I’m (not) with the Band

I photographed my first concert this week. The headliner was Fitz and the Tantrums, a Los Angeles based band known for their hit single “MoneyGrabber.” Fitz and the Tantrums are quite animated on stage. Being animated is good. Except, as I learned on this particular night, when it leads to eyes being closed, tongues that appear (accidentally, and not Gene Simmons’ style) outside of the mouth, and excessive sweating. Other than that? Concert photography is a piece of cake.  A piece of cake with an ingredient list that includes: funky, and unpredictable, lighting; 700 music fans, who paid for their ticket and don’t really want someone poking them in the back of the head with a telephoto lens; and a bunch of mic stands and amplifiers that have a way of blocking crucial parts of the band’s anatomy.

This was not an easy assignment, yet, I had a blast! I thoroughly enjoyed the challenge and am looking forward to shooting another concert next month.

I don’t know about you, but I get bored pretty quickly when I look at concert photography that only includes photos of the band. Even if it is a band that love. I prefer shots that include, or feature, the audience. As I learned this week, it is not always easy to capture the crowd and band in the same photo. I was part of the audience for this show, and I took photos the entire time.  In the future, I’ll stand in a photo pit and will shoot only the first three songs of the band’s set, standard protocol when it comes to concert photography. It will be interesting to compare the two experiences.

You can see my photos and read a bit about the Fitz and the Tantrums show here.

As is always the case, some of the photos I took didn’t get posted. I try hard to tell a story with my images and as I shared in this post, editing is key. Here are a few of my favorites that did not (was trying to avoid redundancy) make the cut.

Michael “Fitz” Fitzpatrick is the lead singer for Fitz and the Tantrums. I wound up using a few other shots of Fitzpatrick in the photo essay I posted on Patch, but I really liked this one too. 

I liked this shot of Noelle Scaggs, Fitz and the Tantrums vocalist and tambourine player, quite a bit. But, in the end, I decided to use a slightly different shot of her shaking her tambourine in my published story. 

Yup, I liked, but didn’t post, this shot too. 

What do you think makes concert photography interesting? Do you prefer shots that capture the energy of the crowd? Or images that show band members interacting with each other? Or, are you all about the instruments? I’d love to hear, even if your answer is that you don’t like, or have any interest in, this type of photography.


4 responses

  1. I love photos that capture the energy of the band and show them interacting with the crowd. That to me is what seeing a band live is all about. Love your photos of event and regret I was not there!

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