5 classic mistakes to avoid when photographing live music

Fed up with dud gig pictures? Learn how to get the most from live music.

Photographing a live gig can be problematic, but with this month’s Digital Camera you’ll find out how to shoot like a pro at every occasion. But first up, we’ll give you 5 simple tips to avoid making easy mistakes that could cost you your shots.

1. Don’t assume you won’t be able to get close

Don’t make the mistake of thinking you won’t be able to get anywhere near the artist performing. Turning up early can help out a great deal, and you could always try to get hold of photographer’s pass too. It might not be easy to get hold of one of these, but a good way to get going is to shoot local bands to start off with and try to get your pictures published.

2. Don’t believe you’ll have ages to get your shot

You might only have a few snatched moments at the front with the artist, so you’ll need to make them count. Be prepared to shoot quickly and react to anything the artist does.

3. Don’t exclusively use flash

Stage lighting can provide a much more atmospheric look to a shot that can be easily washed out by using flash, even if it means you’ll have to be a bit steadier with your shooting.

4. Don’t bump up the ISO just to get the image

Sure a grainy image is better than no image, but a grainy image won’t stand you apart from the pros, and with many gigs using extensive lighting set ups you should be able to get away with lower ISOs.

5. Don’t give up shooting if you’re forced into the crowd

Just because you’re shooting from far back doesn’t mean your shots have to be duds. Make the most of the atmosphere and don’t forget you can get great shots with zoom lenses.

So now you know what not to do, to find out what you should be doing and to see more great pictures of Alice Cooper, pick up the February edition of Digital Camera, available in shops now.