Portraits: As I Lay Dying

Portraits of metalcore group As I Lay Dying on The Cool Tour 2010, photographed in St. Louis by music photographer Todd Owyoung. (TODD OWYOUNG)

I caught up with the guys of As I Lay Dying on the Cool Tour for a quick portrait session before their headlining performance. As is often the case with assignments like this, we had about ten minutes for the shoot. Going in, the goal is to have the lights as dialed in as humanly possible, so that I can focus on directing and composing the guys.

To my good fortune, the crew of As I Lay Dying, from the band to their tour manager, was exceedingly nice to work with – which made this hot, outdoor shoot a breeze instead of a nightmare.

Portraits of metalcore group As I Lay Dying on The Cool Tour 2010, photographed in St. Louis by music photographer Todd Owyoung. (TODD OWYOUNG)

Photographer's Notes:

The setup for this shoot with As I Lay Dying was a four-light job. Despite a 2:00pm call-time with blazing sunshine, shooting in the shade not only kept the band nice and cool, it made for great control over ambient lighting.

Camera Gear Used:

Lighting Gear Used:

The key light for this setup was a Nikon SB-900 Speedlight shot through my 18-Inch Beauty Dish. This light was used on a monopod that was boomed over the band. I triggered the key light via a Nikon SC-28 Remote TTL Sync Cord, which freed me up to use all three of my SB-900s as off-camera flashes while still getting the benefit of on-the-fly adjustment via CLS on the commander.

In addition, I used two 45″ Photek umbrellas on either side of the band, which provided a little simple edge lighting to help create a little pop from the background. However, in addition the bringing in light from the sides to light the edges of the guys, the umbrellas also provide some nice, directional fill as well.

I used two Nikon SB-600 for a little rim light behind the guys, slightly off-center camera-left. While I used two SB-600s, you could just as well just use one light – I like using two of the lower-powered speedlights to keep recycle times brisk.

End Notes:

Shout out to the very cool guys of As I Lay Dying for being pros and a pleasure to work with on this shoot. If you missed the set from their live show, you can check out AILD's headlining performance on the Cool Tour here:

My Camera DSLR and Lenses for Concert Photography

Nikon Z 7:
I use two Nikon Z 7 for my live music photography. A true do-it-all mirrorless camera with amazing AF, great speed and fantastic resolution.


Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8S:
The 24-70mm is my go-to lens. The range is ideal for stage front photography and the image quality is superb.


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.

See My Full Kit for Concert Photography

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