After a long break from the blog due to a lot of travel this spring and taking the summer off it is time to return. Today I’m posting some live music photography from a local festival I recently attended, but over the coming weeks I’ll be queuing up a series of blog posts that’ll hit on some of the fun stuff I’ve been getting stuck into during my absence of that last few months.
These shots are all from a local UK festival called David’s Tent. A fun little festival that I decided to go to recently and just take my camera along with me. Nothing too serious, just taking a few shots here & there as the mood strikes. I find the wonderful creativity of music sometimes draws me in where I just want to listen and sometimes inspires me to start creating something myself.
Funnily enough, although I only shoot live music sporadically these days, it is actually one of the main reasons I got started & hooked on photography. And that is the story I want to tell you today.
Back up about ten years ago, as I was just getting into photography, I started out taking snaps of every silly little thing in front of me. Like many beginners, I liked photography for it’s own sake.
— Look, there’s a flower/bug, I’ll take a close up shot. Snap! Oh, cool, a cloud. Snap! —
But one day, something made me realise there was something beyond just clicking away for it’s own sake.
I already loved music. It was a huge passion of mine and I traveled often to go see bands I liked. Sometimes just down the road, sometimes up to London, sometimes clear across the world. And as I began to get more into photography the camera came with. Luckily I’ve always been into the smaller, independent bands that play venues & fests that are photo friendly because they need the support.
I found that my photography soon started to improve because shooting at many of these venues was hard! Crazy dark here, burning bright there, moving around like crazy, getting jostled. But I loved it. I was there often enough to put in the practice and I loved the challenge; finding ways to get the best quality out of my camera playing with exposure times, ISO, flash, focal length to see what happened. Too blurry, too grainy, too direct-flash ugly! But then gold!
And as I struck gold more and more, pushing myself to shoot all the way through every set, I found that the bands, venues & fests loved seeing the photos afterwards. I loved being able to give them the photos to help them gain exposure, to be invited into the underground music community and feel a part of something. To meet new friends, to be invited back stage, to eventually get given media passes at slightly bigger events even when I had no large blog or magazine behind me. It was amazing.
My photography was a passport that gave me access to experiences & places I wouldn’t have thought to go. It gave me something bigger to aspire to. [Thanks to Arias & Hobby for helping me realise such things.]
All that gave me the confidence to stick with photography; to know that people were valuing what I created, and thus in part, spurred me on to start my own business. And funnily enough, the business is part of what drew me away from living in the music scene.
Part of it was that I’d always worked with small bands with no budgets and didn’t see a future earning good money through music. And part of me thought that if my passion for photography became a job then I didn’t want all my passions to be linked in with that. Let’s not put all my eggs in that precariously placed basket called the photo industry.
So, these days I get to shoot music far less. The odd band performing at a conference; going to a festival or show every now & then. But I’m busy and don’t get to go as much as I’d want. So now I treasure the opportunity. Because this is my past, my schooling, my heritage. And I wouldn’t be here without it.