I was asked to shoot photos and videos of concert pianist seeking publicity photos. Concert photography can be tricky and below I highlight a few key takeaways from this shoot that may be helpful to photographers and musicians alike.
1) For publicity videos, shoot during rehearsal. A lot of people don’t plan ahead and wait until last minute to find photo/videographers to covers an event. At the event itself, camera people are constrained by the space and environment like the inability to add your own lights or get close enough to the subject.
2) Strike a balance between formal photos and action shots. While you may be required to take shots of the face for publicity purposes, musicians care about their craft so the interaction between their hands and the instrument may be more important than their face when it comes to what the client wants to see.
3) The instrument can used to frame your shot. The opened piano created a triangular frame for the subject and the dark black paint makes great reflection shots. Not to mentioned the bonus of exposing the complex details which adds visual interest to the shot.
4) Stage lighting for dramatic flare. The great thing about the stage is that it is already equip with lights so not a lot of lighting gear is required. Shooting with the light behind you provided balanced even tone or flip around and shoot against it for glitzy effects.
All of these photos were shot using a crop camera with a single off-camera strobe, a 17mm and 85mm lens. I left a second camera shooting video continuously throughout. The simple setup allow for a quick and efficient shoot with limited time. All in all, it worked out and the client was happy.
Have questions or comments about the shoot? Please leave a message below and I’ll gladly respond.