Shooting a Heavy Metal Band

Discussion in 'General Shop Talk' started by mhafweet, Mar 16, 2009.

  1. mhafweet

    mhafweet TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Utah
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    I've been contacted about photographing a heavy metal group called Adjacent to Nothing. They've been around for 7 years and appear to be on the verge of making it big. They are about to release a new CD and they want professional, rad looking photos that they can plaster all over their CD covers, promotional posters, and website. The current lack of photos appears to be the biggest thing standing in their way.

    I've never done this kind of thing before (and was quite surprised to be commissioned, to be honest), but I'm intrigued. I'm determined to get pictures that will be useful and valuable to them so I've been flipping through rock band photos online for cool ideas I can play off.

    So, questions:
    1) What should I charge them? They want me to hang out on stage before/during/and after a concert to photograph the whole thing to get live pictures. I also want to do an outdoor photo session where we can get the photos the official band photos. I suspect money is fairly tight so I don't want to scare them off by charging too much. On the other hand, they've performed with bands like Type O Negative and have flirted with contracts from various companies... This next CD could be their ticket to the limelight. What do you think?

    2) Legally, what should I be aware of? The man who contacted me in behalf of the band suggested that I have them sign a release form to prevent a record company from suing me down the road for using a picture on my website that I took. I thought this was funny, yet I know it's something I should take seriously. I haven't drafted this kind of paper before. What should I put in it?

    3) BTW, any cool photo ideas? I really like their band name... I want to take some photos that will capture the idea of "adjacent to nothing", in a very manly, NOT cheesy way. And like I said, I haven't photographed a rock band or concert before, so feel free to post links to your favorite rock band photos that I could check out.

    I have about a month to prepare. Thanks for your help.
     
    Last edited: Mar 16, 2009
  2. Chris of Arabia

    Chris of Arabia Herding cats since 1988... Supporting Member

    Joined:
    Mar 10, 2007
    Messages:
    7,825
    Likes Received:
    16
    Location:
    The Magic Kingdom
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Get yourself some proper earplugs - seriously! A decent set whilst not cheap, will pay dividends in the long run.
     
  3. JE Kay

    JE Kay TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    This guy is one of the best. Ross Halfin Check through his work, it'll give you an idea of what shots to look for and where you need to be.

    If you sift and read, you'll get an idea of what to look out for and what not to do when shooting bands.

    Number one question. Do you have stage access or just pit access? Usually if a band commissions you they want you shooting on stage which gives you total freedom.

    fast glass fast glass fast glass.....:thumbup:
     
  4. bwlergh

    bwlergh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Make sure:
    1. You are on the door and you have back stage access
    2. Have spoken with the manager and asked what the BAND wants
    3. Restrictions (some people are very anal about photographs being taken while they play)
    4. when giving a quote, think of what you can charge, then double it
    5. Release form should state that all photos are owned by you, and can be purchased from you for a sum of money, the band waives any rights to the photographs and to sue you if they do not like the photographs, you can and may sell the images to a third party (thats negotiable) and can publicly display the photographs on the internet.

    Here's a set from my flickr that I've shot recently:

    L.U.S.T @ Factory Theatre - a set on Flickr
     
  5. bigtwinky

    bigtwinky No longer a newbie, moving up!

    Joined:
    Oct 6, 2008
    Messages:
    4,820
    Likes Received:
    285
    Location:
    Montreal
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Great shots bwlergh!
     
  6. tjdphotos

    tjdphotos TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Earth_North_America_USA_WI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    1. Do your research on this band, search the web and find out as much as possible.

    2. Edit your main posting and take the bands name out, switch it to a link to their myspace page with the text Utah Band. Before you know it the search engines will be relating this forum post to the band name. Would you want the band to read this post or give another local photog a chance to contact the band and steel your gig? Always keep your clients and future clients private.

    3. Go and hang out with the band and bring just your camera along, you need to invade the bands space and they need to be comfortable with that. Study the environment, know their names, study the neighborhood or venue and its features and how you may use them in the shot.

    4. Be yourself and let them be themselves, do not over think this shoot. Do not be afraid to ask them their ideas.

    5. Judging by who is producing the new CD their is some serious money going into this effort, they probably contacted you because your good, so be confident and just charge them what you think is fair for your personal time and talent.

    6. I'm assuming you know how to use your camera but I just thought Id add if your shooting them on stage make sure the light crew turns of the strobes and moving lights. You really dont want to deal with those!

    7. Have fun, be creative, try to capture them in their style and if they get out of line, take charge! They a rock band so they're going to fricken act like one!

    I have photographed a few local bands at venues, feel free to veiw my gallery for reference and PM or email me if you have any ?s

    ~ good Luck!
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  7. guitarkid

    guitarkid TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 26, 2006
    Messages:
    231
    Likes Received:
    1
    Location:
    chicago
    It's all about having fun, let that run you. Also, it can be tricky in a venue with lighting, especially different colored lights on stage. Your camera must be fast, since it will be darker for half the shots so watch out for the noise. i'm usually at iso 800 or 400 with flash. F5.6 average. Don't forget to capture the creative stuff, journalistic stuff, as well as the regular boring shots...them all on stage. Get a closeup of the guitarplayer or bassplayer's right hand along the strings...action shots. Get the kickdrum with their name on it. Get some shots of their gear...amps and guitars on stage before they go on. Make sure you know where you can and can't go. Use bounce flash, but if the ceiling is black, this will be an issue. Each venue is different. Oh yeah, use a contract, especially if you want to keep the rights...especially if they are on the "verge" of being signed. Figure out an hourly rate for shooting and editing and give them all the photos on disc. Give them a discount if you want. Being a guitarplayer for years, I know what I would want shot for my own band, so that helps in giving others great photos. Here is one of my fav shots I took of a recent band:

    [​IMG]



    I checked out that Ross Halfin site and I have to say, although he is pretty good with controlled lighting, he really seems to suffer during live shots. There is much better work on this site by our members.

    Have fun and good luck!
    Steve
     
    Last edited: Mar 18, 2009
  8. bwlergh

    bwlergh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Flash is a huuuuuge no-no at live gigs. You are not to use a flash during the live show under any circumstances.

    Set ISO at around 3200, exposure time should not drop below 1/100, ideally you'd shoot at 1/125 to 1/160 at f2.8 take a zoom lens with a good range ie 18 - 120 mm, you don't want anything above 120mm.
     
  9. tjdphotos

    tjdphotos TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jun 21, 2008
    Messages:
    60
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Earth_North_America_USA_WI
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I completely agree, altho I don't think her Nikon D50 has an iso of 3200. 3200 that's gotta have allot a noise. I get by with 3.5f-4f @ ISO 1600 in RAW and expose about 4 marks to the left and its still to damn noisy for me. But I agree with the no flash, you'll loose all that color.
    [​IMG]
     
    Last edited: Mar 19, 2009
  10. JE Kay

    JE Kay TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Mar 12, 2009
    Messages:
    218
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    SW Ontario
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    Hehehe.... Send him an email stating that. That might even warrant a reply that he posts sometimes in the diary. :lol: I'm not sure if you read through his diary on the site, but if you want a good laugh it's worth it, there is some funny reading there for sure.

    While I agree that not all he shoots is super fantastic, like him or not he's a master at his job. His strong point is his access, he has access to more bands than anyone as far as personal commissioning goes. He gets places 99% of the other photographers can't by way of his personal relationship with musicians. As far as the biz goes there is no better source, he pretty much rewrote the book on shooting musicians a long time ago.
     
  11. bwlergh

    bwlergh TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Sep 12, 2008
    Messages:
    98
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Sydney, Australia
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos NOT OK to edit
    I would suggest that she hires herself a D700 or D3X for the live show then.
     
  12. mhafweet

    mhafweet TPF Noob!

    Joined:
    Jan 24, 2009
    Messages:
    18
    Likes Received:
    0
    Location:
    Utah
    Can others edit my Photos:
    Photos OK to edit
    Okay... thanks for the input. I'm working out the logistical details right now.

    As far as cost, I'm thinking $600 base, and 15-20% cut of posters, prints, etc. This would include photos from the band shoot and the concert. Does this seem reasonable? Should I increase the base or leave it where it is?
     
    Last edited: Mar 25, 2009

Share This Page

Search tags for this page
band
,
heavy metal band photo shoot
,
how to photograph metal band
,
how to take a metal band photo
,
metal band photo shoot
,
metal band photo shoot ideas
,
metal band photographers
,

metal band photography

,
metal band photoshoot
,
photography release form for music band photography