Sunday, 1 April 2012

Killing pistols, guns, shooters,sex and ghosts...

Killing Joke 2012Matt Elliott

One area of photography which I've been told suits me is gig photography, and it's something I get a real buzz from! I have worked with and along side several bands already, some because I was asked to and some just for pleasure and experience! Recently I was lucky enough to capture Killing Joke on the opening night at the Lemon Grove in Exeter. As the venue was small (student based) I managed to take my full-frame camera in with some fast glass, I needed it! If you're interested in this style of work the best advice I can give is; use a wide aperture, get as close as you can without getting crushed, use manual, there's way too much going on to focus and your lens may be hunting way too much!
A local band, Guns Under the Table have already used some of my work for their recent E.P which I was more than happy to let them do so, it's a case of getting your work/name out there on public view...
Guns Under The Table ©2012 Matt Elliott

However, once you're on your way to learning your trade what you have to offer is experience and a skill, I don't know of many (if any) professionals who work for free!
SixShooter©2012Matt Elliott
One of the first bands I approached was Ghost Brigade, a Finish Death Metal band who were doing the circuit last year. I mailed their manager and the venue and asked if it would be okay to document their Plymouth gig, and they were more than happy for me to do so...if you don't ask you don't get, and what's the worst than can happen? Generally when I e-mail bands they are always keen, it's good to send a few samples of your work too, which is why it's SO important to have a strong portfolio. You can sell yourself, but it's for work that should sell!
Ghost Brigade ©2012Matt Elliott

I have found the small venues a great starting place, generally the crowd are more than happy for you to be there and let you get to the front when you want to take some close-up shots, as Capa said 'if your pictures are not good enough, you're not close enough'. 

Depending on what genre of music you are covering make sure your equipment is well insured, it can get rough out there. Covering the Sex Pistols tribute band there was a fair amount of drink/bodies being thrown around, which is the way it should be for this type of gig, but having your lens or camera smashed isn't so good.

So far I have never seen this as work, I've had way too much fun building up my portfolio for this genre of photography and am already mailing as many bands and promoters to get myself and my work seen.

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