For Aspiring EDM Photographers
People often ask how I (and my colleagues) do these pictures. Well, I hope to give you a good help to start with these tips.
EDM REVOLVES WIDELY AROUND A LIGHT SHOW
Lights change VERY rapidly and go from color to color to color and it can be hard to keep up. One second it’s dark and everything is red, the next it’s too bright and blue. This is why personally I prefer take flurry pictures and later choose the best (yes, one!) shot. Watch out for lasers. They kill digital sensors (more for videos, but hey, in these years it happened me twice). Pay attention to the lighting and how it keeps up to the rhythm of the DJ’s set. Use this to capture peak excitement in the crowd. Focus on the crowd, the overall feel, the weirdos and the lighting. The people dancing, the hands in the air.
RESPECT THE CREW
Sometimes it could end up being more than one photographer on stage at the same time, and we are all trying to get the best images. Limit your time on stage, keep an eye out for the other photographers and where they are standing, so you don’t get in their shots (and they should do the same for you). When you are done, don’t hang out on stage. You aren’t part of the show. And seeing you on the stage could be annoying for fans.
ALSO RESPECT THE ARTIST!
Getting photographs of the DJ in reasonable light when he or she isn’t making a goofy face is the tricky part. Sometimes they dance and bounce around back there a lot! Never flash the DJ in the face unless you have permission ahead of time. This goes without saying, but I’ll say it just in case because I see so many people do it… It’s usually okay to use your flash as a fill when standing behind the DJ, but some will get upset for firing a flash in front of their faces. Don’t be intrusive.
DON’T JUST SHOOT FROM THE STAGE
Stage access is fun and gives some great shots. But don’t forget to get shots from other angles, like the pit or the back of the crowd: shoot the stage from far capturing some lights and shadows: these are a big part of the show. Get your camera up high, with your hands, or bringing a monopod (using either a 2-10 second shutter or a pocket wizard to trigger), or even just holding the camera over your head.
Dress properly, dark colors, better if black. The photographer has to record other’s actions, and not be engaged as a protagonist in the events. Wearing black can reduce the intrusion of the photographer into the recorded image, such as those where highly reflective surfaces might reveal the photographer’s presence. A photographer wearing black on a black background can hide in the image. Black is a better colour for blending in than other colours.
DON’T SPEND TOO MUCH TIME SHOOTING PEOPLE AT PARTIES
It can be useful for help your page growing, but not for your experience as event photographer.
PHOTOGRAPH BECAUSE YOU LOVE DOING IT, BECAUSE YOU ABSOLUTELY HAVE TO DO IT, BECAUSE THE CHIEF REWARD IS GOING TO BE THE PROCESS OF DOING IT.
OTHER REWARDS — RECOGNITION, FINANCIAL REMUNERATION — ARE SO FLEETING. THEY COME LATER. TAKE PHOTOGRAPHY ON AS A PASSION, NOT A CAREER. FIRST BE A PHOTOGRAPHER AND MAYBE THE PROFESSION WILL COME AFTER. DON’T BE IN A RUSH TO MAKE PAY YOUR RENT WITH YOUR CAMERA. MAKE THE PICTURES YOU FEEL TO MAKE AND PERHAPS THAT WILL BRING YOU TO A CAREER. BUT IF YOU TRY TO MAKE THE CAREER FIRST, YOU WILL JUST MAKE SHITTY PICTURES THAT YOU DON’T CARE ABOUT.