Guest Blog: Getting Started in Music Photography with Commercial and Entertainment Photographer Brad Moore
Have you ever wondered what it takes to get into doing music photography, and make money? My session on the KelbyOne Live Making Money with Your Photography Conference gives you the insights you need to get started!
I cover all the different things to consider when choosing cameras and lenses for music photography. The biggest thing to consider when choosing a camera is ISO to noise quality ratio, meaning you want your photos to still look good even at super high ISO settings (like 6400 and above). Most shows will have less than ideal lighting, so you’ll be cranking your ISO up quite a lot to capture photos that aren’t super blurry. There’s also megapixels (you actually don’t want too many because it’ll slow you down!), frame rate (higher is better), mirrorless vs DSLR, and other considerations.
When looking at lenses, you want fast lenses (like f/2.8, f/2, f/1.8, f/1.4) if you can get them. Primes are going to be your best bet to get started on a budget, then you can consider upgrading to zooms that are f/2.8 or f/4 (but not above!).
Next, I cover breaking into your local music scene and practicing to improve your skills. The key here is building relationships with others in your scene, and finding ways to collaborate to make great photos. Once you establish yourself as part of the scene, you can build your portfolio! This is the key to the next step…
UNLOCKING THE GATE
Once you have a solid portfolio of images, you’ll want to build a website that you can point people to when you start requesting photo passes! Photo passes are your key to gaining access to photographing bigger shows. You’ll also need to be working for someone like a media outlet to give them a reason to grant you a photo pass. I cover who to request photo passes through, how to find them, and what to say in your request.
Lastly, I cover a variety of ways you can start making money with music photography! Top priority though is to be a good hang, and a kind, courteous person, even when you get “no” responses. Your reputation is key in this industry as everyone knows everyone!
I talk about considering all of the different audiences within the music world that you can offer your services to, as well as some different services you can offer. The key is being able to add value through your photography to their business and help them make more money, which makes it easier for them to say yes to paying you. I discuss licensing, stock sales, promos, prints, NFTs, and other topics as well.
I hope this post alone has been helpful, but if you’re interested in finding out more, check out my class and all of the others that were part of the conference right here!