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Shooting Stars 3

Planning and Preparation

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In this special series, 15-year veteran photographer from Cologne, Germany, Peter Wafzig takes FotoTV viewers up-close behind the world of concert photography, along the way sharing valuable information, tips and techniques as well as sharing exciting images from his archives.

In this third installment, Wafzig focuses on the planning and execution of concert photography. Today he takes a look at all the many important aspects of the preparation and planning concert photography shoots. He also gives FotoTV viewers’ helpful tips and also what to expect when shooting from a stage trench, to even securing a parking space in close proximity to the concert venue. Because no photographer wants to walk blocks and blocks, weighted down with all his equipment.

Wafzig begins by giving viewers ideas on how to go about getting beginning concert photography, with tips such as starting off small, photographing a school band or a friend’s band. He points out it is important to have pictures to show clients what you can do and where your strengths (and weakness) lie. So building up a portfolio is the first thing to do. After photographers have enough photos, about 8-10 will do, they can begin contacting local magazines and newspapers to peddle their artistry.

Concert photography does not happen as easy as one thinks. You need to have an assignment letter from a newspaper or magazine editor in order to get accreditation from a concert promoter. Without an assignment letter you will not receive accreditation, no ifs ands or buts. Concert promoters generally only issue proper credentials to individuals or media entities that will help make their venue a success, in plain terms, a lot of press coverage.

Other vital areas Wafzig covers during this special series are, compliance and working with security while at concerts, verbal and written agreements and the sale and publication of images to third party magazines, or publications.