1. What did you think about concert photography BEFORE enrolling in Shooting The Rockstars?
To be perfectly honest, I was becoming a bit frustrated with concert photography. I had an idea of where I wanted to go, but had no real roadmap on how to get there. I struggled with everything from basic camera settings to general shot composition, and every time I looked at my end result, I became more and more disappointed. There were many evenings I sat in front of my computer wondering if concert photography was the right path for me. I am sure everyone has felt this way one time or another, but it sucks nonetheless.
2. What did you think about concert photography AFTER going through the training?
I can recall sitting in front of my computer admiring the amazing work of concert photographers like Matthias Hombauer, Jack Lue, and Jason Miller. These guys understood how to bring concert photography to life in a way that truly inspired me. My work product to that point was hit-and-miss, and quite frankly continued to disappoint me. I knew if I did not take some type of action, my dream of becoming a concert photographer would be never become reality. It was at that point that I reached out to Matthias and signed up for Shooting the Rockstars. Investing in this program was one of the best decisions I have ever made and probably kept me from hanging up my camera altogether.
3. What big problem were you facing BEFORE Shooting The Rockstars? What from Shooting The Rockstars helped you solved that problem?
Prior to Shooting the Rockstars, I seemed to be struggling with the basics of concert photography - specifically low light concert settings and general photo composition. I knew that in order to become a better concert photographer, I needed to practice as much as possible.The problem I faced is that without any tangible experience, no one was willing to give me a chance to shoot. I had no idea where to turn. Fortunately for me, Shooting the Rockstars provided me the roadmap I was looking for. Matthias's comprehensive program helped pave a clear path for me that helped solve many of the problems I was encountering in a format that was easy to understand and put into practice.
4. What specific results have you achieved as the result of this training?
As a results of this training, I have made significant progress (in a very short period of time) as a concert photographer. First off, I feel much more comfortable with my camera and utilizing the appropriate settings for low light situations. These fundamentals were highlighted in the course in a way that was easy to process and put into practice. Shooting the Rockstars also outlined ways in which I could get the valuable experience needed to develop as a concert photographer without being unrealistic about the time and effort needed to get there. Sure, I wanted to shoot bands like Van Halen right out of the gate. However, I learned early on in this training that one needs to be patient and set realistic expectations in order to get to your final destination. This was hard to process at first, but I now understand why this process is so important in order to gain experience and credibility in this business.
5. 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?
My advice to new students of Shooting the Rockstars would be to take your time and go through all of the training in detail. Take notes along the way and determine what areas you need to focus your efforts on. Many of us have areas that we are stronger in than others, and this approach helps target areas are necessary to kick-start your career as a concert photographer.For me, it was understanding the fundamentals of my camera and getting experience practicing my craft. To overcome these challenges, I have spent hundreds of hours shooting bands in small clubs that most people have never heard of. Through lots hard work and sweat equity, I was able to connect with a local promoter who offered me an opportunity to work as his house photographer for a small club in Los Angeles. Over time, that relationship developed into a role as Editor at Large for his Southern California based e-zine called Hunnypot Unlimited. These experiences gave me the exposure and credibility needed to begin to shooting larger bands that would have never given me a second look earlier on in my career. One final bit of advice, do not underestimate the time you must put in to make your dreams a reality. It does not happen overnight and you will experience lots of disappointment along the way. Ask lots of questions along the way especially from seasoned photogs you'll meet in the pit!!I can honestly say that Shooting the Rockstars was one of the best investments I have made in my young career as a concert photographer. I by no means have mastered this craft, but feel that this training has equipped me with a solid tool kit that helps me get better every single day.In addition, the Shooting the Rockstars Facebook page that Matthias has created is simply amazing. It's a safe place to share photos, ask questions, and learn together as a community.Thank you Matthias for bringing your dream to life and sharing these experiences with all of us.I know I am a better photographer as a result, and can honestly say this training laid down the foundation necessary for my success now and in the future.