To make things clear and for you easier to find answers for your questions, I decided to put together this F.A.Q. section. If you have any further questions, which haven’t been answered below so far, you can always ask me via e-mail: simona[at]metalpictures.net.
Can I use your pictures for my website/blog/webzine/etc.?
Webzines/online mags/etc.: You may use my photos only with my written permission! Please send me an e-mail to ask about the conditions.
Bandsites/fansites/blogs/etc: Yes, you may use the pics, but please link back to www.metalpictures.net if you do so, so other people know where those pictures come from. Would be also fair play, if you send me a message with a link where the pictures are posted, so I know where my photos ended up...
In any case, please note that all photos on this website are copyrighted and you can't use them without my permission for commercial use. No matter what you use the pics for, always remember you definitely can’t cut off the signature from my photos, re-edit them by yourself, or anything else like that! I truly hope you can understand and respect this. Thank you! :)
Can I have your photos in high resolution?
Yes, you can, but only if you are a band captured on those photos. This is possible also for magazines/labels/etc. who would like to use the photos.. Send me a message for details.
In the case you are a fan or private person, then I'm sorry, it’s not possible.
Can we hire you as a photographer? Are there also other things you are able to manage?
Yes, this should be possible almost everywhere around Europe, maybe even further. I travel a lot, so just ask, maybe I will be somewhere around your area soon. Besides photography, I can offer also other services, such as merchandise and promotional materials for bands (hoodies, t-shirts, posters, calendars, etc.). If you need a helpful hand at gig or festival, I'm experienced in this as well.
We are a band, can you come to our gig and take some pics of us?
Yes, this should be possible, but it’s most likely up to you to organize a regular photopass for me and pay the travel expenses.
Can you work for our webzine/magazine/etc.?
Sure, I’m always looking for a new opportunity to publish my photos somewhere, therefore this is possible. Send me an e-mail with a link to your website and add some informations regarding it. I will let you know whether I’m interested to co-operate with your medium.
Can I somehow buy prints?
In the case you are interested to buy some prints, please contact me personally regarding this. I don’t sell through any online stores and not all the photos I took are available for sale due to eventual band restrictions. However, I'm sure we can arrange something.
How long have you been photographing?
I started many years ago, at a very young age. I still remeber myself being a 10 years old kid or so and taking photos just for fun.. and I remember those old-fashioned analog cameras too, if you ask... Later, I started to shoot more often and at some point I ended up taking photos of bands at gigs and festivals, which of course meant I needed to get a better equipment… These days, my main tool is Canon 5D Mark II which is for sure a different league.
What equipment do you use?
I currently use Canon 5D Mark II and the old good one, Canon 450D, as a spare body. For analog photography, Flexaret VII wins it. Then there are about 5 other digital cameras lying at my home for a very occasional use. Lenses I’ve been currently using are listed here.
What are your favourit bands to shoot?
There are many bands you can get really interesting photos of.. NASUM, SÓLSTAFIR, SHINING, INSOMNIUM... it's really hard to pick up a few particular ones after all those years. :)
One band you would love to take photos of, but didn’t have the chance yet?
I've probably already shot all of the metal bands I wanted to... of course there are bands or artists I'd love to take photos of, but most of those are clearly unreal ideas for the simple reason those artists are not performing live, or are not among the living ones anymore.
I want to start concert photography too.. can you give us some advice about where to start, etc.?
First of all, you need a camera. Possibly, a really good one. Many people think they can take professionally looking pictures without any practise, with a cheap camera and just after they newly started with photography. Also, people think they will get a huge amount of money for their pictures. No, not at all.. be realistic!
If you want to shoot just for fun, you can get away with a cheaper camera and lenses, but if you are really serious about things, it will cost you a lot of money (about 4000 Euro, depends on the equipment you use). But it’s not just about money, for sure photography is a time-eater and means an endless practice. Yes, most of all, it’s all about practice…which reminds me of Billie Joe Armstrong‘s quote „Practice makes perfect, but nothing’s perfect. So why practice?“. That might be true, but in photography the irony is, that you need to practice a lot to be at least good, and perfection remain to be „just“ as the second matter.
Anyway, if you have money and are not afraid to invest it in a good equipment, then just do it! But don’t expect you will earn thousands of money back for your pictures. You all should ask yourself, if you wanna picture bands for money, or because of the fact that you like it! The chase after money probably won’t make you a good photographer (though it might be a good motivation), but the passion for photography itself should bring you on a good way! :)
In a few words: buy a camera, then practice, practice and practice and you will see when you’re getting better. And remember, there’s nothing more important than knowing the limits of your equipment and how to work with that! I should also mention, that it’s probably impossible to know everything about cameras and photography, so just study mainly those things you really need to know and you can learn about the rest later.. There are bunch of articles and forums on the internet about equipment, photography, editing pictures, etc. so just search for what you need and don’t be lazy to read!!! What you learn by yourself is just your benefit! There probably won’t be any professional photographers around to show you how this or that works out, because they simply just don’t have time for that, or they don’t want to share their experiences… and if yes, you’re very lucky then ;) It’s just good to be independent and don’t rely on the others they will take the time and show you all the stuff…
Oh, and there’s one more important thing: don’t just think about yourself, you’re the best photographer on the whole planet Earth. There are much better and much worse photographers than I am and the same applies to you! All of us should admit that to ourselves. Stupid close-minded self so-called „professional photographers“ are something really irritating. Just be critical to others and to yourself as well. By a time, it might happen that the more experiences you have, the more critical you’ll be. That’s all good probably, as long as you’re really objective.
And a good advice? – shoot whatever you want, the more different thigs you shoot, the more experiences you will have and your chance to be a good photographer goes higher. Also, don’t forget to keep an eye on the other photographers around and their work - you can learn a lot from them and you may get inspired. But find your own style and don’t just try to be someone else’s copy!
Well, it’s a long way to go…but patience, passion and time will bring you the results! :)
Can you recommend us what equipment to use?
Since my tool of choice is Canon, I can give you a few advices on their equipment.. You can start with a „basic“ body such as Canon 550D or the 500D. In any case, I would recommend you to check out the Canon 50mm 1,8 lens. It’s a cheap one, but still good for gigs where the light conditions are poor. If you have more money, then choose some lens with USM. The ability of fast focusing is very important at gigs. Furthermore, I can highly recommend you lenses from the Canon L Series, but be prepared for a very high price! I myself own the Canon 70-200mm 2,8L USM and Canon 24-70mm 2,8L USM and I’m really satisfied with both…
For my experience a good lens is more important than a professional body. You can always take good pictures with a Canon 550D body, if you have some lens with a good aperture like 1,8 or 2,8. But if you buy a Canon 7D and use some cheap Tamron lens with aperture 4-5,6 or so, it will be much harder for you to get good results. Plus it’s kinda waste of money for the expensive body, so to speak.
And in the end of it all… if you have a super-expensive equipment, but have no idea which button you should press, you will probably end up shooting on automat instead of manual, so here we go: it’s just a waste of money, nothing else! And anyway, to be honest, you’re an idiot in that case.. ;)
What is it like to picture at a gig or festival?
Concert photography is one of those harder fields of photography. There are many facts you have to take care about… lights, smoke, the movement of the band and so on.. and to make things even more tricky, usually you are allowed to take pictures only during the first three songs (mostly like if there is a photopit at the venue). Another fact is that using the flash is usually not allowed. So or so, personally I don’t care about the thing with flash that much, because I prefer to picture without it, to keep the atmosphere in pics, even though they might be dark or so… Sorry, but if you shoot 90% of pics with flash and you’re not able to shoot even one without it, don’t call yourself a photographer, because that’s just what everyone can do! But there’s one good thing about flash: if there are really dark lights at a gig and the flash is allowed, you can always experiment with a long exposure. It might be kinda tricky for someone, but you can get really interesting results :) Anyway, for the beginners I’d recommend to start picturing at smaller gigs where aren’t photopits or any restrictions regarding cameras. You will have more time to realize then, how this or that particular setting of your camera works… Also, always try to make sure you are not standing in the way of some other photographer. I know some photographers who most likely stood in the front of your lens just in the moment you wanna press the shutter (which is really irritating for sure).
In any case, I wish you a good luck and a lot of patience! :)
- Simona Bezdekova, 2011
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