Photo by Scott Kelby, just before we hit the streets of Ybor City to shoot for an upcoming book last week
This past Friday, I had the opportunity to photograph a local radio show, 98ROCKFEST at one of Tampa’s largest venues, Tampa Bay Times Forum. It was a fun night of photographing a familiar band, one I wasn’t familiar with and ended up loving, and trying to keep up with the headliner.
First up was Chevelle, a band that I had shot once previously, so I was familiar with their stage energy and had a pretty good idea of what to expect. They’re energetic without moving around too much, so it’s easy to focus on one person at a time (especially there’s only three guys in the band). But they still have some good expressions, so it’s easy to show emotion in the shots.
Next up was Volbeat, the band I was unfamiliar with but quickly became a fan as soon as they took the stage.
These guys all had great energy, expressions, and looks in general. They moved around the stage a good amount, but once they hit a point they would stay there long enough for you to run over and get a few shots off. And they would even step onto the subs in front of the stage, getting nice and close to us photographers in the pit. I would almost say they’re the perfect kind of band to shoot.
Last up was Avenged Sevenfold, another band I hadn’t photographed before. There were other photographers in the pit who had and gave me a heads up on what to expect, but there’s nothing like experiencing something for the first time to learn from and improve for the next time.
These guys ran around the stage almost constantly, which made it difficult to keep up with any one person. After attempting to do so, I realized that I was just going to have to pick a spot to stay in for a while and shoot whatever came into my frame, then move to another spot and do the same. They also had three risers at the front of the stage, which was great when they were on them, but became obstacles to shoot over/around when they weren’t. While they were a little more challenging to shoot, I still got some of my favorite images of the night from this set.
Before I close out here, I’ll leave you with one pro tip… Don’t be this person:
I get it. There’s something cool happening in this one spot on the stage. We all want to get the shot, so we all converge on the same area and politely jockey for position. But DON’T hold your camera up in the air like this. You’re ruining other people’s shots. It’s slightly more than annoying. We’re all trying to do our jobs, so let’s work together. If you have to hold your camera up to get a shot, do it for a second or two here and there at most, not for the entire three songs.
Okay, rant over. Hopefully you picked up something useful from this or at least enjoyed my shots. If you have any questions, leave a comment and I’ll answer as soon as I can. And if you’ve just finished reading this and are wondering, “How can I get a photo pass to shoot a concert?” I have a link you’ll find useful right here.