Thundermonks 2010

One More Jam – Thundermonks 2010

“Sorry for the short notice, but are you available this Saturday?”

That was the message from Sandra Cowan. Another photographer fell through. Could be fun. A poolside farewell concert by the Thundermonks. An awesome seven piece band that’s been together for their high school years. Graduating, they’d all be heading off to further their educations. This would be the last hurrah (maybe).

What’s the protocol for shooting a poolside jam? Improvise.

Some lighting, 100 foot extension cords, flash, diffuser, plenty of spare rechargeable batteries and memory cards. I’ll figure it out as I go. I work best this way.

As the band members arrived, I was shooting them like a paparazzi. I approached and with my best Steve Irwin said, “Just pretend I’m not ‘ear, I want to get photos of you in your natural habitat.”

Click any photos to enlarge.

Ben Foran - Guitar

Ben Foran – Guitar

How to shoot a casual poolside concert event:

  • Start with some test shots. Check and select your shooting mode, white balance, shutter speed, aperture, ISO.
  • Fresh battery, cleared memory card.
  • Scope out the grounds. Get a feel for the potential angles and perspectives.
  • Shoot constantly.
  • When anyone starts to “smile for the camera”, shuffle away like you’re on the go. After the second or third time you come back around, they’ll be used to your clicking and ignore you (that’s what you want). Conversing, laughing and being natural, candid. Be aware of who’s arriving. Make sure you get around to guests flowing in, but not immediately. Let them socialize for a while, warm up. Get some editorial shots along the way, like food and drinks, scenes.
  • When the band plays:
    • Get up really close and personal. Right in there with the band. Move amongst them while they play.
    • Shoot from high points and low perspectives. Any angle that comes to mind, just do it.
    • Get wide group shots.
  • Have a cocktail. Make it quick.
  • Go back and shoot some more. A lot more.
Duncan Hood - Drums / Vox

Duncan Hook – Drums / Vox

Sam Tait - Trumpet -MC - Vox

Sam Tait – Trumpet / MC / Vox

Now I have all these photos. What do I do next?

A well organized photographer will  have a website to upload the photos for choosing prints, print sizes, quantities and the like. It’s a very popular process and works swimmingly for most. I prefer self publishing (more ahead).

Market creatively, stand out.

I want to spend more time taking photos and self publishing if a lot more fun. There are many self publishing services out there.

“I find the self publishing process creatively satisfying and my clients love it.”


Here’s how it works:

  • Find self publishing software and services that work for your needs. Do something personal for your first few projects. Don’t experiment on a client. That’s like trying a recipe for the first time on your dinner guests.
  • Pick a relevant layout, colors, and design.
  • Pick the money shot for the cover. That one image that’s going to define the relevant feeling.
  • Organizing your shots – go with chronology, keep it simple and the story will unfold.
  • Don’t over burden with text. Use very little if any. It distracts. Let the photos speak.
  • Order a sample.
  • Take some photos of that sample and post web page like this. Now you have some product photography savvy too!
  • Send the link to your client.
  • Wait for the reaction.

If you don’t have the web know how for the web page suggested, bring your client the sample. It will have the same impact.


Thundermonks 2010

The usual way:

Online web site with uploaded photos, selecting prints.

  • “True” quality professional prints can really add up. Your costs and your client’s.
  • Well, it’s the “usual”.
  • They would have only highlights of the event. They could buy up just about all the shots online and put them into photo albums.

The self publishing way:

  • Now they have all the best photos. The whole story in a great looking hard cover book.
  • The web page generates the order.
  • The sample arrives in 3 to 5 days.
  • The sample can be reviewed and easily revamped. Ben had great suggestions.
  • The final order quantities arrive in the next 3 to 5 days.
  • Deliver, distribute, enjoy!
Andre Brault-Keys/Vox, Stacey Shopsowitz-Bass, Sam Tait-Trumpet/MC/Vox

Andre Brault (Keys / Vox),  Stacey Shopsowitz (Bass), Sam Tait (Trumpet / MC / Vox)

I Love Photography

Thank you! Great people and great music…hey, that reminds me, I was suppose to buy a Thundermonks CD!

“Wow! What a great and “Marc-like” idea.  Can I get 10 copies?”

-Sandra Cowan

MAMA Photography

MAMA supports the creative minds of the planet earth. If you come across somebody doing anything interesting and out of the ordinary, or just something that makes you smile, we’d like to know about it.

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