Once upon a time, I didn’t work a desk job. I freelanced and enjoyed life without an alarm clock and in an office where pants were optional. I’d travel to more music festivals in a summer than you can count on one hand. I had fun. I also lived on my parent’s couch. I’ve found a happy job here at Benchmark and still get to do some of the other stuff once in a while. Today, I get to blend the old with the new in the Benchmark 5: Things I Learned From Being a Concert Photographer.

    1. Flow is important. The elements of your image should create a logical path for the eye to follow. Something that will make the eye flow naturally across the image. Do you see the natural circular shape created in this image? It is created with the arc in Wayne Coyne’s back, the confetti cannon and the curve of the balloons.

      Flaming Lips 01

    2. Crop out what’s unnecessary. If the subject of your photo is small and centered with a ton of random background, your viewer may miss the point. Make sure your subject stands out, by cropping out any unneeded background.

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    3. Play with focus. If your background is blurry, it forces the viewer to concentrate on the subject of your image. Plus, it will create depth and help your image not feel so flat.

      Best Coast 01

    4. Don’t just center your subjects. I believe my Visual Communications professor taught that it’s best to line things up at the 1/3 marks. Maybe I’m just making that up. Regardless, the point is, your images will be boring if the subject is just sitting in the center in every shot. Moving them off to the sides a bit will create more energy and action within a picture.

      Grace Potter 04

    5. Tag your photos properly. Many of the professional photographers I know use Flickr. I uploaded my pictures from the first day of Coachella 2011 that night and woke up to an email from the Huffington Post asking if they could use my images. Their photographer had bailed on them and they found my photos on Flickr.

      Coldplay 02