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Stage – Introduction

Stage photography is not easy to do especially if photographing a live concert. The performers are moving, the lighting levels are low and constantly changing and unless you have a press pass and permitted some free space to take shots, it can be very difficult to fight through the crowds at music festivals to get close enough. With formal seated concerts, it simply isn’t permitted to take photographs anyway and so you need to ask if you might attend a rehearsal of some kind.

It’s useful if you have a portfolio of good images available to back up your credentials as a serious photographer when seeking permission. Getting permission is always a good thing but also think about safety – if you’ve got a long lens and are in the crowd, your lens might get damaged or you might damage somebody else with the lens! For best results, use a long, fast lens, high ISO on good digital SLR and maybe take a monopod as well.

Folk Fiddler

This is perhaps my favourite Cambridge Folk Festival shot. I like the isolation of the fiddler with no distraction in the background. The face is sharp, I have both hands and all the bow in the shot. I also like the subtle lighting in the background and the rim lighting on his cap. It works for me!

Clare Hammond Plays the Piano

I wanted to do two things here – capture Clare through the piano showing the strings and get her reflection in the top of the polished piano. It may not be the most exciting of shots but it’s pleasing all the same.

Clare Hammond

When I photographed Clare she had not long been runner-up to the BBC musician of the year. Now she is an established pianist performing in concerts all over the country. After I had taken several shots of her playing the piano, I wanted to do a more commercial type of shot and liked the idea of capturing her reflection in the top of the highly polished Steinway grand piano.


No, this isn’t Deborah Harry. It’s another Trafalgar Square concert at the end of a Pride London event.

Rock ‘n’ Roll Sensation

This was another Cambridge Folk Festival image but singer made me think more of a rock singer than a folk singer. With this in mind, I applied a little zoom blur in post-processing to suggest the heady, and perhaps hazy, world of rock music.

Huguette Sings

Huguette sings French songs and regularly gives concerts in Cambridge. I have taken a number of shots of her at a dress rehearsal which have subsequently been used for posters and for the Mumford Theatre programme.

Bjorn Again

This was an Abba tribute act being performed in Trafalgar Square. I was fortunate enough to get quite close to the stage and took shots of the individual performers. Bjorn Again is the name of the band.


Cambridge Folk Festival image. I like the colours, lighting effects and the detail recorded in the accordion.

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