We're kicking of the year with a look back at your favorite moments of 2023! From first disappointments that turn into breathtaking pictures, to the thrill of photographing your favorite artist to finding your soulmate at a gig. Get ready for all the feels!
For decades I am a huge fan of the Swedish artist Håkan Hellström. I have seen him twice live in Gothenburg when he was performing at the Ullevi Stadium.
Unfortunately, I never had a chance to take pictures at any of his performances, either in Sweden or abroad, up until last summer.
Luckily, I was part of the @rockfoto.nu photo team that was covering the Way Out West Festival 2023 for Rockfoto and Dagens Nyheter (one of the biggest daily Swedish newspaper).
Håkan Hellström was performing on the last day of the festival as the final concert. It was not just one of the many concerts of the festival, it was as well the final concert of his summer tour through Norway and Sweden.
For those who know Håkan, Gothenburg is his hometown. So, a concert there, at any size of venue, is always something special.
We were allowed to shoot from the pit for the first 3 songs and I tried to make the most out this time. Unfortunately, I thought in the beginning, it was pouring down during the whole performance. However, the downpour gave some special atmosphere and effect, which I discovered during the editing of the pictures after the concert. Not only was I finally able to take pictures of one of my favourite artists, but it turned out to be my favourite picture for the whole of 2023 and certainly a picture that I am proud of.
My favourite moment of 2023 was definitely seeing Palaye Royale end of January, and accidentally ending up with a boyfriend afterwards.
We found eachother in the pit, and had a first kiss in the confetti rain to my favourite song.
It definitely was one of those moments that you only thought happened in the movies.
I'm pretty sure the world slowed down and we were the only ones in the room.
For clarity; we had briefly met the day before, and I went looking for him in the crowd when my time in the photopit was over.
I did have a lot of other good gig/artist moments after this as well, from shooting my favourite bands to several backstage and promo shoots, but nothing as unique.
I have been doing concert photography for two years now. During this time I have worked with many artists, but one day I had a question - what if I was a photographer at a concert of an artist whose work I love with all my heart and know every song by heart?... it was a difficult question and I didn't find an answer.
And one summer day in 2023 I heard that my favorite singer is coming to our city. There is a dilemma: to be just a fan and have a good time or to try to get accredited and capture these unique moments?
I decide to write a request for accreditation, because as they say - you can't know if you don't try, right?
In the end - I get accreditation and go to photograph the concert!
I remember that on the first song I was overwhelmed with a lot of emotions because of which it was so difficult to concentrate. But as soon as I set my mind to take and deliver the best photos as possible - everything changed.
In the end, everything went well and the photos turned out better than I expected :)
It's important to note that when shooting a concert there is one very important thing - focus. It's like a state of maximum concentration, it's so strong that often the songs that are being played just fly past your ears.
In fact, I can talk about it a lot, but let's get to the conclusion: Maximum concentration and control over emotions is crucial when photographing a concert.
And if someone one day also has a similar dilemma - just know that photographing your favourite artist is difficult...IF you don't get your emotions under control.