Music festival season is well under way. One would have to be living under a rock not to at least recognize names like Coachella, Bonnaroo, Sasquatch and the original music festival Lollapalooza. You don’t have to go far to find yourself in the middle of a summer music festival. Calgary is no different. Folk Fest, X-Fest and Sled Island which celebrated its 10th year this summer.
Photographing live music and concerts is one of coolest things you can do as a photographer. It can also be one of the most frustrating. Starting out almost every photographer thinks that shooting concerts is cool. Don’t get me wrong. It is, but it’s definitely not easy. It’s also almost always one of your first jobs as a photographer. At least it was for me back when I first started out in university photographing for the Student Newspaper the Meliorist.
It’s a little bit like trial by fire. Photographers that get it and can wrap their heads around the situation absolutely love it. While the rest stay as far away as humanly possible.Photographing concerts and live shows over the years has taught me a lot. It has pushed my abilities not just to find a photograph but to get it right in camera. Getting your settings dialed in is probably one of the hardest if not the hardest part of shooting concerts. The other is to find the little moments that happen at every show. I’ve had the amazing fortune to photograph band like Spirit of the West, Live and The Watchmen and even a big arena show by U2. I still go back to small local club shows as some of the most enjoyable and the hardest to do.
Last year I was part of the amazing team of photographers who were there to capture all the antics of Sled Island. It was a fantastic few day of absolutely amazing performances from some incredible artists. I was even able to photograph the very last show preformed at the legendary Calgary nightclub The Republic. Who was on stage that night, but the amazing Daniel Lanois. Definitely a career highlight for me.