The great thing about shooting for bands as opposed to media outlets is that one gets relatively unfettered access. Hard-rock band Beautiful Trigger brought me out to one of their shows last Friday, and I was able to move around the stage at will for the entirety of their 50-minute set opening for the massively popular local 80s cover band Hairball. I think stage access is actually cooler in theory than in practice; after all, the band is facing the crowd, so shooting from the stage often just gets you photos of the musicians’ backs. Still, it can afford a few cool shots, something like this one:
The other fun thing about these sorts of hired shoots is that since the band knows you’re there and it’s in their best interest to get good photos, they often play to the camera.
Beautiful Trigger was a blast to shoot all around. One of their guitarists was basically a human pogo stick through the entire set, jumping around and constantly making priceless facial expressions. Carly, the frontwoman, was an impossibly energetic performer, engaging the crowd in a way that few opening bands are able to do. The lighting, unfortunately, was pretty tough; plenty bright in spots but very patchy, and with no light up front where Carly was most often playing to the crowd. I alternated between ISO 3200 and 6400 to get good enough shutter speeds to capture the fast action, and for a lot of shots had to bring the contrast way down (even resorting to pseudo-HDR techniques for a couple shots) to make them usable.
Here are a few more highlights from my photoset – the full set is here.