Concert Photography By Alan Hess and Scott Diussa

2 hr 2 min
Difficulty Difficulty Difficulty

There are many challenges to shooting concerts. Photographers have to deal with variable lighting conditions, moving subjects, tight spaces, and a limited time to get the shots they need. Concert photographers Scott Diussa and Alan Hess share some of what they have learned during their years of experience. They talk about their choices for camera gear, their shooting styles, how to anticipate shots, how to get a photo pass and signing releases, working around obstructions, lighting considerations, and the importance of shooting in spot-metering mode. The bad news is that it’s tough to make a living as a concert photographer, but both of these instructors agree, it is a very rewarding hobby as a photographer.

Video transcripts available with a subscription.

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Meet your instructors

Alan Hess


Alan Hess is a San Diego-based commercial photographer specializing in concert and live-event photography. He has photographed hundreds of concerts three songs at a time. From small club shows to big arenas, Alan enjoys the fast pace of shooting on the fly, the rush of the house lights going down, and the drive to capture the "show" in th...

Alan's Courses

Profile photo of Scott Diussa

Scott Diussa is a photographer, teacher, musician, traveler and part-time writer. His photographic background started with weddings, portraits and architectural photography but quickly changed to teaching photography at the Disney Institute at Walt Disney World in Orlando, FL. From there he joined the Nikon "family" and is currently the M...

Scott's Courses


Join the Discussion
  1. Profile photo of tstreiff tstreiff

    I have to say this is my favorite video and gave me some valuable tips on shooting some local bands. From exposure settings (which validated my own) and the black and white / filter trick for red colors, it was very informative. It also gave me the courage to ask for some photo passes for national acts (with links to my previous work and no rejections yet) and I have shot a few with lots more coming soon. This video in itself was worth the yearly price of admission. All valuable information which I found 100% correct and true. Especially the ear plugs lol and taking more memory cards than you plan to shoot with + batteries, flashlight, and paper proof. Some of the bigger acts sound will physically move your body and will blow out your hearing. I shoot mostly rock / metal. What a rush!

    The only thing I would add is if you are looking for a national promoter or tour manager to ask for a pass: some will get back to you in minutes and others can take days or weeks. My quickest was five minutes email response on a Sunday (national act) and longest was a month of many emails (large national) . Sometimes you will get no response and you need to ask someone else and do a lot of research. Some bands will post this information on a website, others you have to climb Mt. Everest and back to locate the info. In my experience the smaller bands of course are quicker and more accommodating but not always.

    Thanks again!

  2. Profile photo of Richard Richard

    A few days ago I went to a concert as a guest of the steel guitar member of the band. He got me an all access pass and I also spent time on the tour bus before the concert. I went into the pit just to watch the show, surrounded by fans…no cameras in my hands. I was watching the musicians move, the lights, and backgrounds. I had no idea of how to shoot this concert in terms of gear and technique. Watching this course has given me the confidence to go out and try my hand at covering a local band. The course is very well structured and filled with practical tips that I know will help me. Both Alan and Scott do a fantastic job of instructing.

  3. Profile photo of rick7 rick7

    Great video. I shoot pictures and my church. I learned a lot!

  4. Profile photo of Ray Warren Ray Warren

    I just wanted to come back and say that I recently watched this a second time before going out and photographing a friend’s band. Despite the the very poor venue lighting, I followed the advice in this course (including shooting in manual) and achieved great results. Thanks guys! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  5. Profile photo of 772796 772796

    EXCELLENT!! The best course ever. I found the answer for every question I had. It shows that photographers are masters and great teachers. Only great photographers can be great teachers, and teach photography. Excellent choice! —- Yes, please post my feedback

  6. Profile photo of Catherine Martin Catherine Martin

    This workshop on Concert Photography was incredibly helpful for me. I especially loved the help with metering and exposure in the kind of lighting environment unique to concerts. I had just been shooting a worship concert venue and wanted to get better at it, with more crisp and clear shots. Now I understand the challenges more and this help is invaluable. Thanks so much for all the good training. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  7. Profile photo of Gunhackx Gunhackx

    I really like this course. I like it because it is well explained and also show you the results. Only one thing about one of the guys. The guy with the black (flat) t-shirt is really nervous but he looks to do an excellent job as well. Keep it up guys. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  8. Profile photo of waltersedward waltersedward

    This course was to the point and concise. I really learned a lot and will take a lot from this learning session. —- Yes, please post my feedback

  9. Profile photo of csi csi

    I really like this video. watched it a few times and take notes. I also signed up for the pre-con workshop hoping to get more than what this video is offering. I just want to make sure if you guys are expanding the workshop beyond this video. I’m a newbie trying to find my comfort zone in terms of which kind of photography should I be focusing. Thank you!

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