The Sound Cafe
Behind The Lens: Highlighting Concert Photography
By Ken Wallis.
Ken Wallis is based in Hamilton, Ontario, Canada, he is a retired associate Dean of Media Studies at Mohawk College, and has spent a lifetime working in the media. His passion is listening to Blues music, and he is also a keen photographer. He has contributed many interviews, photographs and articles to The Sound Cafe, and also by way of his Blues Source radio show podcasts here, which also air weekly on our sister website, the multi award-winning platform, Blues & Roots Radio Worldwide.
There’s a lot to take in when you attend a live music concert. The music is tantamount, but, the performance is also captivating.
Concert photography has to be one of the most difficult shoots to undertake. But the rewards outweigh the struggle to capture good pics.
For the fun of it , I’m going to feature 10 pictures that I feel capture the essence of the artists.
I’m an amateur, not a professional photographer, and some of these pictures show that. But to me these pictures have a meaning, a sense of joy being able to capture these moments.
The pictures are in alphabetical order ...
This capture is from 2012 in Toronto. It was one of my first shots with my Canon 6D. It shows the passion of Angel Forrest as she belts it out.
Shot this summer in Kincardine at the Lighthouse Blues Festival. A warming smile of pleasure while performing from Juno Award winner Crystal Shawanda.
Chuck Jackson and Donny Walsh this summer at the Orangeville Blues Festival. Two classic blues brothers that love playing together. Depth of field could have been better, but I still like this picture.
Taken a few years ago, I love this picture of Erin McCallum as you can tell she’s appreciating the sound coming from her guitarist.
This is such a feel-good picture of Jack de Keyzer and Richard Thornton. You can tell how much they enjoy being on stage together. Taken this year in Dundas.
Most of the time I love capturing expressions on musician’s faces. But this one shows the intensity of Lachy Doley as he pounds away on the keys at the Kitchener Blues Festival.
This picture brings an instant smile to my face. Miss Emily dressed for the occasion and loving every minute of it.
One of the biggest challenges at a concert is to capture that special moment. Particularly when a musician does the jump. I was in the wrong spot but still caught part of Spencer MacKenzie doing his jump.
Taken this summer at a concert of the Hamilton Superstars it doesn’t get any better than this. Two iconic Hamiltonians laying it down. Harrison Kennedy singing the blues and Steve Strongman enjoying it.
Caught at the Kitchener Blues Festival, Walter Trout puts everything he’s got into his show. Just plain powerful !
Hopefully this article may spark others to take up concert photography. I know I love it !