The Hardest Part of Being a Music Photographer

Last week, I asked a simple question to my Twitter followers:

“What's the hardest part about being a music photographer?”

Here's how you responded.

@crickontour: Night's like last night, show starts at 8pm, lead act on at 12:15am, editing complete at 4am, sleep till noon next day. Repeat!

@hybrid756: Hardest thing I would say is starting out with no clue how the business works. That, and badly placed smoke machines!

@Sara_Holla: Not having a Y chromosome/people thinking you're only in it to sleep with the band/d-bag security guards. (Yes, I'm bitter.)

@emily9980: Counting to three! Haha, they always have to tap my shoulder or something…

@Pixgremlin: I think the hard parts make it a challenge for me, but I must say it can be the management & their incompetence regarding ©.

@TheOnlyIzak: Mosh pits.

@redwallphoto: The late nights and deadlines, especially when also working a separate full-time job. The shooting challenges are the fun part :)

@sebbux: Having multiple terabyte external drives sprawled out across your desk… and needing more in a few months time anyway!

@xdonniex: For me, making the band feel comfortable in front of the camera, especially when they are just starting out (aka not famous)!

@fvphoto: Being respected as an artist and not just someone who sprays & prays.

@giloscope: Industry types who forget/never intended to sort your photo-pass.

@sk8bette: The unpredictable nature of it. Everything changes from shoot to shoot: lighting, crowds, performers, energy, permissions, etc.)

@dokool: Going to a show as a normal attendee, looking up from the mosh pit, and wishing you had your gear with you.

@jasonsheesley: Convincing young bands of the value of quality images, regardless of cost.

@minkus: Keeping the camera steady when it's your favorite band.

@evatography: Making $ and putting in requests/dealing with pr/management types. Shooting a show is the easiest most enjoyable part of it all.

@victoriapk: Lighting, lighting, lighting. Every venue & show is different…

@shotbykim: The schedule is rough; you are always out shooting shows while your friends are out drinking/dinner etc.

@xdonniex: Trying to reach a personal style without taking too much inspiration from other pros.

@benyacobi: Marketing oneself.

@ailinglu: The hardest part of being a music photographer… is when you stop taking pictures of the band.

@scorpiusdiamond: 1) Rejection 2) Liquids 3) The unexpected.

@simplyjenn: Getting the lighting to line up with the shot. And getting the shot at the right angle.

@delineated: Finding time to properly edit each show set before getting too backed up. Not easy when shooting multiple shows/week.

@LizFromStLouis: The hardest part: Being taken seriously when you're a girl photog at at pop-punk show.

Have Your Say

Agree? Disagree? What do you do you think is the hardest part of being a music photographer?

Add your answer below or hit me up on Twitter via @toddowyoung.

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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