So.. In this blog I'm going to give you some tips on shooting a live band. This topic came about after I had my first opportunity to photograph a band. This was a bit of a challenge as I knew the lighting would be far from ideal but was still very exciting!
Here are some tips:
Notice the details
Think outside the box and photograph the smaller details such as the bands kit, notes and equipment.
Yes your main photo's from the shoot will be of the band itself but capturing the smaller details as this will beef up your album.
Here's an example from my first shoot. It's simply the badges on a guitar but with the depth of field and play on colour, you have yourself and interesting photo!
Be a fly on the wall
You want to capture those natural moments so at times try to keep out of sight. Those natural shots are far more compelling than a set-up one. I'm not telling you to hide behind a bin but make sure you keep a small distance and don't be shooting in peoples faces. By doing this, you're more likely to get those photo's that shows the band working together, preparing before they perform and bonding.
Another example from my first shoot ->
You'll be expected to get some action shots which can be difficult with the constant change in lighting. If you shoot manual, you have the option to change the ISO settings & aperture so that you can decrease the noise & grain in your photo's. Having a high ISO setting is imperative in low light situations. However, if the stage lights increase you'll want to lower the ISO so you don't over expose the image.
If you balance shutter speed speed, aperture and ISO you will get the desired exposure.
Also, shooting manual means you can constantly change the depth of field. Trying to get all the members of the band in one shoot would mean a higher depth of field where as a single band member or smaller detail would look better with a lower depth of field.
However, do revise your camera settings and know how a change will effect the final photo as in some cases, you only have minutes to photograph!
Shoot in Colour
I would agree that most photographs of a band look better in black & white but don't completely rule out colour. if you shoot in just black & white, the final album will be just one dimensional. Remember, you can change your images to black & white later!
RAW.. not JPEG
There are so many reasons to shoot RAW over JPEG in almost every situation and you have that many reasons for shooting in RAW for a live show. Lighting is your biggest challenge and any flaws in your photo can more easily be rectified if the image is a RAW format.
Thank you for reading and I hope this was in some way helpful!
Jack Gray Photography :)