Do you want to become a Concert Photographer shoot press shots for artists or get into club photography? Read on.
How To Build a Career as a Music Photographer
Music photography seems like a pretty glamours career choice. Traveling around the world, going to cool gigs shooting live concerts or your favorite artists press shots sounds like a pretty cool job, right?!
It’s also an incredibly tough field to get into and takes a huge amount of hard work and talent. Expect long hours, tight deadlines and a huge amount of practice.
Most music photographers start out working for free or for very small fees shooting local club nights or gigs. While working for free instantly turns off a lot of people it’s a great way to learn your craft, network and meet new potential clients and build a great portfolio of work.
It’s quite normal to hear that a music photographer worked for free in their spare time while studying or working another full-time job to build their reputation and network before finding their big break.
Many music photographers have studied photography and been on courses and while this is one route to learning your craft, many others are self-taught and have learned through experience, by getting out there and shooting music events.
Getting access to shoot at events is easier than you might think. Contact local event organisers on Facebook or via email and ask them if you can have a pass to take some photos at their event, offer them the chance to use your photos (with credit) to promote their future events and if you already have some past work online, send them a link to check out.
Most event promoters will be happy to have more photographs of their events, especially if they are free. It’s also worth contacting any artists that you have taken a good photo of as they may decide to use your work on their social media and give you a credit, this can be a super effective way of building your reputation as a music photographer.
Once you have some good photos, focus on promoting your work online. Use social media including Facebook and Instagram to promote your work and always tag in the subjects of your photos when possible as this will help to build your brand.
Never stop practicing and never stop learning, you can always improve!
Follow these steps and you will be well on your way to becoming an in-demand music photographer:
- Get yourself a good quality camera and start practicing right away, read everything you can about photography techniques and learn as much as you can.
- Find local events that you might want to shoot at.
- Contact the club / venue and ask if it would be ok for you to shoot at the event, you may wish to offer them the use of your photos after the event as long as they give you credit.
- Rinse and Repeat until you have built a good online portfolio (website and on social media).
- Use your portfolio to pitch yourself to artists, management companies, booking agencies, venues and event promoters.
Looking for events to shoot at? Try looking through the events listed on these event ticketing websites and if you need some help creating a website for your portfolio check out our guide to starting a music website.