Status Quo In Blackpool

I was lucky enough to be able to photograph Status Quo's final ever gig in Blackpool on April 28th at The Empress Ballroom. It was a sell out crowd and I was one of three photographers in the photo pit for the first three songs. As always with concerts I hung round for a bit before the show and chatted to the other photographers. We had the usual talk of comparing the gigs we had shot, and I soon realised I was the new kid on the block with these guys. I always meet these fantastic photographers who have been going for years and have all the top kit, and even though I've got a lot less experience and much cheaper kit, I have to stand my ground and show them I can also produce great work. I like to show confidence in these situations, (not too much!) and show that nothing really phases me. It's always nice to stay friendly with the people you're working around as you're going to be running round each other for the next fifteen minutes or so. 

The band put on one hell of a show and really got the crowd going.  I shot the gig on my Nikon D3200 with a 18-55 f4.5 lens. It was one of the best lit gigs I've ever shot, and possibly the biggest. This made the shoot a bit easier on me as it meant I could get much clearer images rather than the dark grainy ones. It also meant I could leave a lot of them in colour. The lighting was top class and the band were very well lit. Some of my photos even turned out overexposed. This gig was a big learning curve for me and made me think alot about where I'm going. 

I am very proud to have been able to shoot such a major gig and especially as it was the bands final performance in my home town. I spend the majority of my time in Manchester shooting gigs, so to be able to go ten minutes from home and shoot an event like this was special. After only ten months of shooting gigs, I see it as quite the accomplishment to be shooting a band of this standard at such an impressive venue. Hope you enjoyed reading this, I've put a few more shots below and you can also find the full album on my Facebook page. Take care!

Published In The Local Paper

Now this is something I'm proud of! I sent out an email to The Blackpool Gazette suggesting they did a piece on the local music scene as a slight excuse to use some of my pictures. They replied and said that it's a great idea and said they'd be in touch. About a week later I got a call from someone at The Gazette and she conducted an interview that was to be later published in the paper. However, she seemed much more interested in my photography work and it later turned out that the article was just going to be about me and my work. It felt so good to have been noticed by my local paper and knowing that thousands of people could be reading about me and my work felt even better. Awesome to see my work printed as well! You can read the full article below.

First Time In The Pit

My first ever time photographing a gig from the photo pit was definitely a night I'll always remember! It was Fear Factory playing at The O2 Ritz Manchester with support from Once Human and Dead Label. A few weeks prior to this gig I'd started sending out emails to various venues and publication looking to shoot some gigs at bigger venues. By this point I had been shooting local pub gigs for around 6 months and finally thought I had the skills to go out and photograph a major concert. I was very fortunate to get a reply from an organiser at The O2 Ritz Manchester who asked me to join their team of in house photographers. This means I now get the pick of gigs at the venue, which gives me the opportunity to photograph some amazing bands live on stage at a spectacular venue. 

As I'm sure most of you photographers out there know the routine of turning up to the venue, collecting your photo pass and making your way down to the front of the stage. I remember standing near the front of the stage with about 5 other photographers all with their big fancy cameras, and I was there with my little Nikon D3200 and a standard kit lens. I really did feel like the new kid on the block! However I always make an effort to talk to other photographers and get friendly with them as I know we'll be running round eachother for the next twenty minutes or so. I've met some great people shooting these gigs and they're all extremely talented photographers. My mind set from the start has always been to respect other photographers, but I also have to think of ways to make my photos stand out from there's. I always want to try and make mine different and exciting!  I captured some of my favourite images during this gig, especially the shot of ex Machine Head guitarist Logan Mader in mid air. I had a little air punch when I captured that shot. 

Walking into the photo pit for the first time was an exciting experience! I remember walking down, picking my starting position, looking back at all the excited faces in the crowd, looking up at the stage and waiting for the lights to go down. I'm not sure some of the people on the front row would have been too happy when they saw all 6ft 6 of me walk in front of them! I always try and keep my head down during these gigs though, I never want to be in anyone's way. It is such an exciting experience for me photographing from the photo pit and after shooting around seven gigs at this venue I can't get enough of it. I am really happy with all the shots I got from this gig, especially as it was my first time at the venue. Hope you enjoyed reading this, take care!!