the music. This won’t work if you’re a K-Pop fanatic. Familiarity with the bands and songs will be an advantage as you can anticipate the right moment to press the shutter button. Don’t forget to enjoy the music! I headbang while loading films.
2. Choose the right venue and bring the right equipment. Don’t expect to get good shots if you’re attending large scale concerts armed only with your Holga. I suggest going to smaller venues with your f/2.8 camera, ASA 200-400 film and flash (take note some venues and performances prohibit the use of flash so please respect that). Basic knowledge of analogue photography is also required.
3. Be early. Most local venues don’t have a photo pit so unless you have a photo pass, you need to secure a good spot for taking pictures. I prefer either stage left or right. Being in the middle is hazardous. Switch locations if you can.
4. Make friends. Even if you’re there alone, just throw a smile and chat with someone (but don’t be creepy friendly though). Who knows, the person right next to you could be someone important in the scene. Having contact is good exposure for you.
5. Shoot everything. Don’t focus on the band itself but take photos of the crowd as well. You need to capture the whole essence of the event. Avoid taking too many pictures of your friends doing devil horns and peace signs. That’s Facebook photography.
6. Bring lots of films. You’re not shooting digital. There are going to be instances where you run out of film in the middle of a wicked set, so always carry with you extra ammo.
7. Forget the viewfinder. If you can’t compose properly, it’s not a crime to shoot blind. Stretch your arms, bring the camera up close and click away. Hope Lady Luck is on your side.
8. Respect other photographers. Make way for them to line up their cameras and they’ll do the same for you. My biggest peeve is having some random dude blocking my shot.
9. Awareness. While shooting, be aware of your surroundings. Do your best not to get knocked down or slammed on the ground by the rowdy crowd (and sometime the band members).
10. Share your pictures. Giving away pictures for free is a big no-no in music photography, but if you don’t share people won’t be able to appreciate your work.
I guess that’s it. So lock and load mercenaries! Looking forward to see your pictures on my Rockografi page