Every concert-goer has the dilemma of capturing the perfect moment at a show, especially if you bought a front row ticket to see your fave artist or band. I myself can’t even count the times I had to delete horrible blurry shots from my phone whenever I went to a concert. It’s always a struggle to catch a still shot of the artists, and clicking at the right moment just when something interesting is happening on stage whether you’re using a phone camera, a point-and-shoot camera, or (if the venue allows it) a DSLR.
Fortunately, during the launch of the Canon EOS-1D X Mark II last week, we were given the opportunity to listen to a talk by seasoned sports photographer Simon Bruty. Since he also shot photos of Beyoncé, Bruno Mars, and Coldplay during this year’s Super Bowl, it seemed only fitting to apply his tips on motion photography to taking concert photos.
#1 Always be ready for the action
When you know something’s about to happen, it’s best to have your camera (or camera app) open so you’re ready to snap a photo whenever you need to. Simon also emphasized that in his field work, it’s important to be quick-witted because everything happens so suddenly. This is the same when you are in a concert. “Really be prepared and ready with the amount of time you are given,” he says. Another tip he gave on taking photos is to “just pray for luck and right timing.”
#2 Find your focus point
As mentioned earlier, it’s a struggle not knowing where to point your camera to capture the perfect moment. If you’re watching a single artist, it’s somehow easier as you’re only going to focus on him/her. However, it gets tricky when you’re watching a band. Simon suggests that you choose one subject to focus on at a time, then move on to the next one.
#3 Don’t let lights ruin your photos
Lights at a concert are unpredictable. Sometimes they’re too bright, or too dim, and other times they’re five different colors all at once. If you somehow can’t find a balance, Simon suggests that you “work with silhouettes and shadows” and you may just get something different to share on your Instagram feed.
#4 Shoot as many as you want
Not all your shots are going to be on-point, so might as well take a bunch of them. But fair warning because you don’t want to keep taking photos to the point that you don’t get to enjoy the show anymore. Plus, make sure you have enough memory on your phone or camera for all your photos.
#5 Care for your equipment
Simon shares that he always takes extra caution when on the field because he’s exposed in different sports competitions and scenarios. “You don’t want to drop your camera and hurt someone,” he jokes. So no matter where the concert venue is, be it an arena or an open field, you must always keep your gadgets safe.
#6 Make it as natural as possible
When you’re posting your photos on social media or your personal portfolio, you must not over-edit your photos because they might lose their rawness and won’t look natural. Simon advises that you simply enhance the brightness and sharpness if needed, and not do unnecessary edits on your photos.