Concert Photography

stumpjumper21

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I'm looking into making a small job by shooting local bands if I can, I planned on making a myspace/facebook and then adding the bands, and telling them what i do. I'd have some work uploaded and a link to my flickr as well.

My question lies here: What do I do for pricing?

They are all going to be fairly small local bands, many of which are just trying to get out there and record some small albums, so I dont want to set a price where I won't get any work.

I was thinking maybe a deal were I could get them to give me a ticket to the show, and then some money on top of that to shoot the show. I was thinking maybe around $50 a show? so overall it'd cost the band no more than $75

I'd let them use all the pictures they want, just put a small watermark in the corner or something to that extent.

Does this sound like a good idea to any of my fellow shooters out there? I'm willing to take all suggestions, It's my first time getting into anything business wise for photography.

And I have the gear to shoot concerts, I've done a few for my friends band already, I own some 2.8 and 1.8 glass.
 

msf

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I would limit the rights if you give them cheap. like for online use only. If they want to use it for cd covers/books, posters, etc, they will have to pay you a license for that.

And make sure you register the images with the copyright office, that way if they go outside the license rights, you will make some good money. :)

Work to cheap and you wont get respect.
 

Mbnmac

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I'm actually planning to do something similar when I get my gear, mostly so I can get out there and get to some concerts, have some real motivation to get out of the house.

As far as pricing, I think your idea is good, but for a real small band, even $50 might be a bit much, try getting the tickets as part of 'crew' and also consider more than one band plays on a night, hit both/all of em up for a deal, maybe work on a photo by photo basis.
As a newbie it's all building your portfolio, maybe give em low res shots free/cheap and full res/prints for what they're worth.

Again, I think it really depends on the band and how much they want pics, maybe look into having someone/a magazine do a write up and offer up the pics to them too.
 

Infinite28

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I would recommend msf's idea with the licensing. You want to offer them a good enough deal that they wont pass on. but also bring more to the table then some local amateur with a point and shoot camera. With licensing rights they'll see that you know what you're talking about.
 

msf

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I'm actually planning to do something similar when I get my gear, mostly so I can get out there and get to some concerts, have some real motivation to get out of the house.

As far as pricing, I think your idea is good, but for a real small band, even $50 might be a bit much, try getting the tickets as part of 'crew' and also consider more than one band plays on a night, hit both/all of em up for a deal, maybe work on a photo by photo basis.
As a newbie it's all building your portfolio, maybe give em low res shots free/cheap and full res/prints for what they're worth.

Again, I think it really depends on the band and how much they want pics, maybe look into having someone/a magazine do a write up and offer up the pics to them too.

Guitars = $hundreds or thousands
Drums = $hundreds or thousands
sound equipment = $thousands
photos for good publicity and advertising = $cheap..........wait, something seems wrong here.

I dont think it should matter your skill level, amateur or pro, if you can get them images that they want to use, then they should pay for it.

Free tickets wont put food on the table. If you were already going to be going to the concert anywase then it would be a savings. Once you get known by the people housing the concerts and they know you take good pictures, they may let you get in for free anywase.

edit > dont forget
good cameras with high iso and low noise = expensive.
nifty fifty = $hundred or nifty fifty 1.4 = few hundred, or nifty fifty 1.2L = thousand or so I believe.
other fast primes = hundreds
fast wide and fast tele = half a G to 1.5 G's.
..... thats if you want to go with natural light at the concert, its costing you alot of money to be able to take the pictures that most cant get.
 

bigtwinky

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I've been getting more into concert photography and love it.

The first few bands I shot for a free ticket and free beer (I'm cheap like that). As with any type of shooting, I do not like to charge until I am 100% I can deliver a quality product 100% of the time.

What do I charge now? Depends on the band and the time they want me for. I offer to come for the opening band and take shots of them too, so the two bands can split the cost. I do an hourly wage thing and if I show 30-60mins before the end of the opening band I can get some good shots of them

How to promote? Word of mouth is the main thing. Within a certain genre, the music scene can be pretty tight in a city (well, it is in mine) so people know each other. I did a few cheap gigs, got my name out there, and have only recently started fielding calls from people. My images are posted on facebook, and they usually redirect to my blog from the band's page where other bands can see my stuff. So getting credit when they post the images is key, and redirect links are essential if you have your own FB or blog for your images. I got 75 hits within a day on my blog (which isn't advertised much, so this is a big number for me) from a single band posting a link to the site along with my images. I got 2 inquiries from this

Remember that small bands = small clubs = baaaad light. 50 1.4 and a high ISO camera is a must. Sometimes, 2.8 lenses are just not enough. I'm shooting with a 7D and sometimes find it hard to get what I need to get using a 2.8
 

Mbnmac

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I'm actually planning to do something similar when I get my gear, mostly so I can get out there and get to some concerts, have some real motivation to get out of the house.

As far as pricing, I think your idea is good, but for a real small band, even $50 might be a bit much, try getting the tickets as part of 'crew' and also consider more than one band plays on a night, hit both/all of em up for a deal, maybe work on a photo by photo basis.
As a newbie it's all building your portfolio, maybe give em low res shots free/cheap and full res/prints for what they're worth.

Again, I think it really depends on the band and how much they want pics, maybe look into having someone/a magazine do a write up and offer up the pics to them too.

Guitars = $hundreds or thousands
Drums = $hundreds or thousands
sound equipment = $thousands
photos for good publicity and advertising = $cheap..........wait, something seems wrong here.

I dont think it should matter your skill level, amateur or pro, if you can get them images that they want to use, then they should pay for it.

Free tickets wont put food on the table. If you were already going to be going to the concert anywase then it would be a savings. Once you get known by the people housing the concerts and they know you take good pictures, they may let you get in for free anywase.

edit > dont forget
good cameras with high iso and low noise = expensive.
nifty fifty = $hundred or nifty fifty 1.4 = few hundred, or nifty fifty 1.2L = thousand or so I believe.
other fast primes = hundreds
fast wide and fast tele = half a G to 1.5 G's.
..... thats if you want to go with natural light at the concert, its costing you alot of money to be able to take the pictures that most cant get.

Good points all round, I was referring more to some of my friends, past and present who may only be doing the band thing as a hobby and for fun :)
Also, if you have a group of younger guys, it's more than likely that they don't have much cash and their gear was bought for them.

And this is coming from me, who is getting into all sorts of photography and enjoys concerts etc so it's a way to get my practice, then maybe making something of it later so I'm not trying to make it something I earn a living at yet

bigtwinky said:
Remember that small bands = small clubs = baaaad light. 50 1.4 and a high ISO camera is a must. Sometimes, 2.8 lenses are just not enough. I'm shooting with a 7D and sometimes find it hard to get what I need to get using a 2.8

Do you find primes are enough for most clubs? I can't imagine being too far away from the band either way.
 
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stumpjumper21

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I have a d90 and a 24-70 f/2.8 that i shoot with mainly. Most of the bands I plan on shooting are local hardcore bands, generally no one over the age of 20 or so, so not loads of money to spend on pictures. But the scene is close enough between bands where i can shoot multiple in a night (hopefully) and my name will get out.

I like the idea of the low res for free, high for money. that could be a possibility.

I know some editing is a must, so thats why i figured around 50. I'd upload all the ones from the show in a low res, and if they want bigger ones for other reasons, then I'd send them the files.
 

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I've been getting more into concert photography and love it.

The first few bands I shot for a free ticket and free beer (I'm cheap like that). As with any type of shooting, I do not like to charge until I am 100% I can deliver a quality product 100% of the time.

What do I charge now? Depends on the band and the time they want me for. I offer to come for the opening band and take shots of them too, so the two bands can split the cost. I do an hourly wage thing and if I show 30-60mins before the end of the opening band I can get some good shots of them

How to promote? Word of mouth is the main thing. Within a certain genre, the music scene can be pretty tight in a city (well, it is in mine) so people know each other. I did a few cheap gigs, got my name out there, and have only recently started fielding calls from people. My images are posted on facebook, and they usually redirect to my blog from the band's page where other bands can see my stuff. So getting credit when they post the images is key, and redirect links are essential if you have your own FB or blog for your images. I got 75 hits within a day on my blog (which isn't advertised much, so this is a big number for me) from a single band posting a link to the site along with my images. I got 2 inquiries from this

Remember that small bands = small clubs = baaaad light. 50 1.4 and a high ISO camera is a must. Sometimes, 2.8 lenses are just not enough. I'm shooting with a 7D and sometimes find it hard to get what I need to get using a 2.8

Good post. Thanks. I've been considering a 50 1.4 as my next purchase. Now sure how much I could justify an L but if I end up using it more than my 20-35 I may go the distance in a year or so.

The only concert I've done is the Mayhem Festival (Korn, Rob Zombie, Lamb of God and Hatebreed). I got great results with the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II but wasn't able to get wide shots with it. My 20-35 is f3.5-4.5 and it didn't do so good.
 
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stumpjumper21

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I don't find the 50 wide enough sometimes. A hardcore show is so energetic, singers jumping around, synth players and guitarists doing their thing, drummers are full of emotion. I just find that I want to get as close and wide as I can to them, becasue it makes them seem larger than life, and even more full of energy. I would love a 14mm 1.4 (I think that's what is what it is for Nikon), I just can't justify the money (yet!) I'd rather grab a full frame body wish great ISO abilities (Used d3?) I think next on the list may be the 14-24 f/2.8 or possibly a fisheye. I guess we'll see.

Promotion wise, other than word of mouth, would a myspace and or facebook be well worth it? I figured it would.
 

bigtwinky

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Maybe I read this wrong but............. you can get your FB pictures to redirect to a site?? HOW?! I must know this... :lol:

My bad... no auto redirect, I always ask that the band puts a link to blog in their caption for the image.
 

bigtwinky

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I have a d90 and a 24-70 f/2.8 that i shoot with mainly. Most of the bands I plan on shooting are local hardcore bands, generally no one over the age of 20 or so, so not loads of money to spend on pictures. But the scene is close enough between bands where i can shoot multiple in a night (hopefully) and my name will get out.

I like the idea of the low res for free, high for money. that could be a possibility.

I know some editing is a must, so thats why i figured around 50. I'd upload all the ones from the show in a low res, and if they want bigger ones for other reasons, then I'd send them the files.

Unless you are going for a specific style, why is editing a must?
 

bigtwinky

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Good post. Thanks. I've been considering a 50 1.4 as my next purchase. Now sure how much I could justify an L but if I end up using it more than my 20-35 I may go the distance in a year or so.

The only concert I've done is the Mayhem Festival (Korn, Rob Zombie, Lamb of God and Hatebreed). I got great results with the 70-200mm f/2.8 L IS II but wasn't able to get wide shots with it. My 20-35 is f3.5-4.5 and it didn't do so good.

I would figure something like that Mayhem festival, looking at the names involved, would have better than average lighting for the stage. A 70-200 would work. I've used 2.8 lenses in many clubs. But depending on their level of energy, you may need a faster lens.

If you dont have the 1.8, try that one first and see how much you like using a fast prime at a show
 

Mbnmac

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Yeah, like I've said before, my D90 is arriving in little over 2 weeks, the only really good glass I have for it is the 35mm 1.8, I got the 18- (I wanna say55) 3.5 etc and a larger zoom up to 200mm so I could figure out just what I use more to decide what glass to buy next.

Really interested in trying this out now :)
 

bigtwinky

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The D90 isnt amazing with high ISO. Depending on your personal level of noise acceptance, it might be enough, it might not. A friend had one and didnt like shooting above 800.

I dont mind some grain on my 7D, so I'm good to up it to 3200 if I need. But upping the ISO means that you really have to nail down the exposure to minimize noise.
 

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