Concert Photography Tips

Some great tips in here for Concert Photographers in the following article link.
These are all so important to remember:

  • Keep yourself hydrated. I know I have a tendency to get focused and forget to drink my water.
  • Be mindful of other photographers, a little courtesy goes a long ways! And just because their lens or camera may not be your standard... doesn't mean that they aren't a killer photographer! It's not the camera or lens that makes a FAB's the eye of execution!
  • Always think ahead. I cannot encourage this one enough. Don't forget your extra SD cards (one may all of the sudden stop working), bring extra batteries, try to remember to check your manual settings regularly, clean off your equipment in between shooting, think of possible scenarios and be prepared.
  • Think before you shoot. Use your eyes.
  • Anyways, I will shut up and let you read the article. Good common sense can go along ways, and if you do forget something, or circumstances arise that are not ideal... think outside the box.

Now get out there and happy shooting!
Peace, Song River of CowGirlZen Photography
Article is from 

A mixture of concert photos to give you some ideas of things to do, and not to do.

Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers

Black Moods w/ Roger Clyne and the Peacemakers

The Light Show

You may find it frustrating at first, all the variables of colored lights used in any given show, but you adapt. Experiment with the lights being used, don't be afraid to try making them work in your favor.  As you continue to read on and look at photos you can see how this might work in your situation's.

Also, sometime black and white just shows the musicians emotions so much better! 
Go for the good ol black and whites!

Banana Gun

Tramps & Thieves

The Use of Fog

Okay, sometimes its too much and I've actually had it make me gasp for air! But these opportunities can set up some cool imagery. Again, don't fight it, embrace it!

Daniel Martin

Captain Squeegee


Oh, I can hear you groan... yes spotlights can be tricky.  At times they can completely white out what you're aiming for. Take a few moments and watch the light patterns, normally there will be some sort of rhythm and when you figure it out, then you set up your shot! 
BAM! You got it!

Fairy Bones

Bear Ghost


If a band member has a moment, either while setting up or in between gigs, ask if you can just take a quick shot of them.  Don't over pose, let them relax and just be themselves.

Carol Pacey and the Honey Shakers

Tommi Zender

Steve Wilson

Daren Sweet


Sometimes concert photography can feel like math! LOL!  You have to quickly take in as much information as you can, divide it by this thought process, multiply it by the given situation, find it's square root of possibility and execute it all while balancing between two pipes and a crowd of enthusiastic fans!


The Delta Fifths

Back to That Lighting Thing
Sometimes the lighting is just well... crap!  It happens so often, especially with local or independent events. I've puzzled over club lighting for years, and you know what?  I finally just came to two conclusions: 1) I will contact the venue and musicians that have played before at certain places and just come out and ask them about their lighting. ESPECIALLY when YOU are being PAID!  I cannot stress this one enough!  If a band or venue or a magazine is paying you for a job... BE AN EXCEPTIONAL PHOTOGRAPHER AND DO YOUR HOMEWORK! 

Now, now... we all realize things happen beyond our control.  Lighting gets changed, concerts get moved to other venues at the last moment... yada, yada... but take care of what you do have control over.  I have actually turned down pay (crazy I know especially when I am so worth what I do) when a venue does not offer proper lighting or space for the photographers to work.

 It's called're running a business folks.

Dry River Yacht Club

Survive This!


Yes, it happens.  We photographers believe that we are privileged and should be allowed anywhere we please because we are press...hahahahaha! Oh, how our minds play tricks! Sometimes, the photographers get stuck a long ways away from who they are photographing!  Remember that thing I called, "being prepared?" Have at least a 200mm lens handy!  It's so unpredictable this business. Even a 200mm may not be enough (Aerosmith opening we all were so far back and it was a challenge, but I must say I was very happy with what I got!). 

Escape the Fate

Falling in Reverse

Ghetto Cowgirl

Greyhound Soul

Things Happen

Sometimes you're all set to cover a show and the person or person's may take ill, or have something else occur.  This can cut your shoot short, or it may not happen at all. Just keep it in mind... go with the flow.  

Rachel Patten

Look Outside the Box

Not every shot needs to be the guitar riff, or the lead vox screaming angst.  Sometimes its just the simple.

Jared & The Mill

Body Parts

Look for other angles.  The possibilities are endless.

Mother Mother

Colors Are Our Friends!

Memphis May Fire


Moments of Being Human

I tell you I find these moments to be some of the best!


Shoot For Those Moments of Complete Passion!

Don't forget the fans!


Where do you want the focus?  In a split second things change, quickly look outside the box and see what happens.



When I am asked for advice from musicians on how to make that line of connection with their fans I always tell them to interact. Fans want to feel like you 'get' them. That is why on stage whether you're the drummer, guitarist, bassist, horn blower...etc... take a moment to make that connection. 
*Especially go out of your way with photographers... we are promoting you to YOUR fans!



Milky Chance

The Expendables

Dirty Heads

Nice and Tight

Don't be afraid to crop that shot in close. What are you looking to tell? Think about it as you're working on focusing.

New Politics



Oh, the fans... they are the whole reason we got into this business. 
Without them... well... what would we do?

All photos are copyrighted: Song River of CowGirlZen Photography
For more information: cowgirlzenphoto {at} G maiL 
Song River Photojournalist 2015