Fit out the stage for theater productions.
Music is as much about sight as sound. It’s full of iconic imagery, and a Music Photographer’s job is to collect, capture, and catalog it with a camera.
If you visit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum in Cleveland, for instance, you’ll see David Bowie’s painted face captured in a portrait; Michael Jackson on stage, moonwalking; Madonna doing her best “vogue” on a magazine cover; and the Beatles crossing Abbey Road on an album cover. When you’re a Music Photographer, that’s your brand of photography.
Sometimes, you do it for the Artist. Sometimes, you do it for the record company. Oftentimes, you do it for the media, including newspapers, magazines, and websites. Almost always, however, it’s an attempt at chronicling music events and personalities for consumption by fans and the general public.
Because potential images are everywhere, Music Photographers work wherever there’s music. For instance, you may work in a photo studio, taking photographs of Artists for album covers, magazine spreads, and promotional items, such as posters, programs, and press kits. Or, you may work in a recording studio, documenting the recording process with images that will be used in CD liner notes or in a retrospective about a band. Perhaps most often, however, you work on site at concert venues — stadiums, clubs, theaters, etc. — photographing live performances as a Concert Photographer, with your live-action shots being used later alongside concert reviews in magazines, on music merchandise that’s sold by the Artist, and in marketing materials created by record labels.