Are you getting prepared to shoot your first ever music festival? As excited as you must be, you probably want to do the event justice by capturing some artistic film. Let’s explore some essential tips for shooting pictures and videos at music festivals. Hint: Don’t forget your camera!
X tips for great shots at a music festival
- Focus on things other than the artists. Your first instinct might be to ensure you don’t miss a second of the artist’s set, but your task is to sell the vibe of the entire event! That means filming and taking photos of audience members dancing and having fun. You could also consider taking some wide shots of the landscape. After all, you were hired to use your photography skills to sell this festival to people who might be undecided about attending in the future!
- Know when sunset will happen. Approximately 75% of the usable shots you take at a music festival will happen during the hour in which the sun is setting. This is because the faint glow of the sun creates aesthetically pleasing lighting which flatters the artists, audience, the set, and just about everything else at the festival. Remain on the lookout for great shots when the sun is up, but be aware that the glare can be difficult to work with.
- Concentrate on your shot list. If you’ve been hired to shoot the festival, you likely have a list of shots that your publisher wants. Be sure to capture all the photos and videos requested of you! Unless you’re shooting for a music magazine or another publication focused on the artists, you will want to capture extra shots like the campsite and any other attractions at the festival.
- Invest in some reliable equipment. If shooting a festival, you will want to depend on a quality camera like a Sony A7 III or a Nikon Z7. Bring a mid-range zoom lens, wide-angle lens, and a portrait lens to make sure you’re covered for all types of shots you might want to take.
- Be courteous in the photo pit. At most festivals, a dedicated area for photography will be located between the stage and the first row of spectators. Be sure to use this area to take detailed shots of the stage, but be aware of your surroundings – you don’t want to mess up the photos of fellow photographers! When you’re finished at the front of the pit, move to the side so others can take their photos.
Jack Vale is a writer in partnership with fence rental supplier Viking Fence.