For my first ever concert photography assignment, I had the pleasure of attending MØ’s sold-out show at Webster Hall. MØ is a Danish singer who found commercial success as the vocals on the 2015 smash hit Major Lazer song, “Lean On”. Major Lazer is my all-time favorite music group, and a lot of MØ’s songs are popular on the charts.
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Earlier in 2022, she released her third album, Motordrome, which she was on a world tour for when I photographed her at one of New York City’s popular concert venues. Webster Hall is one of those spots in the city that everyone goes to at least once in their life. Hilariously, as much as I enjoy the music scene and have been to many festivals and concerts, I had never been to Webster Hall until this point. Located in the East Village, they host a wide range of musical guests and are also conveniently near Union Square. Access is easily accessible via the 4/5/6 or N/W/Q/R trains.
MØ’s music is a bit alt-pop, in that her voice and aesthetic are different than conventional pop songs and artists, but her music makes you want to dance nonetheless. With over 6 million monthly listeners on Spotify, MØ’s no stranger to putting out music that audiences all over the spectrum listen to. Lean On is one of my all-time favorite songs, so I was brought back with a little bit of nostalgia when the song’s famous intro started blasting through the speakers. Cue “blow a kiss, fire a gun”.
The show opened up with Tezatalks, who is a vocalist and songwriter, and says what’s on her mind, especially about feminist values. I appreciate that she makes a point to use her platform to be a role model. Tezatalks perfectly matches MØ’s quirky vibe and was a fun way to start off the show!
Concert photography is a notorious challenge because of the low light, but that was actually something I wasn’t worried about. I had been prepped with surprise proposals in romantic restaurants. Since this was my first time doing concert photography though, I wanted to be light and nimble as I wasn’t sure what to expect in the photo pit. You can only be so prepared by reading blogs and watching YouTube videos on photo pit etiquette.
Overall, the experience was a nice intro to this genre I’ve been wanting to break into. I arrived 30 min before showtime and the security let me in the photo pit 5 minutes before the opening act came on. There were other photographers there, but it wasn’t a mosh pit. I even befriended a couple of them. Networking is super important to do everywhere you go. Besides that, the main advice I can share that I was given is to have fun and watch your stuff.
When deciding what camera gear to use, I typically pull from the same list. As this was a low light situation I definitely wanted to use my full-frame Sony a7iii and a versatile zoom lens like the Tamron 28-75mm, f/2.8.
The secret to having stand-out pictures though is a star filter to put over your camera lens. They come in crosses of 4, 6, or 8, and make all the difference in some stand-out photos.
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