Taking amazing photos of live performances is a skill not many people possess. Taking great photographs of any kind requires knowledge about your chosen device, lighting, angles and a bit about your subject. Photographing live bands requires all of this and more. The genre of music, the size of the venue, the movement of the band, the lighting in the venue and the atmosphere amongst the crowd will affect your results. With many years of experience shooting weddings, I’ve created this guide on how to take amazing photos of the best wedding bands I’ve worked with.
Research the Band that is performing
First and foremost: research your band! Understanding and anticipating the movement of the band members will make your job so much easier. For example, one of the best wedding bands I shot were known to jump around the stage and the lead singer sometimes would walk into the crowd. With this in mind, I made sure I wasn’t in his way but always at an angle where I could catch his intimate interaction with the crowd.
Avoid Shooting Images at Eye Level
This is particularly important for the bands that have less movement on stage. Shooting images at eye level can be boring, especially if there isn’t much exciting happening. Try changing your position to one that is much lower than the band, or much higher up. Some of the best wedding bands stay very still throughout their performance, especially during the slow romantic songs.
Take Photographs of the Crowd
This will be very important to both the happy couple and the band. Capturing joy and excitement on the faces of the wedding crowd will reflect the talent of the band. A great time to get this shot is towards the end of a high energy song. Try and remain inconspicuous during these shots as you don’t want any of the crowd staring straight at you. Hopefully, if you are shooting one of the best wedding bands you won’t have to worry about this as the crowd will be too busy enjoying the performance.
Change Your Perspective of the Best Wedding Bands
This doesn’t mean your understanding of the band but instead your physical perspective. Although it is important to get close up images of the band members and the crowd, you should also try taking a step back. Shooting photographs from the back of the room will let you catch more creative shots, plus you can really capture the energy of the room.
A rule to follow for photographing any sort of live performance is to remain present, enjoy the event and don’t overthink on the technical stuff. Editing after the fact is your best friend when it comes to shooting live performances. It will be beneficial to your photos when working with the best wedding bands to relax, have fun and be involved in the party happening around you.