Photography for Concerts and Events
- 1 Overview
- 2 Requests to shoot concerts, festivals and events
- 3 Guidelines for shooting photos
- 4 Venue tips
- 5 Publishing
Photography volunteers will submit requests to shoot concerts to the Music Director, Nick Acquisto at nick [at] kdhx.org. Requests to shoot other events and festivals should be sent to Engagement Officer, Allison Wilson at allison.wilson [at] kdhx.org. All completed assignments should be sent to Allison for publishing. Potential photography assignments will also be emailed to you periodically. They will typically include live upcoming concerts and KDHX events.
This page discusses the photographer's workflow when covering and delivering an assignment.
Please feel free to check out the KDHX photography archives: flickr.com/photos/881kdhx/albums.
Requests to shoot concerts, festivals and events
Photographers should submit an email to nick [at] kdhx.org with requests to cover specific shows at least two weeks in advance. If this is a request to shoot a festival or event and does not involve an artist, the request needs to be sent to Allison at allison.wilson [at] kdhx.org.
- the date of the show
- the name of the headlining band or artist
- the venue name
- copy of press release, if you have one (optional)
We will only be publishing concert photography when accompanying a concert review or a published interview for kdhx.org. If the concert is a good fit for the station, we will put a call out for a writer.
Approvals from the Music Director will be confirmed via email. Groups with large followings often receive multiple requests. All interested parties are noted and an assignment will be made during the month prior to the event date. 99% of all assignment decisions are based on a "first come, first served" principle, so early requests are recommended.
Approximately 7-10 days prior to a concert, an email request is sent to ask for tickets and a photo pass for the photographer. This request will be sent to the artists' radio rep, label or publicist by the Music Director on behalf of KDHX.
Credentials will vary based on the show and producer of the event. We always request a spot on the guest list for the photographer, with a "+1" for a friend, and a photo pass. Different variations may result; i.e., photo pass and one ticket for photographer, photo pass only, etc.
Actual confirmation of tickets and/or photo passes is often obtained within a few days of the event. We are not always able to guarantee that we will be able to obtain entrance, but we will try our best.
Calls for Photographers
Calls for photographers will be issued periodically, which could mean one of two things:
- There is an event that is being hosted by KDHX that we would like to have covered for publicity, member education and entertainment.
- Note - We ask that each participating photographer cover a couple of these events each year, as they are a benefit to the station in our efforts to obtain more volunteers, members and donations.
- THere is an event or concert that is KDHX Recommended or especially connects with a wide section of our audience. The Music Director asks about listing a photographer with +1 and photo pass or a radio promoter, label or publicist offers tickets. You should always expect to cover all bands on the bill. Readers often want to read about the full night of music. In some instances one of the supporting acts may even be who put you on the list.
If an concert or event you are interested in photographing is not being offered to photograph, it is because:
- We do not have a writer available to write an article to accompany and give context to the photographs.
- a photographer has already requested or claimed it.
- KDHX is not playing the artist's music.
- another station has exclusivity to photograph the show through a sponsorship.
- It could be an oversite.
You may always request to photograph a concert or event that is not on the list emailed to you.
Guidelines for shooting photos
KDHX takes great pride in the photographs that we publish at KDHX.org and, while scheduling hundreds of these events each year, is selective about the photos that are chosen and used in publication.
Although photographers are encouraged to be creative and to incorporate their own style, there are a few rules of thumb to take into consideration.
- Shoot with good, lens-removable type digital cameras. No point and shoots or cell phones.
- Do not use heavy filtering on the photos, i.e., shrink-wrapped, antiquing, postarization, etc.
- It is ok to change photos into black and white, crop them, perform color/light balance and corrections, etc.
- All rules of good composition and lighting apply.
- No watermarks, personal or station related.
- Avoid giving away free advertising; i.e., Starbucks cups, soda cans, etc.
- Note: Musical equipment is exempt and t-shirts almost impossible to avoid, but be mindful where you can.
KDHX volunteer photographers shoot in all sizes of venues, from tiny clubs like Squaters Cafe and the Focal Point, up to the cavernous spaces of the Fox Theatre and the Scottrade Center. The artists and bands who are featured may be local, regional or a national act.
Requests for festivals are usually sent several months in advance and are submitted through a fill-in form on the festival website.
Confirmation response from publicists is often received within a few days. Venues often wait until a few days before the event to issue these credentials, however the Pageant may advise as late as 5 p.m. the day of the event.
As soon as confirmation is received, you will receive an email notification from the photo editor, confirming that you have been granted credentials. Please reply and advise that you have received confirmation. Also, print the email and take it to the show with you, as it may help clear up any potential miscommunications on the night of the show.
Ticketing and Credentials
If there is a box office at the venue, you can usually pick up your tickets and photo pass there right before the show. Other venues will use a guest list, several guest lists as a matter of fact, so make sure that they check the appropriate one. Have your photo ID ready, as it may be required to receive your photo-pass. It is also a good idea yo have your confirmation email available on your phone, if possible in case it is needed. In some cases a number will be provided in the email in the event that there is any problem at the door.
Photo Release Forms
- If a band requires you to sign a photo release before shooting and you do not agree to its terms, then you should walk away and not go through with the shoot. Walking away is perfectly fine. You are not obligated to sign a release that makes you feel uncomfortable.
- If you do sign a release, please make sure that KDHX receives a copy. The easiest way to do this is to take a clear, well-lit photo of the release with your phone. If you receive a release prior to the day of the show, then email a copy to photography at kdhx.org.
Shooting the show
With all concerts you will be shooting, please alway only shoot during the first three songs and without a flash or clicks. This is almost always the expectation of the venue and the artist.
Be respectful to your fellow photographers and of the audience around you at all times. This is not just for their benefit, but also for the safety of your equipment!
The lighting for shows at larger venues is usually very good, while smaller venues like the Firebird may have very limited lighting options; i.e., all red floods. Be prepared for the possibility of any low level lighting condition, as well as dramatic changes in the color and lighting throughout the performance.
If shooting at a venue with an overabundance of red lights, consider changing your photos into black and white in order to gain better control over the brightness and contrast of the scene.
Lenses that are most suitable for shooting concerts include all types of lenses; from wide angle lenses to your favorite telephoto lens. If you have more than one lens, we recommend taking a couple for obtaining the best range of images. Be advised that many clubs will require an f/1.4 lens in order to capture an acceptable image. Low light is the biggest issue that you will encounter as a concert photographer.
Choose the photos you would like to submit, zip them into a compressed file and deliver the link to Allison [at] kdhx.org. This can be done with whatever file transfer system you prefer, the link can be provided by email.
The standard number of photos expected are at least 12, more are preferred. If there are multiple bands on the bill, attempt to deliver at least six good photos of each band. There should be more photos of the headliner than of the other acts. When in doubt, send more and leave the editing to the photography editor.
Please clearly label all of the photos with the name of the band shown in the photos, i.e., BruiserQueen01
When your photos are received, the photography editor will go to work editing photos and publishing. All of our photos are uploaded and housed on Flickr.
As soon as the photos are published, you will receive notification from the photography editor containing a link for the Flickr gallery.
A link to the photos is then posted on the KDHX Twitter account, as well as on the Twitter pages of the participating bands. The same is done on our Facebook page. Our Twitter account has 18,000 followers and our Facebook account has 28,000 followers.