Photography Tips – Photographing Bands

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Are you heading to a gig and want to take pictures of your favourite artists? This post will explain some of the techniques, settings and equipment you should consider using for great results. Example pictures shown are of a band called Kid Wave.


It’s a good idea to use the fastest lens you can, ie a lens that has the widest aperture such as f2.8. A zoom lens is a good option if you are planning on moving around and won’t be able to get close to the artists.

Canon EF 50mm f/1.8 Lens Canon EF 24-70mm f/2.8L Zoom Lens


Settings to Use

You don’t want to be taking long exposures when taking pictures of bands as the artists will just be blurred. It’s also recommended to not sure a flash, as well as this being distracting it, will often remove the stage lights resulting in a picture with boring plain lighting.

Aperture:  Use an aperture of around f2.8-f4

Shutter speed: A shutter speed of around 1/125 should normally be ok and would even catch movement from the artists. The shutter speed could be lowered or increased according to your focal length and the amount of movement by the band.

ISO: 3200-6400

Stage Lights

Think about where the lights are in the scene and consider positioning your subject between the lights and your camera for interesting glows and effects.

Band Images with Back Lighting
Band Images with Back Lighting | 1/250 sec, F2.8, ISO 6400

Black and White

Often band images look fantastic in black and white. If possible take your pictures in colour and convert them afterwards in post.

Kid Wave Black and White
Kid Wave Black and White | 1/100 sec, F2.8, ISO 6400

Band Members

It can often be easy to just take pictures of one person in the band but don’t forget to get wide-angle shots and images of all the members.

Band Member Shots
Band Member Shots | 1/160, F2.8, ISO 3200

Band Member Shots 2
Band Member Shots | 1/160, F2.8, ISO 6400


Detail shots of just the band’s instruments can also be interesting for your collection.

Kid Wave Band Details
Kid Wave Band Details
Band Detail Shots 2
Band Detail Shots | 1/160, F2.8, ISO 6400


These are some of the settings and techniques that you could use to take better pictures of music bands. Be sure to try them out next time that you’re at a gig.


Written by

Mike Clegg

Mike is a traveller, photographer, WordPress developer and the creator of He started this website so as to share his experiences and tips with travellers. He is from the UK and has travelled to many places around the world. He loves to shares his pictures and stories through Instagram and this website... [Read full bio]

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