Photography

Mike Brooks: Meet the Best Music Photographers in North Texas

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Mike, what's the best thing about live music?

In my mind, live music is about an artist establishing a connection with an audience. I love rock music, and when it is best there is an intense tribal, celebratory bonding going on between the stage and the floor. I don't really like EDM, and I'm pretty ignorant when it comes to rap, but if you can get a big crowd up on its feet, then I want to shoot it. Jazz, folk, classical, it doesn't matter. It's the communal buzz that has made live music and performance a part of the human condition since we stopped walking around on all fours. Once that connection is made---zap---go get a picture that captures it.

What makes a great concert photo?

Like any other photograph, a good music shot has to have good lighting and composition. And a really good photograph always has a little mystery or surprise in the details. Live music is about vibe and energy, and that comes at you from all directions ... make sure you are looking in all directions. My basic advice to anyone who wants to have more interesting music photos is to stop taking 500 shoots of the lead singer while ignoring everything else going on.

What's the strangest thing that has happened to you while photographing live music?

You mean like the time I was part of a conga line with Edie Brickell and the Blanco High School marching band?

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Shawn Gadley
Contact: Shawn Gadley