The great live shot is so much part of music culture that we take it for granted.
The tragedy is that it could be a dying art.
The restrictions being placed on working photographers are a joke.
For a good few years they have been forced to snap the band for the first three songs only and then shepherded out of the photo pit like naughty school children. This week my band, Goldblade, have been out playing shows in big venues with the Misfits and it really underlined this strange situation.
On stage you don’t really notice the photographers until you see them all leaving en masse after three songs. Speaking to the snappers afterwards you just get the world weary answers about trying to get the shot in a tight amount of time.
Who decided this bullshit? The venues blame the bands and whilst it’s certainly true that some tawdry pop star egos like to control everyone in the room with their bullshit it seems most bands are not really that bothered. And still not bothered when the next excuse is brought up that the flash of the camera gets in their eyes- which is an odd excuse when you got that light show popping off around you…
Another excuse is that the photographers get in the eye line of the audience and whilst this could be slightly feasible I have never met anyone who has complained about this…
It all seems a matter of control in an increasingly controlled music business. The photographers are treated like cattle when they are doing a crucial job of documenting the event.
I’m not sure where this all started- probably a big pop band trying to control their image and then the promoters and venues got onto it.
Of course it has got worse recently with photographers telling me that sometimes they get one song or even 30 seconds to get the shot and with added photo approval restrictions where the artist in question has to approve of the shots before they can be published with one person demanding a double chin being removed from their shot!
Live photography is like war photography, it should be warts and all, that’s why it’s live, a great live shot defines a band, it can make a band so lets get rid of these stupid restrictions, especially now with the odd thing that now with the great power of digital cameras the audience snaps away till the end of the set, getting pictures that break all the new codes impinged on the professionals..
Do photographers spoil the audience eye line?
Is three songs enough?
Who makes up these silly rules?