Concert photography 101: The shots you need

It can be daunting photographing your first concert. With so many angles to choose from, different members of the band to focus on, and a crowd of screaming fans behind you, it’s hard to know where you should be pointing your camera and which shots you should be coming out of that venue with. This is a quick run down of the main shots you need to get to assure you get the best photo coverage at a concert.

The action shot

Every band’s action shot is different. With some bands the most action you get is a hair flick and maybe a guitar raise, others like to jump into the pit and get in your face. In some cases this might mean getting up close and personal with a crowd of sweaty gig-goers and flying fists, but you won’t regret the outcome. 

Concert photography by Charles Shepherd | BAND-MAID @ MCM London Comic Con, London

It’s time for your close-up

Every band member has their time to shine in a set, and it’s your job to capture that moment. Check the setlist and choose your focus wisely. Work out when the solos are coming up and make sure you’re in the right place to capture the moment when that band member gives it all they’ve got.

Concert photography by Charles Shepherd | Joey Fourr @ Two Three Four Festival, Brighton

Don’t forget the drummer

It’s been said time and time again but seriously, don’t forget the drummer! They’re the backbone of the band and if you come out of that show with no good shots of the drummer, not only will the drummer feel bad but it’ll let down the entire photo set. 

Concert photography by Charles Shepherd | Crossfaith @ O2 Academy Brixton

The crowd shot

The staple of any good set of concert photos and arguably the most important shot of the lot. This is the photo the band and management are after, proof that they are capable of pulling in a crowd and showing them a good time. It doesn’t matter if you get a killer shot of the guitarist smashing his guitar over the amplifier, or the drummer tearing up his kit during a solo- if you can’t prove that people were there to see it, chances are the band will be disappointed.  

Concert photography by Charles Shepherd | Radwimps @ O2 Academy Islington

Words and concert photos by Charles Shepherd at Room.C Photography.

Worthing, West Sussex

Brighton, East Sussex

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