Sometimes, it feels like concert photographers make the industry go round. Or at the very least, provide proof that any of our favorite experiences did actually happen. Working long hours in low lighting and still producing incredible content is no small feat and we’ve loved connecting with the names behind some of our favorite images.
This week, we’re chatting with Cleveland concert photographer Nathan Rogers! With a quick look into the daily life of a touring photographer, it’s a wonder why these guys don’t get more love for what they do on the daily. Sure, shows definitely could still happen without them but there’d be nothing to immortalize the incredible feeling in each of the moments one experiences throughout the entirety of a show. Today, we’re feeling thankful there’s people out there who have a job that ensures those moments and emotions are captured.
First, thanks for agreeing to take some time to talk with us. We really appreciate it and we’re super excited to have you involved in this segment. We’ll begin with something super easy: how did you get your start?
Everything kind of happened by accident. A few years ago I hosted a live video session series (Wolf House Ohio on youtube) with some college pals at my house where we just invited bands over and filmed them playing live in my basement. I guess things started there, but I didn’t really see it that way. I didn’t have much of an interest in actually doing photos and video myself; I just sent a lot of emails and coordinated everything. In March of 2018, I was on tour with my own band and I brought a camera to our show for our friend to take some shots of us and I decided that I would shoot the other bands. I had no idea what I was doing.
Can you please describe your current position and what all you’re required to do?
I’m a freelance/touring photographer and videographer, and a guitar teacher. I film a lot of weddings in the summer, but [I] am working towards doing mostly music.
And what does your typical day look like? Can you give us a quick rundown of your responsibilities and things you need to accomplish before you turn in for the night?
It usually starts with coffee and cat cuddles. I usually edit photos and video[s], look for gigs, emails, marketing, do some research and try to learn something new, and then go to the show if I have one that night.
“Everyone working together is what really brings the show to life and it couldn’t happen without all of these people.”
Image: Nathan Bauman
Are you currently working with mainly one band/musician or do you tend to spread your time out between multiple? What’s the biggest difference between the two experiences and how do you think it impacts your work?
I have a few bands that I work with regularly but also work with a lot of different people. I like meeting and working with new people, but that can lack the consistency of working with only one or two artists.
If you weren’t doing what you are now, what do you think you’d be doing? Do you think your career would still exist somewhere within the industry?
I would probably still be working at Starbucks and teaching guitar, [but] I don’t think that I would be working in the industry somewhere else.
If there was a lack of people in your position, or the position did not exist at all, what do you think the industry would look like and how do you think it would function?
Bands wouldn’t have nearly as much promotional content. I grew up when the internet really started to change the music industry with Napster and Myspace, so I don’t really know what that would look like other than pre-internet magazines.
What is a position, outside of your own, in the music industry that you’d love to branch out to but haven’t yet?
I’d love to work directly for a festival or a music venue. I also think it would be really cool to work with guitar companies and take photos of their pretty guitars.
Ice Nine Kills
Has there been a solid moment in your career where you fully realized how important your position is and what impact you have on the consumers and fans of a musician or band?
The show will still go on just the same if I’m there or not. I have had some fans of bands that I work with tell me that they really enjoy seeing the photos each night on a tour.
We know that, usually, with any job, there are moments where we all branch out and help with things that aren’t actually part of our job description. What is the craziest thing you’ve stepped in and helped out with
Nothing super crazy. I’ll help load in and out, sell some shirts, do some driving sometimes. Emotional support, if that counts.
Finally, as we’ve said, bands create ripples of all sizes and we’re truly fascinated by it. However, we all know they couldn’t do it alone and we’ve loved focusing on you and how you’ve impacted the experience of consumers and fans of music. Can you shoutout two or three people who are also part of the behind-the-scenes that you think deserve more recognition?
The whole touring crew! There is so much that happens in a day that the audience doesn’t see! Tour managers, stage crew, drivers, FOH and
Awake At Last
Do you know someone in the industry who deserves recognition and you think would like to chat with us? You can email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with the subject “Behind the Band” or send us a tweet @TheHoneyPop!
Curious where this began? Click here to read the article that started it all!
Interested in finding out more about what happens Behind the Band? You can check out our entire segment here!
Internal Article Concert Images: Courtesy of Nathan Rogers
Featured Image Source: Andreea Farcas for TheHoneyPOP.com