Brooklyn rapper, Desiigner has already come a long way at just 20 years old. After bursting onto the scene last year with his hit record, “Panda“, the fame soon followed. The song has now eclipsed over 158 MILLION plays on Soundcloud and was even sampled by Kanye West on his latest album, The Life of Pablo. Desiigner is now signed to Kanye’s label G.O.O.D. Music and he has released a plethora of new music since. This included another hit single, “Timmy Turner” as well as his debut mixtape, New English. Now the Brooklyn rapper is currently embarking on his U.S. tour that featured a stop at the historic Trocadero Theater. Located in the heart of Chinatown, the Troc has been the home to some major Hip-Hop acts over the years. Friday night was no different as the venue welcomed Desiigner for a wild performance. Our own Dan Delma was there to capture all the action and detail the experience of a concert photographer.
You will need to make sure your gear is organized. Batteries need to be fully charged (extras are a must), lenses cleaned, memory cards cleared and a pair or two of earplugs. I shoot with a Canon T6i and carry my Canon T1I for backup just in case my T6i malfunctions. It would be devastating to get all this way and have technical difficulties stop you in your tracks! Lenses can be extremely expensive Thankfully there are many lens and equipment rental resources online that are very affordable and, for now, this works well for me.
So, our photo pass approval in hand and our gear ready. It’s time for the show! This may sound redundant but I can’t overstate how important it is to be professional and courteous with not only the publicists, but with other photographers, security, the fans and, most importantly, the musicians on stage. When I arrived at the Trocadero theater, I picked up my pass and headed straight to the security officer at the photo pit. I asked about my boundaries, venue rules and how long I would be allowed to shoot. In this case, I was spoiled in that I was the only photographer there and could shoot as long as I wanted! Many venues only allow the first 3 songs. While I was shooting I tried not to stand in front of the fans. After all, they didn’t come to see me. I kept my distance and tried to make myself blend with the crowd as much as possible. I spent a lot of time on one knee, bending and walking back and forth in the photo pit. Comfortable clothing and shoes are a must.
I learned quickly why concert photography is considered one of the most challenging mediums in the photo industry. Under no circumstance may you use your flash and the musicians are moving all over the stage as are the lights. You have to use a fast shutter speed, low aperture and high ISO. The perfect combo of these settings changes with your situation. Is the concert outside or inside? How far are you away from the stage? What is the lighting like? It makes a huge difference if you are very familiar with your camera and can operate it effortlessly.