Live Music

Photographing local bands playing live music is what really got me into photography. I found it so exciting and even though, at 16 when I started, I had a fairly awful camera it made me want to practise, to get better, to eventually invest in a better camera.

I did. I bought my first DSLR at 18, a Canon 550D which I was using up until about 3 days ago… (RIP 550D, Jan 2012 – June 2019). So I replaced it with a Canon 77D (secondhand because I’m not rich) which I am very excited to try out at some gigs soon!

I’ve shot lots of local bands, a few bigger ones and loved every minute. I’ve recently felt a little restricted by the kit I’m using but hopefully with my new camera body I won’t feel that way anymore. I’m hoping to invest in a couple of new lenses over the next year or so too!

I love shooting gigs for a tonne of reasons, the first being that I’m a HUGE music fan. That said, sometimes the most fun bands to photograph are the ones whos music I wouldn’t normally listen to. For example, I never listen to metal at home, but I’ll happily go along to near enough any metal gig to shoot them because the bands always have so much energy, passion, and fun on stage – how can I not love photographing people like that?

I also love the challenge – low lighting which is constantly changing, people constantly moving, it’s unpredictable and amazing! You often have split seconds to get the perfect shot – a certain movement or look or a moment between musicians on stage – and when you do capture those moments, it’s thrilling!

Cosmosis - Rachel Oates - Oxford
I Said Yes - Live Music Photography - Rachel Oates
Postmodern Jukebox - Live Music Photography - Rachel Oates
Stornoway -  Live music - Gig Photography - Rachel Oates
Zuzu - Gig Photos - Rachel Oates