Archive for the ‘Live Concert’ Category

Dave Bergman Shoots Bon Jovi

Get backstage with action photographer extraordinaire David Bergman as he shoots an arena concert with one of the largest rock bands in the world: Bon Jovi.

Presented by FStoppers, a photography community-based website that showcases BTS videos from some of the today’s most forward-thinking photographers, this video was very inspiring to me from a concert/editorial photographer’s standpoint.

I especially like that he says he enjoys the challenge of taking unique shots every individual night of a tour. Sometimes, bands make that difficult to achieve even when you catch them on different tours.

It must be comforting to be called “most amazing concert photographer ever” by Bon Jovi guitarist Richard Sambora.

How To Get A Concert Photo Pass

Live Concert Photo Pass Press Credentials

This has happened to me on more than one occasion:

It’s that calm before the storm of waiting for a headlining act to take the stage.  Suddenly, a fan pressed up against the barrier beckons me over to ask me the big question –

“How can I land a photo pass to shoot concerts like you’re doing?”

My answer is the same every time:

“You know how to get to Carnegie Hall, dontchya? Practice!”

Now, while that’s not exactly the answer they’re looking for, it’s about as helpful of an answer I can give. The fact is, I started out several years ago taking a million photos, promoting myself as best I could, scouring the web for contact emails, trying to convince people that my photography made for great press exposure. Now, fast-forward several years to the present, and I’m still doing just that. The only thing that’s changed since then, is the quality of my portfolio of bands and concerts and festivals I’ve shot, and my Rolodex of editors, publicists, managers, and other helpful contacts to reach out to.

So, the best I can do is put together a few practical steps to help aspiring photographers on the path of practice for getting right up front and center with their cameras:


Andrew Bird ‘Gezelligheid’ @ Fourth Presbyterian Church

Andrew Bird Gezelligheid concert at Fourth Presbyterian Church Chicago (Justin Gill)

Multi-instrumentalist Andrew Bird played an intimate set in the sanctuary of the historic Fourth Presbyterian Church located in the heart of Chicago’s Magnificent Mile. Being a native to Chicago himself, it seemed no hard task to sell out all three nights of consecutive performances — a return to what he calls “Gezelligheid,” a Dutch word for “coziness” or “intimacy.”

What set this performance apart from other solo singer-songwriter performances was two things: One, is Andrew’s mastery over several instruments, including violin, guitar, mandolin, glockenspiel, and — in keeping with his name — whistling. Two, he had set up around him in the sanctuary what appeared to be giant phonograph horns, amplifying his music to add warmth to the cavernous acoustics of the vaulted church ceilings.


Bless The Fall @ House Of Blues

 Bless The Fall concert House of Blues Chicago

Bless The Fall put on an explosive set at House Of Blues.  Opening for Atreyu, these guys pulled all the rock star moves, including guitar whips, and climbing up on risers and cabinets for solos.  CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE »

Atreyu @ House Of Blues

Atreyu Concert House Of Blues Chicago Brandon Saller Drums

When shooting concerts, I always try to get at least one good photo of the drummer.  Drummer’s need photo love, too, afterall. Catching Atreyu at House Of Blues on tour to support their latest album, I couldn’t help but be impressed by singer/drummer Brandon Saller’s custom triple-kick(!) drum set.

Naturally as a result, I felt inclined to get more than just one photo of the drummer. Even when I made sure to catch some shots of the other members, the giant set tended to dominate much of the background.


Reverend Horton Heat @ Metro Chicago

Reverend Horton Heat live rockabilly concert photo @ Metro Chicago

Last night Reverend Horton Heat brought the psychobilly flavor to Metro Chicago, on tour to celebrate their 25(!) years as a band.  You have to respect any band that can rock the upright bass!


GWAR @ House Of Blues

GWAR House Of Blues Chicago

GWAR brought another set of sci-fi horror metal to the House Of Blues the other night, and having photographed GWAR at House of Blues before, at first I was worried about the stage lighting treatment — excessive backlighting, billowing fog, rapid-fire strobes, and deep colored gels.  But after the first song, I realized my best bet was to embrace it as part of the “GWAR experience” and shoot accordingly.  Being that their show is pretty much a horror B-movie set to metal music, you can’t expect much more.  CLICK HERE TO SEE MORE »

The Casualties @ House Of Blues

The Casualties House Of Blues Chicago

It must be both exciting and daunting to open for a band such as GWAR, but The Casualties, a street punk band going 20 years strong, were pretty capable of rising to the challenge.  They weren’t timid in bringing the raucous to the crowd at House Of Blues.


Preview: GWAR @ House Of Blues

GWAR House Of Blues Chicago

I wanted to post a quick shot from last night’s GWAR performance.  Full set coming soon within the week, but I just had to post a teaser photo, in anticipation for the Halloween weekend.

Hope everyone has fun!

Hole At Vic Theater

Hole Concert At Vic Theater Courtney Love

I mostly focused solely on Courtney Love during her set with newly-revived band Hole.  Not only because is she the only surviving original member, but because ironically enough, this one-time soundtrack band for feminist angst trailblazing the riot grrl genre has been replaced with an all-male backing band.

Love didn’t disappoint, though, in providing some token frontwoman photos:


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