Just what is concert photography? Concert photography is when you take photos at a concert, either for pleasure or business.  Whether you’re taking concert photos for your fun, or for business purposes, there are a couple of things you’re going to want to know.

Not only can you stand to learn a little bit more about actually taking the photos themselves, but how to get your foot in the door business wise. If you’re passionate about music and photography, concert photography might be something that you want to pursue professionally. It’s important to be prepared, and learn all that you can to help you get to where you want to be.

Camera Settings

Concert photography proves to be especially tricky since you being the photographer, has very little control over your subject and setting. The lighting inside the venue changes frequently and your subjects are constantly moving around. Most times, your camera’s auto function won’t cut it.

Adjusting Settings On Photo Camera

Here are a couple of tips that will help you find the best settings on your camera for getting those perfect shots:

Turn The Flash Off

Nine times out of ten you won’t even be allowed to use the flash at a concert. Even if you could, you probably wouldn’t since it’s good to get used to adapting to concert lighting. Ultimately, you shouldn’t rely on your flash to make getting those shots you want easier.

Use Burst Mode

Most cameras have a function for something called burst mode. What burst mode does is allow you to take three or four photos in quick succession, which you otherwise won’t be able to do. This allows you to capture a lot more and put you in a lot safer of a position with your continually moving subjects.

Aperture Priority Mode

What this setting does is it matches the shutter speed of your camera to whatever aperture level that you set. What this does is allow you to worry about other things while you take advantage of the fact that your camera is automatically adjusting shutter speeds.

Use The Lowest Aperture Possible

Using the lowest possible aperture setting on your lens will allow the most light to enter, which is crucial for concert photography due to the general lack of light in the venue.

Auto White Balance

Auto white balance will be advantageous to you. White balance’s job is to keep the colors in a picture as close to real as possible. Although you can manually mess with the white balance settings before taking pictures, I recommend that you keep the auto white balance on.

By keeping the auto white balance on, you just have one less thing to worry about at the moment. At a concert, the lighting is always going to be changing. You might not be able to keep up with the constant adjustments. And let’s say the auto white balance doesn’t work out, white balance is something you can still edit in post.

Faster Shutter Speeds

By using faster shutter speeds, you’ll be able to capture the more hectic moments of a concert performance. If your subject is running and dancing around the stage, as performers will do during a concert, you’re going to need a high shutter speed to be able to capture those moments.

Photo Camera Shutter Speed

Take Your Photos In JPEG

A lot of people will tell you that you have to take your photos in RAW. Now, I’m not necessarily saying that raw is a bad thing, but when you’re just starting out, you might not want to worry about the post-processing that’s involved when shooting RAW images.

How To Get Started Professionally

If you’re just starting out or are interested in concert photography but don’t necessarily know exactly where to start, let me be your guide.

First of all, you’re going to want to make sure you’re well equipped enough to offer your services for publication. This means having a decent enough camera and equipment.

Your goal when first starting out is to work your way up to getting photo passes. Shoot smaller local concerts and shows, bring your work to a small publication and ask for work. Don’t expect to be paid early on.

Your first few jobs are about building a portfolio and understanding how the business works. At the same time, you’ll gain experience in photographing concerts, and learn more as you go.

If you’re wondering about how you find a publication to bring your work to all you have to do is look around. There are tons of small but dedicated websites and magazines that are always looking for other likeminded passionate people to work with.

If things pan out, you’ll be able to get your hands on a photo pass. A photo pass lets everyone know that you’re there shooting for publication. What this will do is allow you to have access to areas you otherwise might not be able to get to.

More often than not, there will be a small area near the front of the crowd just before the stage that is blocked off and used solely by photographers. Photo passes might also allow you on stage. These things are not to be taken lightly, and you should recognize that your photo pass is a privilege.


Getting started in concert photography is something that’s possible. Start off slow. Go to smaller shows just for yourself, take pictures and build a portfolio. Get to know your work. If this is something you’re seriously interested in, you’re going to want to learn how to be good.

Man Taking Photos At Concert

Remember that breaking through isn’t always easy, but you can do it. It’s easy to get down to yourself when things aren’t going well, but if you keep your chin up and keep learning, you’re going to do fine.

If you have any question or comments feel free to leave them below and we will make sure to get back to you.