Talk about concert photography! EVERYONE HAS A CELL PHONE and if you’re 10 or 20 rows back from the stage, they sometimes can obstruct your view, more than the person holding it. Cell phones don’t provide professional photos, but they do provide memories of a night you’ll never forget!
I’ve been interested in concert photography back to the early 1970’s. The first concert I attended was 1964, Herman’s Hermits, at the old Hershey Park band shell in Pennsylvania. We could not afford a lot of film back then. I had a Kodak Instamatic Brownie (didn’t everybody), but we only got film once in a blue moon, whatever that means.
The first concert I can remember having a camera at was Three Dog Night, May 15, 1971, Harrisburg PA at the Farm Show Arena. Didn’t have great seats, but DID get to see them up close. Cameras back then didn’t have zoom lenses, and I was a first-rate novice. But, I knew I loved taking pics at concerts.
The Digital Age of Concert Photography
Fast forward to 2009, through the years and all the cameras I owned and concert photography I attempted. I bought a Canon Rebel digital camera with an 18-200mm zoom lens. I won a contest to meet STYX at Hershey Stadium, and a few days after getting the Rebel, I greeted them backstage and introduced them on stage in front of roughly 11,000 fans.
I didn’t even know how to use or set up the digital camera. As David Victor can attest, I am NOT tech-savvy, whatsoever – he has the patience of a saint!!! I starting shooting pics backstage and during the show, but the next day, I soon realized that my settings were off by a mile! So, the biggest event in my concert history didn’t get photographically very-well documented. BUT, I did get some oddly-great pics that I will treasure.
Through the years, my concert photography became more presentable. Since I now had a digital camera, photography was FREE, so I have snapped thousands upon many thousands of pictures and concert pictures since 2009, although large zoom lens camera are pretty much prohibited now at concerts.
But, as my love for concerts grew, so did my necessity for being up front and center with my camera. I have taken some pretty good close-ups over the years, and have had some pretty nice encounters and experiences, like, a growing guitar pick collection, the remains of sweat from Jeff Pilson’s insistent headbanging, set lists from the stage, and even a souvenir Foreigner drum head that Linda Brothers hoisted me up on the stage to get. Oiy vey, the stories!
Just a few of my favs where I caught at an emotional moment.
Fast Forward Again to My Retirement Years?
After decades of loving the arena classic rock sounds of Boston, my husband and I flew to Florida the year of my retirement in 2012 and saw two Boston shows, one in St. Augustine and the other at the Hard Rock Live at Universal City Walk in Orlando. Here is a pic I took, unknown to me at the time, of David Victor, unaware that in about a year, I would go from buying front and center concert tickets to working for the sweetest guys on the planet!
I now own thousands of photos of one of the best classic rock tribute bands, David Victor formerly of Boston, from backstage to the back of the theater and everywhere in between.
I still don’t have a ‘professional’ camera or lenses, but I am having the time of my life on the road, traveling to places I’ve never been to before, meeting the most wonderful venue directors, fans that have become friends and hanging with David, Roby, Vic, Glenn and now Mikey, and Manny. Music people are the best!
Some Favorites from David Victor and Pals
So, as you can see, I am NOT a professional concert photography guru, but I sure do like looking back at my photos from shows and reminding myself that I am one lucky gal.
I often tell friends that my husband is so very patient when he knows I get on a plane, fly to cities across America, meet up with the guys of David Victor formerly of Boston, get in a van and hang out with 5 rockers for a few days- I sometimes don’t believe it myself! Rawk On!
Pat Benatar at the Tacoma Dome, I believe it was around 1983-84 no cell phones back then, no pics ☹
I bet that was a great show! Thanks Polly for your comment.