Justin Bieber’s concert at the Staples Center was a FOH shoot, which means you get to shoot from Front of House. For those of you who do not know where that is- if you have ever been to a festival it’s the area in the middle of the crowd that you never want to stand behind. Anyway, I have never photographed a show from this location – not by choice. I was so excited to try it out and see what kind of challenges it would bring and what I could learn from it. These shots are different than most because they all look… pretty similar. I couldn’t move so I was kind of at the mercy of my equipment.
My equipment – let’s be honest, it is not that great. No excuse I promise, but I just don’t own very expensive lenses. My longest lens is a 70-200 2.8 with a 2x on it. So I figured I would bring that and try to get some nice close-up shots. In addition, I wanted to get some wide images. I know most photographers had no use for the wide images but I was allowed to photograph this concert how I wanted – so I brought my fisheye at the end of a monopod. I ended up not using the 70-200 with 2x that much and instead swapped to a 24-70 to get some full stage shots. The production was so good, I felt like just focusing on Justin would have been a crime.
I forgot to mention that I did not bring a stool. I have always seen photographers in photo pits with them and I get it, you got to get up higher so you can get a photograph with the feet in it as well. But it always made me laugh too, mostly cause I just feel like they should be getting some soup out of the top shelf, or helping me paint a wall. Tonight however I needed one. We had to shoot over the crowd and I am not taller than the crowd. Luckily my good friend Mike Danenberg hooked me up with his extra stool. So thank you, Mike, you made my night possible.
The night ended up going pretty well. I was able to get some good shots in the 10 minutes I was allowed. I did get one crowd shot but my monopod was too tall so I was promptly told to stop. I hope in the future I am able to photograph his first set as there is so much more I could do with a beautiful production like this. One day, but for now- here is what I made out with. I am semi-happy with the images, I ended up going with a black and white conversion on them because to me there is a lot about Justin that gets lost in the color. I love the raw look of him as a human. I think there is a lot to be said about him, and I think black and white says it best. Great show Justin, amazing production to Justin’s team, and shout out to the guy at FOH that was wearing a Vanna Boston shirt, I like your taste in music.
This is what I look like with all my gear if you were to rotate me. Ooooooo! Ahhhhhh! Very interesting yes. I always try to keep my gear compact and mobile, you never know when you are going to have to be somewhere that you currently are not.