Joel Barrios

Joel Barrios

Concert Photographer, USA

There's no reason for you to struggle and waste as much time as I wasted. "Shooting the Rockstars" will give you every single bit of information and knowledge you need to success in this business. I could easily sum it up saying that it will be the best money you would spend in your life. 

1. What big problems were you facing BEFORE enrolling in Shooting The Rockstars?

When I had enough money saved I bought a Nikon D750 and a Sigma 50mm F1.4 DG HSM prime lens, after reading for days about what camera to buy. Well, mission accomplished, now I had what I needed! "But wait a minute, what about all these setting and buttons and combinations?" Well, more homework was on the horizon.

I started reading about ISO, shutter speed, aperture, exposure and all the terms. I managed to go to some concerts in open venues where the camera policy wasn't so strict and the pictures started to came out close to what I wanted for so many years. I had a previous knowledge of Adobe Photoshop and decided that I have to get familiar with Adobe Lightroom as well. The concepts had cleared up a lot, and many clouds were lifted, however knowing all of that didn't solve a big problem. I had now the gear and some initial knowledge, but how the heck could I get into the venues with all of that equipment? I knew I wouldn't have the slightest chance. It was a moment of disbelief. "What should I do?". I was sure I had an increasing passion for concert photography and I wasn't willing to give up after all I had progressed. But the fact remained I didn't have a way to get a press pass or whatever else was needed to do what I had been wanting to do for so long. I was stalled.


2. What did you think about concert photography AFTER going through the training?

Going through Matthias' course was an unbelievable involvement. I could say it was eye-opening and revealing, but those adjectives don't even begin to make justice. It was some sort of a religious experience. The guy simply knew one and every single aspect of the business and explained it in such a simple and well laid-out way that I was in awe. I even liked his accent, I could relate myself being Spanish my native tongue. "Why on Earth I haven't discovered him before?" Well, I can't be happier that at least I did.

The first that happens to you when you go through that course is that it changes your mindset. You learn a bunch of things and you perfect some other you might already knew, but the whole vibe underlying the whole 5 modules is simple: You can do it, don't even think for a second you can't. There's so much advice and so much motivation like I could have never imagined. It is brilliant, is inspirational, but above everything else it is encouraging. When you finish the last module you feel like some super-powers have been infused into you, and you are ready to rumble and prove the world there's a real badass concert photographer in you. You realize that nothing is impossible.


3. What specific results have you achieved as the result of this training?

As result of Matthias' course I am now a different photographer. I learned so much I can see things differently while in the photo-pit, take different approaches at my composition and workflow, and make my pictures to look better and better. I've learned how to use poor lighting conditions to my advantage and I am also no longer struggling with how to get my gear into the venues. I'm associated now to "Rock at Night" as their Miami correspondent and so many doors have opened like I never dreamt of. I've managed to interview some of my idols (Marty Friedman, Jon Anderson, Joey Vera, Nick D'Virgilio to name a few) and I've built my own Facebook page and my own website to showcase my work, understanding much better how to build up a following over social media. And I feel I am only scratching the surface.

Last but not least, I am now more confident about a very important side of being a concert photographer: the business part. From bands to managers, venues, agents, publicists and promoters, I now have knowledge regarding how to approach them, and how to make them understand how important the photographer work is. I managed to be the only official photographer for Neal Morse's prestigious annual festival Morsefest 2016, and that assignment boosted my work exposure to the moon. I've got around 55k photo views in the month of July alone, it was crazy! This course has given such self-confidence and provided me with the right utensils to sell myself and my work as a professional; and most importantly: not to work for free!


4. What would you tell another “new student” of Shooting The Rockstars? What words of advice would you have now that you’ve gone through the program?

So, if you are passionate about music and photography, there's no reason for you to struggle and waste as much time as I wasted. "Shooting the Rockstars" will give you every single bit of information and knowledge you need to success in this business. I could easily sum it up saying that it will be the best money you would spend in your life. 

All your insecurities will disappear, all your questions will be answered. Even if you only envision yourself doing concert photography as a hobby, even if you haven't bought your first professional camera equipment yet, do not hesitate: Matthias' course will change the way you look at the entire subject and will impel your passion in an accurate direction. The only additional ingredient needed for the perfect recipe are hard work and perseverance, if you have them in you, you just find your Holy Grail. What are you waiting for?


Joel Barrios