Task 4- Project Portfolio

Task 4: Project PORTFOLIO 


Remembrance Day

On Sunday the 12th of November, I went to the remembrance parade and took some photos. I took the photos as test shots for my project. I tried to stay out of the way so people were not disrupted by the loud noise of my camera. Pretty much nobody looked at me whilst I was taking the photographs. I did use three of the shots from this shoot as final images.

Please note that I did not take photographs during the two minute silence or the prayers out of respect for the dead and the people there.

Below is an image of The Reverend, who had just done a speech, in front of the Cenotaph. The image on the left is the original and you can tell because it has a blue haze over the image, which means that the temperature of the image is too cold. To rectify this I just adjusted the temperature to make the image warmer.


Below, are two images of the flags that had just been raised at the cenotaph. The image on the left is the original as it has more negative space and is much bluer. The image on the right is edited as I cropped it to make the flags more central, have less negative space and is a duller blue. I prefer the closeness of edited one but I don’t like the colour of either of the photographs; the one on the left has a very dark blue sky and the flags seem to blend into the background and the one on the right has a light blue sky that is very boring to me. The image doesn’t grab attention with the background, but luckily this emphasises the flags. I think I will go back into photoshop and edit again to try to put in more shadows to give the background more depth- this could differentiate the two flags from the sky.


This is the final edited version. I like this photograph because it has a deeper background but it is also more focused on the flags. It isn’t one of my final images but it was close to being in my top 10 because I love how dark and detailed the flags are. You can actually see the dirt on white flag. The colours are rich and straight away gain my attention, there is also more detail in the shadow and the background isn’t dull anymore.



Band at pub

On the 24th of November I went to a pub in Wombwell to take photographs of a cover band that was playing. I wasn’t there that long as I was very dizzy, which is a shame, but I did enjoy it.

The image on the left is the original and it has a very obvious blue hue, this is because of the strobe lights that went across the stage in the pub. The edited version is definitely my favourite out of the two. One reason for this is because the black and white overlay that I put on it through Photoshop seems to take away the noise from the image. The blue hue does give the original image a sort of atmosphere and you can actually tell that the windows behind the guitarist are actually windows where as on the edited version it seems to be some sort of bulletin board and tends to take away some of the atmosphere, however, the edited one focuses more on the person where as the original doesn’t- I feel like the musician blends in with the background.

If I was to do this shoot again I would prepare more with lights to try and get better images. I would also take photographs from different angles so they’re more unique and not just standards images.


Metrodome Shoots

On Monday the 27th of November I went to the Metrodome to take photographs of one of their employees who was dressed as a pirate Santa Claus for a promotional video they were putting on their social media. The theme is Calypso Cove in the swimming area and the Santa Claus bit is for the upcoming Christmas Festivities. The photographs below are more behind the scenes photographs but they could also be used as promotional images on ther website.

The two images below are of the employee in a cell under the stairs that lead to the swimming area. The image on the left is the original and I did like it as it had a little bit of grain in it. I like the way the light comes in from one direction which makes it look like there is somewhere better to be than in the cell. I wish there was a little bit more light on his face but not too much.

The second photo is clearly edited as it is in black and white. I do like the original image as it has a certain amount of grain (created from the steam in the swimming area) and the wood above the subjects head makes it look like he is in an actual cell whereas the edited image has made it so the wood looks more of just a block of PVC with no definition. The green lighting from the bottom of the original image also reflects from the wood which makes. Both images stand out to me in their own ways, the green, browns, reds and whites in the image seem to contrast quite nice to me. because even though the background has dull tones the green seems to catch the viewers eye because it is quite subtle. The black and white makes the image look sadder to me as it seems to emphasise the look the subject is giving.




The two images to me look very similar, to the point they look the same, but they are in fact different. The image on the left is the original which is slightly darker and has a little bit of noise. You can only just see on the edited image that it has less shadow on the jacket



On Wednesday the 29th I went to take photographs in college of some students rehearsing for an event. I managed to get quite a lot of photographs and I didn’t have to edit the photos that much. I mainly had to tone down the exposure and highlights as the lights were quite harsh. Every other set had different lighting which made it quite hard for the settings. The dancers and singers were very fast, as expected, so I had to compensate fast movement and lighting. I had to use a very high Iso for this as the environment was very dark but the lighting was very harsh and bright.

The left image is the original and the lighting on the middle people is too bright and there is no definition to their faces. The image on the right is the edited copy of the photograph- I turned the exposure down and adjusted the contrast accordingly.  The light is still quite bright but it works, as it makes the girl in the very front stand out more.


My Final Images

The ten images below in the slide show are my final ten images. I chose these images because they stood out to me the most.

The rehearsal image looks like something you would see in a booklet showing off theatre productions



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For this project I did a lot of research. First I had to pick which genre of photography, which was Event photography. This meant I had to look into photographers who did this type of photography. I found photographers like Ann Buster (who takes photographs of bands) and Oli Sandler (who takes photographs of all sort of events including wrestling and bands). Both these photographers are contemporary. Both Oli and Ann inspired me to take photographs of bands and wrestlers. Their photographs really intrigued me- Ann’s photos emphasised the lighting which is really interesting as it didn’t take away from the musicians. Oli’s photos were both portraiture and of the event as it goes on and I liked this because it shows variety.

It was required of me to ask them questions in hope they would answer. I did this via email and not every photographer got back to me but this was fine as i know they could be busy.

The people who did get back to me gave me information that was quite useful. I think the best information I got was from Charles Peterson, a band photographer who told me to be unique, and from Oli Sandler who told me to be passionate and professional.

I had to look into all sorts of events that were near me and there some but a lot were at bad times (too close when I had researched them so i had no time) or quite far away. One thing that eased my mind was that I knew how I was going to share my  images and that would be through my social media, Instagram, Facebook, etc, and I will be printing them.


I am not good at planning at all. I have never been able to stick to a plan and for this project I regretted not being able to stick to a plan. If I planned my work then I would have been able to keep my deadlines and not get into a panic.

My actual plan was loose: take photographs of the events when possible and then edit as soon as I could and after that I would do my written work. This made it so I could get everything done pretty quickly.

Of course, things didn’t go to plan so I had to change my already loose plans. I had to do it so I had to go from this loose plan to just trying to find as many events as possible and not really caring about when I would edit. I say ‘not really caring’ but I did care, just, in my panicked mind it wasn’t a priority at that time. As soon as I got six events planned with dates and times I looked into when I would edit my images.

I had thought of the different types of photos I would be doing when I first did my research and they were predominantly close ups and far away shots (most focused on one person) but as I fully looked into the new events I was having to do (fancy meals and such) I had to think of different ways to get the subject(s) to look good. As I started the events I got more comfortable and starting getting different angles, sadly, this took me a while to get into but I did get into it eventually and I have noticed how my shots have improved.

As I didn’t have a production plan I learned how to improvise and get things done quickly and effectively. I did lose my confidence as it let me doubt myself too much.

Problems and Solutions

The printer broke so me and the other people in my class who wanted to print got their prints a few days late. This wasn’t too bad but If i had to hand my images in that day then I wouldn’t have been able to. A solution to this is going earlier for my prints.

Instagram wouldn’t upload my images, only black images, so I had to make the images smaller. I did this through going on photoshop, saving the image again as JPG and then putting the quality down to about 5mp.

On one of my events the weather decided to take a turn for the worst and it decided to snow which caused black ice and general slippy roads. I didn’t want to go on a bus that went through country roads as that could be dangerous (especially as there is one road where the bus had crashed before and that was on a sunny day, not a snowy night). Another problem that came to mind was that I could have been stranded away from home if the busses decided to stop. I did email in about two hours before the event started (it would have been earlier but I was constantly checking the weather).

The academy decided to say no to me being on the guest list and taking photographs, which is fine as they probably have their own photographers. Next time, I will ask in advance.


I didn’t do that much editing as I am still not the biggest fan of it. I like my photos as natural as possible and sometimes I don’t think I can achieve this. Most of the time I just slightly edit the exposure and sometimes temperature. With more practice I will get better at it. I also cropped a few images to get rid of some negative space but I don’t really class this as editing.



My prints cost roughly 16p per A3 sheet and I printed ten of them so it cost £1.60. I am happy with how the images turned out as they look exactly like I wanted them and I liked how thick the matte paper was at 300gsm. I may reprint one image as I don’t know whether or not I want to edit it again.

I also had to buy a portfolio in order to keep my prints safe from weather and just general wear and tear. This only cost £6 pounds from The Works and I had spare money on me so I was able to buy it. My prints went straight into my portfolio. I bought this a few days before I got my prints as the printer broke on the day I bought the portfolio which I didn’t know when I bought it. This also made it so I didn’t have my prints on me when I did my presentation.

I really like how my prints looked as there is no grain and the colours came out how they were on the computer. The colours had depth and didn’t look dull or murky. The prints also had a very nice white border which gave a nice frame to the photographs.


My audience is quite varied as I can show my photographs to anybody as none are explicit and they are so varied.

My band photographs can be shown to anybody who is more into the rock genre as I went to a rock cover band at the pub and if I take photographs of more established bands then I can show these to magazines to get published. Most magazines have an online website as well so they can be shown through their social media and my own.

My college photographs of the rehearsals and college events have an audience of 16+ as it will be people who either attend my college or are looking at my college who will see the images. I know that some of my photographs are going to be used for marketing purposes for the college.

My photographs from the Metrodome will reach a wider audience as my photos will be shown through their media (for marketing purposes) and through my own social media. People who are interested in swimming, bowling and The Rigby events (bands, meals, etc) will most likely see my photographs.As I had to change my project slightly my audience changed as well. My audience got more varied as my project went from band and wrestling photography to more general event photography like fancy meals and rehearsals.


Task 5- Presentation

Reflection on presentation

On Monday the 4th I had to show the class my work via a presentation. The presentation is below. I got some feedback from my peers and tutor.



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The presentation, although basic, was enough for me as I mainly talked and worked off the small notes that I had in the presentation. After I showed my class my presentation I got some feedback.

I brought up to the class how my instagram wasn’t working and how it would only upload my images in full black. My tutor managed to tell me what to do. Kasey, my tutor, suggested that my photos could be too big so I had to go back into photoshop with the image and reduce the size when I saved it as a jpg.

I wasn’t really told anything on the editing of my images but the projector didn’t really do my photographs justice as it gave all of the images an orange tinge- this did happen to all of the class who presented so everyone understood this.

It was suggested that I worked more on lighting and that I should have practiced more in the sort of events that had spotlights and strobe lights. I was also told that I had a good range of events as it went from the Remembrance day to performances to behind the scenes images.


In this evaluation I will be using the Gibbs Reflective technique so I can critically reflect my work and what I have learnt. Below, the headings are part of the Gibbs Reflective system. I have merged some like Evaluation and Analysis and Conclusion with my Action Plan.


For my project I decided to do event photography. At first, it was band and wrestling photography but due to not being able to find sufficient events for my project. This made it so I had to have more general events to go to. This made it so much easier for me to find events. I took these type of photographs because I enjoy music and wrestling and other types of events.

I knew that this would push me out of my comfort zone and this would help me get more comfortable and get me more experience. I have apreciated event photography for years as I have been into concerts and other events for a long time and I thought if I don’t do it now for this project, which is the perfect opportunity, I may not ever do it.


Looking back at it, I have had a lot of mixed feelings to do with this project. At the start of the project I was quite confident as I felt excited about my work and I was really enthusiastic when I started my research. During the project I felt very stressed because I read the wrong deadline, which mean that I had thought that I had a week and a half longer than I had all of my events were after the actual deadline.

I felt extremely relieved when I got my photographs edited and printed as I knew that I had at least got my practical work done and that I would then be able to catch up on my written work. I also had a little sense of pride when my photographs were printed photographs that I liked a lot.

I feel like I didn’t reach my full potential in this project as I didn’t fully connect with it until it was too late. This has made it so I fell behind in my work. Luckily, when I started to take photographs of events I started to get back into the swing of things.

I feel like my project is quite unique as no one else in my class is doing event photography, others are mainly doing landscape and fashion photography.

Evaluation and Analysis


With all projects there are good and bad things that happen. One bad thing in my work is how I planned my events, If I had more focus on planning my work then I would have been more prepared for my events. Another issue was my confidence as I didn’t want to go to people and ask for their consent. It was already bad enough as I am very shy when it comes to talking to new people, especially on the phone.

The main issue that actually concerned my photographs is me. My health makes it so I can go very shaky so my images can go very blurry. This makes it so I need to take a lot of photographs (which is good as I have a lot of back up images) to ensure I have good photos.


The good things that came from this project are that I did manage to get some photographs that I truly love and most of the photos that I decided to edit didn’t need editing too much. Taking a lot of photos is something I do often as the chances of getting really good photos/ photos I love is higher than just taking about fifty photographs. I noticed that my photos improved a lot from start to finish as I started to get used to movement and lighting. The best outcome from this project has been that I managed to get a job from one of the places where I was taking photographs for.

In terms of social media, I would have liked it if I had more of a response (comments and likes) as this shows that people apreciate my work, comments especially, show this but this is fine as I know I will slowly get a following.

Conclusion and Action Plan

In conclusion, I could have done more test shoots to improve my skills and build my confidence. If I had a higher self esteem then I would have been more comfortable and would have been able to walk around and be less stiff and I find that if I am more relaxed then I get better photos in terms of composition and angles.

If I were to do this I would do a production plan as I didn’t really have a production plan. It was just to take photographs when the events were and edit the next college day.  So next time, I will have a detailed production plan as from this projects experience I know that I need to have one and use it. With a production plan I can give my self back up time- this means that if anything had to be missed or rescheduled then I would be able to see when I could reschedule and still have enough time to edit where as without a production plan I pretty much winged it.

Next time I will also be more motivated, I will take photographs more in and out of my college projects and write up about them so it keeps me focused on my work and I will be able improve my written and practical skills.


Task 3- Project Proposal

Task 3: PROJECT PROPOSAL: 9/10/17

The Reflection

This reflection is about my project proposal to my tutor and the feedback, which is limitted due to it just being shown to him and my friend, that I got back the two in the room.

On Friday 6th I had to show my project (which showed what I will be doing) to my tutor and peers and due to personal reasons I asked to just show it in front of my tutor and my close friend, this, my tutor had no issue with. I was met with acceptance and quite a bit of constructive criticism.

My tutor quite liked my idea- I think this is because my idea is quite different. He gave me ideas as to how to achieve the best photographs possible. One idea was to go to gyms to take photographs of the people there wrestling or boxing in order to get the settings right for the movement of them and not get a lot of blur. This would make it so when I go to my actual shoots for my final images I would have had sufficient practice to have my best possible images.

Another idea was to get in contact with someone that my tutor knows so I can take photographs of his band(S) at pubs. This, again, would get me a lot of experience for lights and movement in that sort of environment.

I would say my proposal went well as my tutor was intrigued by it and I got some good feedback. Even though my project proposal went well I think I could have done a lot better. For instance, I could have showed it to the entire class as I would have had a lot more feedback. I think that more feedback would help me with my project as I will be able to refine my work more and use my classmates as an audience. Having my classmates as a practice audience will make it so I can alter my images to their tastes. Even though that is a limited audience it will help me a lot.


Task 2- Core Audience


My images could be shown to an audience who reads magazines such as;
*WWE Magazine
*Pro Wrestling Illustrated

The reason as to why my photographs could be shown in wrestling magazines like Pro Wrestling Illustrated is because it promotes the wrestlers, venues and sport. They could be shown in band magazines like Kerrang! because I can also promote and showcase the musicians and venues. My photographs could be shown on wrestling websites and band websites to also promote the talent and venues.

The Wrestlers/Bands themselves will use those images to promote their own work on use of their social media like Twitter, Instagram and maybe their facebooks if they have them.

I would love my images to be in magazines and/or leaflets as it would show my work to a pretty established audience and I can get a copy of the leaflet/magazine for my professional portfolio to show my work has been published and I find it amazing at the idea of having a magazine or leaflet with my image(s).

I will be showing my work on my social media- Instagram, Facebook, WordPress and twitter. Twitter will be used to promote my Instagram and Facebook so more people will be able to see it. Instagram and Facebook are my main social media feeds for my photography so that will be updated pretty much every time I get new photographs. Wordpress will be used to show my work and how I am doing with my project. If I am working at venues then I can give the venues the images.

I want to upload my work every couple of days on my social media to keep my feed active, in fact, that is a main goal for me at the end of this project: to have a more active feed.

I will also be printing portfolio off before the end of my project so I can have hard copies of my work in case I go to interviews. I will be printing on A3 photo paper at college.

Obviously, I would love to take photographs of famous bands like U2 and wrestlers like Chris Jericho but I know that I need to work my up from the bottom so I could take photographs of garage bands or pub bands and slowly work my way up.

Hashtags and Statatistics

The hashtag that I use the most is ‘#college‘ which has 15,515,538 posts and the top three photographs average at 18.8k likes per image. A hashtag that is in every photographs is ‘#photography‘ which has 183,983,221 posts which averages at 2,049 likes per image. Another hashtag that is also in every photograph I post ‘#canon‘ which has 50,076,104 posts which averages at 12,944 likes per image. The hashtag that is in a few of my photographs is ‘#blackandwhite‘ which has 95,242,516 posts which averages 3,693.7 likes per image. A hashtag that is going to be in this project’s photographs is ‘#band‘ which has 13,311,545 posts which averages 2751.7 likes per image as well as the hashtag that is going to be in this project’s photographs is ‘#wrestling‘ which has 5,853,881 posts which averages like per image and the hashtag that is going to be in this project’s photographs is ‘#event‘ which has 12,626,984 posts which averages per image

I could use more specific hashtags for more specific events. For example, I could use the hashtag ‘#WWE‘ which has 9,737,630 posts. On the top three photographs of the search page for this hashtag there is an average of 3,184 likes per post (excluding videos). The Instagram page of WWE has 13.9 Million followers which means if they used my photographs then I would be showcasing my work to a lot of people. Based on their top three posts, again, excluding videos, they average at 46.1k likes.

I know that as my photographs are posted I will learn how to use better hashtags to reach more people. I know that some of my posts have quite robotic descriptions so I really want to make them more personal so my audience can get involved with my journey in photography.

Statistics on when to post on Instagram

Sproutsocial (https://sproutsocial.com/insights/instagram-stats/) found that Monday to Friday are the best days to post to maximize engagement.
There are some more findings:

  • Mondays show the strongest correlation to engagement overall
  • 3 p.m. is the least optimal time to post on any day
  • The most recommended times to post include 2 a.m., 8.a.m. and 5 p.m.

These findings will help me publicise my posts at the best times so more people may see my photos. Sadly, I don’t know what timezones these are for. I will keep looking on their website to see which timezone it is so I can then alter my post schedule to get a higher audience.




Project 1, Task 1


  • My idea

My idea was to do Event Photography. This is the definition of event photography:

“Very basically, an event photographer specializes in capturing pictures of events. How you define an “event” is entirely up to you. Some people would consider weddings, concerts, and sports as part of the event photography definition, and in a broad sense, they’re right. But if you focus on weddings or sports, brand yourself as such as a photographer. In industry terms, a self-described event photographer is generally associated with corporate events.” (Pratt and Pratt, 2017)

To be specific, I will be doing band and/sports photography.

Why I decided to to do Event Photography: 

I decided to do Event Photography because after college I would love to do events like concerts, plays, etc. I have had minor experience in event photography by taking photographs at festivals and taking photos of people acting. For years I have wanted to be able to travel and take photographs of the things I enjoy (concerts, wrestling,etc). Whether it be taking photographs for bands, plays or sports entertainment I want to do it.

I want my photographs to show people performing. I want the photographs to be both black and white and colour as to see which type of photography I prefer and what fits what environment. I will use both film and digital for the black and white photos as I want to see which ones aesthetically appeal to me. My photographs will not be staged or directed and I will not be that bothered if the photographs have a little bit of blur or noise as these features can make the photographs seem like they are not staged and they can give the people in the images a sense of movement. Technically these features are bad and not wanted in a photograph as no one really wants to see noise or blur in a photo but in this context it could work.

People take photos of concerts and sporting events all the time and upload them to social media, like Instagram, and I want to make it as a profession. You can see these types of photographs everywhere. For instance; magazines like Rolling Stone, Autobiographies like A Lions Tale By Chris Jericho, Instagram, etc. Through fan bases and social media these photographs can be seen worldwide, this could make it so agencies want to hire me.

Doing this type of photography will extend my knowledge and photography skills as not only will it get me to take more photos of people but it will also get me more used to different types of lighting and environments. This will be an exciting challenge for me.

The struggles I have with this sort of photography is that all the photos that I will take could either have terrible lighting or could have too much noise/blur. In order to achieve an image that is good to me I will have to master lighting, composition and film photography (as I will be trying to use historical and contemporary techniques). Lighting and composition are two of the basics you need to learn in the photography but the environment I will be in will challenge my skills.

Historical and Contemporary

Historical photographs are photographs from an earlier time period (ideally 30+ years before current time).

Contemporary photography is:
‘Contemporary photography could be described as a photograph from our own time, compared to an image from a much earlier period. A relevant definition of the word contemporary is: “happening in the same period of time..of or in the style of the present or recent times… .'(Koslov, 2017)

Band Photographers
  • Ann Buster- does photography for bands like Asking Alexandria and the majority of her photos have vibrant colours. (C)
  • Jerry Schatzberg- only has photos of Jimi Hendrix performing
  • Bob Gruen- look at led Zeppelin and Kiss
  • Charles Peterson- Nirvana


Previous work

I have some minor experience in this field of photography as I have managed to go to a small festival (Farmyard, a bikers rally) and there was a band (Oliver/Dawson Saxon) and I took photos mainly of Haydn Conway (below). Oliver and Dawson were part of the metal band Saxon and then when they left they made their own (Oliver/Dawson) Saxon band.

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Here are my questions:
  1. How did you get into taking photos for people such as?*
  2. What got you into taking photos of such personalities?
  3. What equipment did you use whilst taking photos of bands/artists on stage?
  4. Do you prefer to use colour or black and white when taking photos of people on stage? Did you have the options to use either?
  5. What advice would you give to a person who wants to do live band photography?

*Every photographer has photographs of different bands

Ann Buster

Ann Buster is a contemporary Band photographer who works for Kerrang! and I first noticed a few years ago. I sent her, and the other photographers, an email to see whether they would answer some questions (above).
The email I sent:
‘Hi Ann,
I am doing a college project (photography) and I was wondering whether you would be able to answer some questions I have about band (live) photography over email as I have been a fan of your work for years. This will further my research and help me improve my work.
Yours Faithfully,
Dannielle Drayton’

So far, Ann has not replied to my email.

Her work is mainly of heavy metal bands such as Asking Alexandria and Slipknot. A lot of her photographs are in colour and a few are in black and white. The photo I looked at (below) is of a guitarist (Ben Bruce, Asking Alexandria).

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 13.48.53

The lights are very strong and vibrant- the deep fuchsia and green compliment each other and give a sense of depth. As the colour makes a haze it makes the guitarist look more in focus and his black shirt seems to grab the pink lighting and his skin seems to grab the green lighting. This could be due to the neon as that can light up a persons face. Green and Pink are opposite colours on the colour wheel so they actually compliment each other very well, the reason they look so good together is because of the black in the guitarist’s clothes- it breaks up the colours slightly so it isn’t just a barrage of colour. The shine in the white guitar and metal mic stands make it so you have different focal points (which can gain attention but are not distracting from the rest of image) and also gives more depth to the image. The green helps as a highlighter for his skin and black shirt thus making shadows and depth- this is not as harsh a white light but not as soft as a yellow light. The centre of the light is more of a yellow colour so it has warm tones but as it goes into the green the tones turn cooler whereas the Fuchsia goes from cool tones into warmer tones.

The light makes strong lines in the image and because of this there are more shadows. Part of the light is blocked from Ben and because of the blocking of light it makes him the main focal point of the image. There is no symmetry in the image and this makes the photo look less staged. With the light just covering about two thirds of the image it makes the lighting more natural and less like a background has been copied and pasted in to the image. The only textures in the photo in are his hair and the lights hitting the fog/smoke machine. The light and smoke is quite soft where as his hair, even though looks soft like the light, can look quite harsh due to it being wet. The depth of field is quite shallow as Ben is quite close to the foreground.


Bob Gruen

Bob Gruen was born in New York, 1945 and is an author and photographer. By the mid 1970s he was well known in the rock industry for his photographs. He lived with a rock band during the 60s and when they got a contract the company used his photos, because of this, the company hired him to take photographs of other bands. This caused a snowballing effect where he got more and more jobs from this.

When he first started out he started with a Minolta camera (which was his fathers) which shot with 35mm film. In the first few years of the seventies he used Nikon F cameras and then used the Olympus Om series in 1975 and in 1990 he went into using Canon cameras and have used them ever since. In 2000 he started using digital Canon cameras and hasn’t looked back. As he was shooting to pay his bills he shot both in colour and black and white as then his photos had more of selling due to being available for different markets. This was a ‘financial decision… not an artistic one’. I asked all the photographers what advice they could give to a photographer who wanted to get into that sort of photography. He said that you should take as many photos as you can and only show the good ones. Try and meet the band.

Screen Shot 2017-09-22 at 15.27.33

The photo above is of Paul Stanley, from, Kiss. With the guitar being a glossy black and it having light on it it means that his white face paint and red lipstick reflect. The photograph is quite simple even though it is quite chaotic to the viewer. The guitar is blurry and so is his hand, his face however, isn’t. With the foreground unfocused, it makes all the mid ground clearer- apart from the hand that is pointing to the viewer. The hand being a main focus but being blurry makes it so you immediately look behind it to Paul’s face- the hand is blurry because of the depth of field. There are only four colours in the image and not a lot of shades- this makes it so the colours contrast. His dark brown hair, black glove and his black guitar frame his painted face and because his face is so white it makes the focal point of the image his face. His face paint is quite striking and the reflection in the guitar (and it is only the bottom half of his face reflected) is actually more in focus than his own face. There isn’t a lot of shadow in the image, in fact it is over-exposed, so when there is shadow it is subtle. The main shadow is the contour of his cheek, the reflection and, his shoulder (this is because his hair blocks some light, thus causing a shadow).

Charles Peterson

Charles Peterson got into taking photographs of bands because of his dual interest in photography. With going to the University of Washington he met people like Mark Arm and Bruce Pavitt. With the scene being small, but ambitious, he started photographing it. This made is so when Bruce started his band (Sub Pop) Charles was their house photographer. When Nirvana came onto the scene he pretty much straight away started to take their photographs. When he first started he used Nikon cameras (usually with a 24mm lens and Vivitar 285 flash) and an extra battery pack. Now he uses digital cameras like Leica and Nikon.He preferred black and white as it was cheaper to do processing and printing, it often fit the subject more and it was ‘more forgiving of mistakes’. Colour was sometimes needed but it never had the same impact as black and white.

This was the advice he game for a person who wants to do live band photography:

‘Try and find something new to do with the genre. Find a visual niche and stick with it – it’s the only way to stick out form the pack. Always look behind you and bend your knees (in other words, think outside the box and keep going for new angles). Try and stick to a few bands to begin with – once you know their stage presence it’s easier to start getting better and different stuff the more you work with them.’


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Above is a photo of Kurt Cobain on stage that he took. The first third of the image (the foreground) is just the stage floor, which is negative space, but this helps the photographs story. The wires and tape on the stage makes it so you know where the photo is taking place. It also helps the viewer focus on Kurt. The area where Kurt is, is quite chaotic as he is sprawled across a drum kit. The cymbal and mic stand being on the floor suggests that he stumbled/tripped backwards, perhaps because of the wires- there is no tape over the wires so this could be possible. This image is a perfect example of what I want to get as it is raw.


Bands I looked at

Alexanders Palace

Oliver/Dawson’s Saxon

Event photographers

Oli Sandler
Rob Brazier

Questions I sent them

1.  How did you get into taking photos for people such as?*
2.  What got you into taking photos of such personalities?
3.  What equipment did you use whilst taking photos of the wrestlers on stage?
4.  Do you prefer to use colour or black and white when taking photos of people on stage? Do you have the options to use either?
5.  What advice would you give to a person who wants to do live event photography?

*Every photographer has photographs of different wrestlers/promotions

Oli Sandler

Oli Sandler, born in London, got into taking photos of people like Aj Styles and Jimmy Havoc (in the photographs below) by just being able to work on the shows they were booked in and having a love for wrestling and photography. Oli is a contemporary photographer as he started working full time in the event/portraiture industry in 2013.  equipment he uses are a Nikon d750 with a 24-70, two speedlight with softboxes and triggers. Oli usually does colour photography but will use black and white as it ‘depends on the style and mood’ and ‘has its moments’.

This was the advice he gave for photographers who want to do this sort of photography:

Work really hard, don’t ever expect payment but also don’t give work out for free. Be passionate and do your research. Nobody wants to work with somebody who’s ill informed. Be professional but also personable. Relax enough to be comfortable but don’t be so relaxed you make other people uncomfortable. Learn from working with somebody.’ (emailed to me)

Below there are two photographs from his website:

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The photo above is a portrait of Aj Styles- who is in his ring gear and wearing the IWGP Heavyweight Championship. Aj is slightly off centre because of his stance and this makes the image more interesting. Half of the Championship is covered up by his jacket and is also slightly off centre (this could be because of his stance), this could go against the image but the jacket is a part of his gimmick. He has positioned his hands so that his gloves read ‘Bullet Club’, which is the stable he is in, and to the casual viewer this could intrigue them and make them think (What is the bullet club? What does it mean?) whereas a wrestling fan will understand that the Bullet Club is in fact, a group of Heel wrestlers primarily based in Japan.

There is not a lot of shadow in the image but it is quite important as without the shadow the image would be very bland and wouldn’t catch attention at all. The shadow gives slight definition to his muscles, this makes it so he doesn’t look fake.

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The photo above is of a wrestler, Jimmy Havoc, on the outer edge of the ring. The photograph works well being black and white as it suits Jimmy’s character. The core audience will know that Jimmy havoc is into extreme wrestling and his character is quite dark. Oli had to convey that through his photography. The black and white image gives a more gritty tone, especially as the photo has more shades of grey than white- it has atmosphere. It shows the people in the background but the viewer can only just see them and this makes it so Jimmy is the main focus, the only other person that really stands out to me is the referee as the light is on him and he is wearing quite a bit of white (which stands out in the black and white photograph). Even though this could have been a pure coincidence it can also show the importance of the referees role in the event.


Rob Brazier

Rob Brazier, based in East London, is a photographer who specialises in portraiture and event photography. He enjoys using natural light and most of his images are candid and spontaneous. According to his website (http://robbrazierphoto.com/) he uses a ‘Nikon D700, mostly using either a 50mm f1.4 or 24-70mm 2.8, both Nikon’.


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The background is blurry as the camera has focused onto the two men, who are more to the left of the image. This creates a lot of negative space in photograph but this works as it gives the wrestlers more of a fluid movement and without the negative space the photograph would be more squashed. The image has quite a lot of shadowing on the wrestlers which also helps with the movement. The downside of the shadowing is that you can’t see the distinctive colours/logos of the wrestlers which people who aren’t that familiar with the wrestlers could be confused as to who they are.



Website Bibliography
  1. Koslov, G. (2017). What is Contemporary Photography? | Foto Relevance LLC. [online] Foto Relevance LLC. Available at: https://fotorelevance.com/what-is-contemporary-photography/ [Accessed 14 Sep. 2017].
  2. Pratt, S. and Pratt, S. (2017). Event Photography 101: What is Event Photography? – Intrepid Freelancer. [online] Intrepid Freelancer. Available at: http://blog.suzi-pratt.com/event-photography-101-what-is-event-photography/ [Accessed 13 Sep. 2017].


Book Bibliography