Concert Photography

How to Become a Concert Photographer – Everything You Should Know

As someone who loves music and loves attending concerts, the one thing that I can tell you with guarantee is that concerts are a lot more underrated than some might tell you. They actually are a lot of fun, especially when you are listening to your favourite artist and even when you are just out there, enjoying good music.

However, another side is the concert photography that many people do not know about. I mean, you do get to see all the photographers up on the stage who are there taking pictures, and it actually is an incredible experience, to say the least.

If you are trying to get into concert photography, we are going to guide you on how to become a concert photographer. Trust me when I say this, it is not as difficult as it might sound like, and for the most part, it is a pretty easy and standard affair.

So, let’s not waste more time and start having a look at how to become a concert photographer.

How to Become a Concert Photographer

The thing that you need to understand about concert photography is that you have to take a start. It is not something that everyone is going to go through and become good at out of nowhere. We all need to start somewhere and it always takes time to figure out when to get better at something and when to well… avoid it.

If you are contemplating how to get started at concert photography and how to get better at it, then we have some stuff that you would prefer to look at. Becoming a concert photographer is not at all difficult. As a matter of fact, it is often the easiest thing there is and we are going to explore it in detail.

Concert photography

1- Understanding the Basics

Before you start taking pictures at a concert, it is very, very important to actually understand the basics. A lot of times, people have little to no understanding of them and they keep things messed up. The point here is that if you are trying to get into concert photography, you have to understand the basics of it before you get better at it because otherwise, you will just be trying to figure out how to take pictures at a concert. Trust me, it is not at all the same as general photography.

2- Shooting Local

I know this is going to sound unimportant to a lot of people but if you are just getting started and want to go big as a concert photographer, then you will have to start with some local shots. You will have to go ahead and shoot some local bands who are playing gigs at your local clubs. I know, it does not sound like a fun thing to do and there are chances that you might not get paid for it, too. But the good thing is that this is the best way to get your foot in the door and will allow you an excellent overall experience.

The more you focus on it, the better you will become. If you are looking to proceed in your career, this is a great start.

3- Having the Equipment

Another thing is that when you are in the process of becoming a concert photographer, you have to understand that having the equipment that will help you get the job done is very, very important. I am not asking you to invest all your money into the equipment but if you cannot shoot good pictures, you will not be able to go far.

Similarly, you have to be certain that you know how to set up your camera because that is just as important. You will need to be familiar with the lens that is good as well as the settings and other equipment that you might need.

The point here is that without being prepared for what you are about to get into, you might never get good.

You can check our ultimate guide on concert photography and see how all the tips are there to help you get better at what you are doing.

How to Photograph Concerts

The next thing that we are going to look at is just how you can start photographing concerts because contrary to what people might believe, it is a lot easier than some people. Still, that does not mean that we can go ahead and slack away, because it is better that you are being responsible and better at it.

Below are some general tips that will help you get better at concert photography. So, let’s not waste time and have a look.

public enjoy at concert

1- Always Use Manual Mode

I know this is going to sound annoying to a lot of people but if you are used to automatic mode, then it is not going to be of much help to you, in the first place. When you are photographing concerts or any other instances where the situation can dramatically change and if you are dealing with such a situation, you would need to be certain that you are getting the pictures right and using manual mode is the best thing that you can do.

2- Keep the Aperture Low

Another thing that I would suggest is that you should always keep the aperture as low as possible because that is going to help you achieve the best shots there are. Concerts, especially the ones that are indoors are going to be in really average lighting conditions and you do not want to be in a situation where all your pictures are horribly exposed and you can barely see anything.

3- Using a Faster Shutter Speed

Another thing that you will have to understand is that when you are taking opting for concert photography, there is a chance that you will want to capture pictures that are sharp and are in focus all the time. After all, capturing the moments as they are happening is always fun.

Therefore, using a faster shutter speed is a great way to go because it helps in delivering the images that you want. So, go for a faster shutter speed, and that is another guarantee that your pictures will not come out looking out of place.

4- Higher ISO Can be Used

Another thing that you need to understand that in such situations, you will need to have a higher ISO because the venues are not always lit the way you would want. I do understand, most photographers, including myself hate higher ISO, but in situations like this one, it becomes an important aspect and you cannot really take the right pictures without it. Therefore, one must always keep in mind that higher ISO can get you the shots you want. Another thing worth noting is that most modern cameras will not deliver useless images even when using a higher ISO.

5- Take Pictures in RAW

Another thing that I would be suggesting is that you are always taking pictures in RAW, because let’s be honest, you need to be certain that you are able to edit the pictures later on. After all, if you are not taking pictures in RAW, you will not be able to edit them the way you would want to and things are not going to work the way you want them to work.

However, if you quickly need to share images with other people, your camera will have an option to shoot in both RAW and JPEG, so you can go for that and it will only make things easier for you.

concert night

How Much Can You Make Through Concert Photography?

A common thing that a lot of people are going to start asking about concert photography is just how much a person can make through concert photography. I know a lot of people who have been using concert photography as their main source of income and there is absolutely nothing wrong with it.

However, the most important thing that you have to keep in mind is that whenever you are talking about concert photography, you will need to understand that you cannot just go ahead and start making bank right away as it is something that is going to take you a good amount of time before you are able to get to the stage you want to be at and only then it will start making sense for everyone.

With that out of the way, you have to understand that as a beginner, if you are just starting out, you are more than likely not to make any money because you will be covering local gigs and shows for free. This is completely fine because this allows you to create a portfolio that is going to allow you to move forward.

Once you have established yourself as a capable photographer, the next step is going to help you in making money when it comes to photography.

Remember, concert photography gigs can start from $20 to $25 an hour. Depending on the number of concerts you cover, you can go for $39,000 on average and if you work your way up, you can even go above $65,000.

A concert photographer has to rely heavily on networking and becoming friends with other concert photographers and even musicians. It is not going to take off the same day, and you will need to have an extensive portfolio before you take off.

Frequently Asked Questions

The best settings for concert photography involve you lowering the aperture, setting the shutter speed as fast as possible, and ISO on the higher side.

You will most likely need a backstage or photo pass to successfully take pictures of the band.

Not always, but in general, flash is something that can be very distracting and ruin the pictures, too.


I do understand that concert photography can be overwhelming but the purpose of this article is to help everyone get the right experience and that too, with ease.

If you are looking to get more and more information on concert photography and how to get better at it, then this post is for you as we have covered all the aspects of it. Rest assured, following this guide will help you get better at it and you will be able to be good at concert photography.

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