Welcome to my second blog post from my gig photography series. In this post I’d like to share how I prepared to photograph Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show Liverpool at the ‘Camp and Furnace‘.
Getting the gig:
As a gig/events photographer you often spend a lot of time chasing jobs to cover, but every now and again, sometimes those jobs find you.
A good friend of mine who happens to know a lot about the work I do, and knows a lot about me as person, happened to mention my name to Craig Charles PR company, ‘Bite the Apple’, who was after a photographer to capture Boxing Day home coming Craig Charles Funk & Soul Show Liverpool in his home town.
After they reviewed my work, I was contacted and invited by Craig’s PR people to cover his show at the Camp and Furnace, which is in Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle, located between Liverpool’s Toxteth and docks areas.
Liverpool’s Baltic Triangle is a real gem of an area in Liverpool which really comes alive in the evenings with creatives and music events.
It is too easy for any photographer to accept an offer, pack their gear into their bags and head off to photograph whatever they have been asked to do on the day, but as this is a PR company I have never worked for before, I decided to research who ‘Bite the Apple’ are, what other people they represent and, more importantly, the style of images they use.
Often, their website will contain links to social media accounts, so it is as equally important to like and subscribe to those as you never know what other things this can lead to. Luckily, I was already a follower of Craig Charles ‘Funk and Soul Show’ page, so I already had some idea of what sort of images the client would like me to present.
It is also important to know where you will be shooting and what to expect when you arrive at the venue.
After speaking to the PR Company, I knew the venue was going to be the ‘Camp and Furnace‘, I’ve covered various music venues around the Baltic Triangle but this would be the first time I have covered particular venue.
Fortunately for me, the person who referred me to the PR Company had also recorded a video for one of Craig Charles previous Funk & Soul Show’s at the ‘Camp and Furnace’ venue. It also happens he is my partner’s daughter’s boyfriend.
We watched the video and considered the flow of Craig Charles Funk & Soul show; the lighting conditions at the venue, and what to expect.
The ‘Camp and Furnace’ is like other smaller venues, that is, the lighting conditions are very challenging but workable. I use the techniques to deal with the challenge of the lighting conditions that I teach attendees at my gig photography workshops.
This experience shows the value of having contacts and a portfolio of work online. Potential clients then have the opportunity to review your work, so it really is worthwhile recognising the value of keeping the online content to a reasonable number of quality images rather than seeking quantity!
So what do you do when you do not have a video available?
Most bands and event organisers use social media. This a valuable research tool, where you can review images already taken or see footage people have recorded on mobile devices.
Before covering an event, I always run through a checklist:
- What camera gear do I need?
- Are my batteries fully charged?
- Make sure I have a notepad/pen
Talking of preparation, I also make it my personal ‘golden rule’ to set up folders for storing the images as soon as a I return from a gig.
- Research who you are working for
- Research who or what you will be photographing
- Research the venue
- Anticipate any potential issues that could arise
- Make sure your equipment is ready well in advance
A big thank you to Craig Charles and Bite the Apple
Love & peace, Warren