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Beginner Concert Photography Tips for Fans

Gilbert Castellanos Gilbert Castellanos Photo by Morrice Blackwell


You’ve bought tickets, strapped on your camera and are ready to go to your favorite show.  Need a few quick tips to get better pictures? This article outlines a few basic tips to help you get started.

The easiest concert photography is outside, as you do not have to deal with poor lighting issues.  In this case, concentrate on framing.  A well-framed concert photo avoids the “back of the head” shots as much as possible. If you’re taking pictures from your seat and aren’t allowed to move to the aisle, proper framing can be difficult. Practice a few shots in advance of the music. Trade seats with a pal, if possible.

If you are allowed to briefly leave your seat and take a picture from the aisle or near the stage, it’s best to be quick and efficient. If you become a distraction, security may ask you to take your seat or worse.

When taking photos inside a darkened theater, watch for lighting changes. The brighter the stage, the better chance you have of getting a great shot.  If you are sitting a distance away from the stage, consider experimenting with different settings and/or lenses.  For instance, increasing the ISO will lighten the shot but may decrease the quality if used incorrectly.  A visual explanation of ISO can be found here at

You may find that a lot of venues do not allow flash photography.  If you are allowed to use it, keep it to a minimum for the sake of your fellow concert goers and the band.

In closing, the most simplistic and best advice for beginners for an indoor or outdoor concert is to buy the best seats you can afford. The closer you are to the action, the better your pictures will be.  However, if the front row is directly below the stage, consider sitting a few rows back for better framing.

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