The First Step

written by Austin Roa


Firstly, you're probably reading this because you're either curious about what all of this is, OR, you're super into slamming photos at live shows (me too baby). Secondly, you want to slam photos at shows, like, you really really really want to. You're either trying to get better, or you just want to take the first step. And here is what I personally recommend: just go do it. 

I mean it.

Just freaking do it. If you think about it, it won't get done. If you talk about it, it won't get done. If you schedule it and physically go, you'll have taken the first step. You'll get it done.

"But I don't have the right lenses, my camera is shitty, I don't know the band very well, I don't know what I'm doing."

Guess what, I didn't start slamming photos at shows until the age of 22 (which is actually a late age to start in this realm, but still, never too late to start in general).  I didn't know what I was doing when I was taking pictures. I was using an EF 24-105mm, at an f/4 (click here if you don't know what that means) for dark house shows. And if you DO know what that means, then you're probably laughing, because it turns out, you need light to take good photos. A zoom lens isn't the best lens for close and personal shows, especially dark ones.  

Plainly put, I had NO idea what I was doing. But!! With all that said!! I was doing it. At the very least, I was trying. And that's what made me better. I went home, looked at my shit, and thought, "all of this sucks, what went wrong?" And that's how I grew. That's how I took the first step. Of course, there are LOTS of tips here and there for any first-timers, and we'll gladly share those with you in this here forum shin-dig, but for now, I want you to know that taking the first step, is by going out and doing it.

Bring your friends. Go to a local house show in your area. Or a bar with some old musician playing. Find some kids busking on the street. Literally, it doesn't matter where you go. Just go!! Figure it out, and be adamant about wanting it baby. 

Jade Bird in Santa Monica, CA.  Featured in this Spotify article  with some of my other photos.

Jade Bird in Santa Monica, CA. Featured in this Spotify article with some of my other photos.