Book Review – Concert and Live Music Photography – Pro tips from the pit.


Concert photography I have to be honest has never been a passion for me, neither has so-called ‘Band photography’ Because all ‘Band photography’ is, is portraiture with a prop.

Concert photography is obviously a different curve; its documentary photography, you’re thinking on your feet and you really only have a finite chance of capturing the right images of the event, unless of course your following a singular band around.

I do have a respect for event photographers though, they work in some of the craziest conditions and they can be versatile much like any documentary photographer is, and if I’m honest they know more in terms of what a lens can and cannot achieve technically, but they have to, it’s part of their job to be quick in terms of judging what lens they’ll need and how it will appear- you’re shooting chaos, their not really crafting an image in the way a studio photographer would; there is no room for experimentation when you only have one shot at a singular click.

So I found it interesting when this book was passed onto me to write about, I would have thought someone with more of an invested

interest in the field of live event photography would be given it; but it came to me, and now only after reading it do I understand why.

For someone who’s knowledge is weak in the field of concert photography it’s an extremely handy book. It discusses the importance of preparing for a shoot, it tells you quick and easy ways of figuring out just what set up you should be using. It goes in-depth into just what you should and should not do in the pit, something which I myself hadn’t even considered. Being written by pro photographers it’s a wealth of experience gathered into a tome, I’m not going to say you can learn everything you should ever learn from this one book as I don’t think that’s true of ANY book but it is certainly a great starting point if you are interested in the field.

Filled with great pieces of advice and an absolute plethora of photography examples it’s one of those books you do want to read cover to cover and take notes whilst you’re reading of anything you want to try otherwise you’re going to miss something. Focal press is a company which when publishing ‘how to’ books and advice guides are hard to be beaten with a wide range. We reviewed another of their books which discussed freelance film-making here.

To purchase this book and other books in the series visit their website!

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