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Concert photography a different approach.

Mariza in concert – Cartagena – Spain

Concert photography – The power of music!

I have a love hate relationship with concert photography. As it is difficult to enjoy the music when making the pictures. Using your eyes and your ears intensively at the same time is constraining. Nevertheless you have too.

How often have I not heard photo cameras going off when the song was over and there was a silence in the audience… You have to listen to the music while making a concert photo. If not you will never get the essence of the music.

When you take pictures of your subject, you have to get a relation and understanding of what you are photographing. To me the classic rule of making photo’s only during the first three songs of a concert is terrible. I rather like to listen to the first three songs. Getting into the music and have a good feel for the lights and movement on the stage. Only then I start to make pictures.

Some people shoot like crazy. But I prefer to look at the stage first for a couple of minutes and then choose my target and shoot the concert picture. I also like to think that I’m still shooting role film with a 24 roll film! As it is the brainless shooting that doesn’t make you a good photographer but the understanding and oversight of the stage you want to shoot.
Of course you can use the burst button on your camera if you shoot a concert but I would advise to look first and then shoot instead of the other way around.

Concert photography tip!


When starting out with concert photography I was told to go for a big aperture so I could capture a lot of light. I did so and noticed that most of my photo’s where blurry. So instead I started making pictures with at least 1/125 shutter speed and adjusted the ISO. This made a huge difference as I do not really mind the noise in a photo. And the noise you can always reduce when working with Lightroom or other photo editing programs.

But I think the biggest advise I would give photographers is to get good feel for composition. In the beginning it’s not the camera you have, but it is the feel for composition and timing that makes the photo.

I’ve seen so many pictures on social media that are taken by a good camera, but the picture was actually pretty boring as it lacked creativity and feel for dynamics and composition.

I still work with a relative simple DSLR camera. the NIKON D3500 with a NIIKOR 50mm lens. And I decided to explore all the possibilities of this lens first before spending more. A 50mm lens is a great lens as it has a 1.8 aperture. Which is the best if you work in dark environments as I do. The 50 mm lens has no zoom so you are bound by what you see through the object finder. But that’s ok, I feel that I’m closer to the subject of my pictures.

Concert photography : The fame and glory!

There is something unsettling about concert photography.  People have said that if you take a picture from someone, you take a part of the soul of that person.

Especially with famous people it is very easy to feel yourself participating in the fame and glory of that person. It’s fake though. A photo is not a good photo because it’s from a famous person. The fame changes the photo in a dangerous way. Like the ring of the Lord of the Rings is changing the soul of the person wearing it. It gives a fake sense of power.

A photo can be a good photo for many different reasons, but if you’ve shot a photo during a concert of a famous person, this does not automatically makes the photo good.

It’s even deceptive, and I prefer to find a way in which I can go to the next level instead of documenting the concert. A concert photo should not just be a document of the event. But it should also show on an abstract level the music that’s made.