As our annual celebration Shout About It Live approaches, we would like to introduce you to all of our exhibiting photographers this year! We wanted to involve as many photographers as possible in this years festival, and for that reason we have not one, but two exhibition spaces! The main exhibition will feature a range of photographers alongside a massive line up of live music. We will also have a smaller public exhibition in the bar area that will showcase photographers from around the world.
Let’s meet one of our main exhibitors… Katie Frost.
- Tell us about yourself
I am a freelance photographer from London (UK) specialising in rock and metal live music photography.
- When did you start photography and where has your journey taken you since?
When I first started going to gigs around 1999 I often found myself taking photos with a little point-and-shoot camera, trying to capture the action. In January 2015 I received my very first DSLR (a Nikon D3300) as a birthday present and managed to get a couple of photo passes to shoot gigs around London. In the early days I photographed in-store band signing events at PULP on Oxford Street and was also part of the old House Photography team at MAMA & Co venues (including The Barfly, The Borderline and Kentish Town Forum). In June 2015 I travelled to Norway to photograph Tons of Rock Festival as part of a workshop and I have been back every year since. I am a contributing photographer for The Moshville Times (www.moshville.co.uk) and Stitched Sound (www.stitchedsound.com), and since my journey began I have upgraded to a Nikon D750. In May 2018 I won the Amateur category of the Event Photography Awards which was incredible!
- What is your favourite thing about music photography?
Capturing the atmosphere of the gig as well as the emotions of the artists and sometimes also the crowd. It is also of course very nice to be able to take photographs of your favourite bands!
- What is your least favourite thing about music photography?
The majority of people not realising that most photographers have a full-time job as they do not get paid for most of their photography work. Getting paid for your work is one of the toughest struggles of being a music photographer, in my experience.
- What has been your biggest learning curve since starting gig photography?
I will never again go to shoot a gig without checking that I have a memory card in my camera. Once and never, ever again!
- Do you build relationships with bands/artists you shoot? If so tell us about them.
Through shooting the Metal2TheMasses London competitions I have made some good connections with unsigned / self-signed bands who sometimes then get back in touch with me for a paid photoshoot. It is always nice when well-known bands like and share your photographs…with full and proper credit of course!
- Many photographers spend a lot of time shooting for free, do you have any advice for people just starting out?
I don’t think any music photographer started getting paid right from the beginning. There is a certain amount of “portfolio building” required at the start, but the key is knowing when enough is enough and you need to start charging for your work and turning down some of the free jobs. If all music photographers worked for free none of us would ever get paid. It is a tricky subject, especially in this day and age when everyone with the latest iPhone thinks they are a photographer, which de-values our art in a sense, in my opinion.
- Choose 3 of your favourite music photographers and a bit about why you like their work?
Edwin Kingston (http://www.instagram.com/edwinkphotos/) – Edwin has a similar style of shooting to me and I always find his work really inspiring. He has some particularly splendid ones of The Rolling Stones and Zakk Wylde!
Hannah Meadows (http://www.instagram.com/hannahmeadowsphotography/) – I first discovered Hannah’s work a couple of years ago when she began shooting one of my favourite bands The Pretty Reckless. I really love her style and she has some great BTS shots from tours.
Kenneth Sporsheim (http://www.instagram.com/kenspo/) – I first met Kenneth at Tons of Rock festival in 2015 and have always been really impressed with and inspired by his work. He has taken some kick-ass photos of Five Finger Death Punch…one of which made it onto the side of their latest tour bus! He is also a lovely guy.
- What are you looking forward to at this years festival?
Meeting a heap of wonderful music photographers in real life, rather than just online! I have also been meaning to check out Rews for ages but every time they play London I seem to have something else on 😦
- Tell us a bit about the work you have chosen to exhibit?
Essentially I have picked ten of my favourite shots from 2015 to present. The world of rock/metal music is still largely male-dominated so I made sure I included photographs of badass women to represent! One of the images I will be displaying won the Amateur category of the Event Photography Awards back in May which I was not expecting at all and it is something I am incredibly proud of.
- What are your hopes for the future of music photography?
To continue getting better and improving, as well as to tick a few more of my favourite bands off my photography bucket list. Of course I would love to be able to give up my day job in an office and make photography my main income, but I think I am still a good few years away from that point, sadly.
- What is your favourite way to share your photographs and why? E.g. Twitter, Instagram etc.
I like to use Instagram personally. That is the platform I use most to look at other photographers’ work and is therefore where I choose to post my own work. I find Facebook is too full of adverts and people telling everyone about their personal drama these days, though it is a great networking platform so I do also upload photos there. I also use Flickr because I find that to be a really good online library of my work that I can tap into on the go if I want to show someone a particular shot. I rarely use Twitter at all these days.
- What do you think makes a good gig photo?
A photo that captures a moment in time. Everyone loves a good jump shot, plus I also love pyro shots – both of which are pretty tricky to capture so I always respect anyone who can capture those! With rock/metal photography in particular I love shots that capture the energy of the show; whether that be a windmilling guitarist or a vocalist screaming into the mic.
- What are your plans for the future with music photography?
I will be shooting the final of Metal2TheMasses London on 7 July and have a few other gigs in the pipeline prior to Shout About It Live in August. After that my schedule of gigs I would love to shoot is really starting to fill up for September and October – lots of exciting things to look forward to!