Best Music Photography of 2015
As 2015 comes to a close, I thought I’d take a moment to do a year-in-review and share some of my favorite images from this year.From portrait shoots with Keith Richards and Jimmy Page, to iconic venues like the MGM Grand Arena and Madison Square Garden, and on the road with country star Jason Aldean, these are some of my favorite images from 2015 that I’ve made as a music photographer.
My main kit for 2015 remained unchanged from last year for the most part. My two Nikon D800s are still going strong, and the trifecta of the Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8, Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, and Niko 70-200mm f/2.8 let me cover everything from ultra-wide 14mm to 200mm in the best possible quality glass. I’ll be doing a separate post on gear, so stay tuned.
2015 in Review
2015 was a great year. Since moving to NYC two years ago, a lot of my shooting has shifted to shooting for bands, brands, and event organizers. This year was a continuation of this trend, with some amazing shoots, including some extremely exciting shoots that are embargoed until 2016.
Some highlights from this year include separate portrait sessions with rock legends Jimmy Page and Keith Richards, which I worked on with my brother Chris Owyoung. These were just bucket-list kind of assignments, and to have these two in our books is very special.
This was also the fourth year in a row that I’ve photographed the iHeartRadio Music Festival in Las Vegas. This is a two-day festival that includes just about the most massive music stars of the year with an amazing production, which is a tremendous thrill. It’s basically like photographing a year’s worth of concerts in a single weekend.
In addition, continuing our work with country star Jason Aldean on his run of massive football stadiums with Kenny Chesney was phenomenal. Chris and I have worked with Jason on his tour photography for the last several years, and it has really been a privilege and joy to work with his whole team. It’s pretty amazing to be on stage in front of 50,000 fans, knowing you have cart blanche and the trust to make the images an artist needs. I am really looking forward to seeing how his team put the images to work.
Chris and I also shot the first annual FarmBorough Festival on Randall’s Island as the official photography team for Live Nation. I love photographing festivals for the event organizers, and it’s great to work with a team like the Live Nation team who are so committed to producing amazing events and having the photography to show them off.
Some highlights shooting for Red Bull include covering the Firefly Festival in Dover, DE and photographing Common in the Red Bull Studios in New York. This was the second year I’ve shot Firefly for Red Bull and it was an awesome production — just extremely well run, with a great line up and tons of amenities.
This year has wrapped up photographing iHeartRadio’s Jingle Ball at the legendary Madison Square Garden in New York City. I love shooting in this arena, and as always it was a thrill to photograph so many of the year’s biggest artists on one stage in a single night.
I’d like to end this with a big shout out and sincere thank you to all my clients — from the management teams, promoters, photo directors and editors and producers. Everyone who values music photography and gives me the trust to make images. I’m looking forward to big things in 2016, and I hope every music photographer out there is, too. Happy shooting and a happy new year to all your music shooters out there.
My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography
I use two Nikon D750 for my live music photography. Amazing high ISO performance in a compact body with tons of pro features.
Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8:
For most gigs, the 24-70mm is my go-to lens. Exceptional image quality at wide apertures and super-functional range.
Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8 VR:
A perfect pair to the Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8, I can basically shoot any job with the midrange and this lens. Superb image quality.
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8:
Ultra-wide perspective, ridiculously sharp even wide open at f/2.8. I love using this lens up-close and personal, where it excels.