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Alycia Pollock's picture

Beginnger(ish) in Concert Photography Seeks Advice

I cringe a little as I type "beginner" because I found my skills with photography my freshman year of *high school* and as I am now 32, that was one million years ago (or, 17.)

I took to film photography like a fish in water and fell. in. love. Utilizing the elements and principles of design to capture the often overlooked beauty of our world through a lens has, in all honesty, been the only thing I ever felt good at. That being said, my biggest regret so far is having let life pull me away from art.

Now, at 32, I'm putting my foot down. I'm sick of my day job in marketing. I'm finally finding my path and I know it is combining my two greatest passions: photography and (live) music. This is where you all (hopefully) come in. I need to get (back?) in the game.

To start, let me just tell you - without any boastfulness or vanity - I have a good eye. I know angels. I think ahead about where the set up will lead a final photo. OF COURSE there will be room for improvement and learning for as long as I live, but that's not really what this thread is about. Just for the record.

I have an old Pentax K1000 (the actual best camera ever made) and my iPhone 8 Plus. Clearly, I need to add to my collection but I'm torn. Do I go for a fancy DSLR or mirrorless, as most venues do not allow patrons to bring "professional" camera equipment (meaning a detachable lens.) And of course, these babies ain't cheap and I don't have an endless supply of funds, so where do I draw the line with equipment? What is "good enough" to start with?

Next, how do I get that coveted pass that makes me official for bands? I know the generic answer - I am in marketing after all - build relationships. Which I've done. But it's the :gulp: ASK I have a hard time with. "Hi. Can you get me a pass to stand in front of everyone else and take pictures? Kthanks." I have a hard time with that.

I realize this is now a somewhat long post, and I thank those of you that have stuck with me. As you can see, my passion in there. I'm just looking to a community of like-minded folks for some advice. And remember, helping others doesn't hurt you. I don't want to steal your clients or take your gigs, just to build my own.

A million thank you's to those that read this, and a million more to any that are willing to offer some advice. I appreciate you.

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Alycia Pollock's picture

Here are some recent images from shows in NJ. These were just taken on my phone.

Rui Bandeira's picture

first, congratulations on finding your love, and that your love is Music photography ;-)
About the gear i think that if you have to build a new setup, you should consider mirroless, because it will be the future, i think.
About the Asking, there is now work around it, you really need to do it....just look for concert promoters, look at the pubs for concerts to know the gig promoter, and just send them an email.
Just make a kind of professional email requesting a photo pass, i think its easier them making a more personal emails.
Or you can try partner with a publication that needs concert photos, this way they ill get the photopass for you.

Alycia Pollock's picture

Gosh - What a great response. Thank you so much for that! I really appreciate your advice on gear and creative opportunities for gigs. I will definitely put some time into researching local spots that host live music and networking with the managers, etc. I'm happy to start small with artists most won't recognize as I feel like the quality of my images will do the talking, and hopefully lead to bigger things. Again, thanks so much for the supportive words. It's greatly appreciated!