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Nikki Hedrick: How to Become a Concert Photographer

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“Nearly every important person in my life right now, I’ve met because of concert photography,” our fearless music correspondent says. “It changed my life many times over.”


  1. Have a Camera. It doesn’t have to be the newest, best or top of the line, but a cell phone won’t cut it.
  1. Find a Venue. You have to build a portfolio, and that means finding places to take photos. Start with the small venues, proving you can handle low-light conditions.
  1. Build Towards Your Goals. Most larger bands will require that you be affiliated with a media outlet. Look for opportunities to collaborate.
  1. Learn the Rules. Standard concert photography rules are that all photos are taken during the first three songs without flash. But, like most rules, there will be exceptions.
  1. Do It Because You Love It. It is unlikely that concert photography will replace your day job—in fact, it’s likely to cost you more money than you’ll make from it. But it will change concert going forever. Once you’ve picked up a camera, it vastly changes how you watch a performance.


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