Why is starting something the hardest thing to do?
A little over five years ago, I started doing concert photography. I had never done anything like it before; I had no idea what I was doing or if I would ever get good at it.
The first time I showed someone my photos, it was terrifying. And after all these years, I saved the first images from my first set of photos. I stumbled across them while cleaning my archives, and I was…impressed. Back then, I was so concerns about my work not being good enough. But looking back now, these aren’t that bad. Granted, they’re not great, but I’ve definitely seen worse, and again, not bad. These were the first three concert photos I’ve ever taken.
The funny thing is that I don’t remember much except how I felt when taking these photos. My palms were sweating as I walked into the dingy dive bar, stuttering while asking if they allowed photography and tripping over my own feet as I made my way up to the stage. I stared at my camera for half of the set, confused, wondering why my photos were so dark. I was so nervous.
Were people staring at me? What made me think I had the right to be here and take these photos (even though I paid to get in)? Am I in everyone’s way? Is the band annoyed that I’m taking photos of them? There are so many great photographers out there, why did I think I had what I took to do this job?
To answer some of my own questions: yes, people were staring at me. The confusion and insecurity on my face could be seen miles away. Did I have the right to be there? Yes, and no. I knew I was just starting out. But I had no one to turn to with my questions. I felt like the biggest sore thumb. I was forcing my self into a situation in hopes that it would work out for me. I paid to get into so many shows. I didn’t have a photo or press pass. I just had a camera, but I worked HARD. I stayed up late learning Lightroom editing, sleeping for a few hours, just to get up and go to my day job a few hours later. I paid a lot of money to get into shows and invested in camera gear.
When I started, I wanted to give up immediately. It seems so silly now, but I was so scared that I’d never be successful at this that I didn’t even want to try… The money I invested and spent seemed like a sunk cost, and I should take my losses before they got bigger.
Now, I go to so many amazing concerts for free. Hell, I get paid to go to amazing concerts. I have taken photos of so many icons. I’ve photographed shows side by side with my photographer idols. Concert photography has brought more to my life than I could have ever imagined. I built a business out of it.
I’m (re)starting this blog because I hope to support people who are in the industry and might be struggling or just need some encouragement. I want to give away tips and insights that will help you along your journey. I’m here to talk about this crazy cool industry. I’m here to support you regardless of where you are in your concert photography career. I’m here to talk about music, because I love music. And photography, because there is so much to learn and teach.
I’m here for you.
xo – boston