Mike Mezeul II: Meet the Best Music Photographers in North Texas

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

By far, the fans. It can give you chills when a band completely rocks out on stage and you hear the crowd just roar. There's nothing better than feeling the energy of the band and crowd together almost about to blow the roof off of the place.

What makes a great concert photo?

Concerts are shows being put on for the audience, with that said, the lighting, the makeup, the props, the poses are all in place for the photographer already, so thinking outside the box is huge for a concert photographer. You've basically got another photographer standing on either of side of you snapping away with the same gear as you, so you need to find a way to make sure you're photo stands out from theirs. I think taking risks as far as photography goes, make for a good shot. Using various lenses like a fisheye or a wide angle, double or triple exposures, silhouettes, etc. can take your photo from good to great. But also making sure you capture the emotion of the performer, working with the light, using leading lines, and not forgetting the reason the band is their (the crowd) all make for a great photo.

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

Oh boy...besides the numerous beers I have had thrown at me, the desperate things people will do to get your attention to take their photo, and having performers spit on your camera....I would have to say my experience with Brendan Canning of Broken Social Scene was one of the more strange/awkward moments I've had while shooting. I was photographing the band a few years back at the House of Blues in Dallas. During one of the songs, Brendan hops off the stage, comes through the photog pit, and then stands up on the rail and starts holding the mic out to the crowd. So with that said, I took advantage of the opportunity and stood up on the rail next to him and started clicking away. After about five clicks, Brendan looks at me, stops singing, and asks me if I'm done taking my photos. It's a very awkward feeling when you have a few thousand people looking at you, seeming kind of pissed off that you stopped their show. So I kindly shook my head yes, hopped down and the show continued on, the shot though, so it was all worthwhile.

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Shawn Gadley
Contact: Shawn Gadley