Discovering Concert Photography

December 28, 2017

Picture this.  

Me, as a fourth grader, sitting with my little brother and my mom in the nosebleed section of the Hannah Montana Best of Both Worlds Tour at the Prudential Center. Opening act, the Jonas Brothers.


Easily the highlight of my entire life. 


My brother and I are both little kids, so we're just sitting in our seats, silently watching all of the performers dance around on stage (#bringbackbackupdancers) and taking everything in, while my mom is snapping pictures with a phenomenal point-and-shoot digital camera. A few weeks later, my mom shows me the pictures that she got printed out, and they're phenomenal. Clear shots of Miley/Hannah, the background dancers, the JoBros. Those amazing moments are frozen forever in these pictures that I get to keep in my desk drawer for the rest of... well, they're still in my desk drawer. 


This was the tiniest spark that began my love for concert photography. Thanks Mom.


When I got older, I started going to concerts unchaperoned, and my mom would send me off with my own point-and-shoot. And I would take some bomb photos. Photos that would get thousands of notes when I posted them on Tumblr with a deep quote by the artist (@ Dan Reynolds from Imagine Dragons). These photos were my pride and joy, and honestly, they still are. Coolpix Cameras deserve more recognition.


Since then, taking pictures at concerts has always been my guilty pleasure. My face lights up when I get a great shot of an artist. The ones where they're laughing are my favorite. The ones where you can see how genuinely happy that singer is when they look around and everyone in the room is there because they love their music. The ones where you can see the gratefulness, the excitement, the happiness. There's truly nothing better.


Now for the sad part:

During my senior year of high school, my love for concert photography began to be suppressed when smartphones took over and people started shaming Millennials for constantly having their phones out at concerts. The argument was that you should be enjoying the concert with your eyes, not snapchatting or recording the entire performance on your smartphone. So I stopped bringing my camera with me to concerts. I went to concerts to dance like a maniac with my friends and try to ignore the urge to whip out my phone and snap a couple pics. I went to a lot of concerts senior year, and I had a ton of fun, but that urge never did go away.


This age of non-picture-taking went on for years, up until my JUNIOR YEAR OF COLLEGE. If that's not sad I don't know what is. Don't get me wrong, I LOVE music and dancing and seeing live bands, but there's just something about capturing a moment perfectly on my camera that gives me butterflies in my stomach.


Anyways, when I shot my first concert with a DSLR and a media pass, I knew my life was changing. My concert-going life, at least. Now, I know what I need to spend the rest of my young years doing: Concert photography. 


So, here I am, going into my second semester of my Junior year, where I probably won't get an opportunity to shoot a concert until April since I'm studying abroad, as determined as ever to chase these dreams of mine. I've got a new camera, which I feel has just opened soooooo many doors for me, and I have all of senior year to take advantage of being able to shoot at my college's concerts.


And after that, the real world. 


I say that with full confidence that this is not going to be a short-lived escapade of mine, but the beginning of an amazing new hobby and potential career. I have big goals, okay? 


The point is, I'm making it happen. Cheers to that!


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