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I’m just back from covering the Lovebox festival in Victoria Park for 3 days. A music festival, but not a music festival. I mean, how can it be; there is no camping on site and nights were spent in a comfy travelodge a short tube journey away (well, it would have been short had half the London Underground not been closed for the weekend).

There are a core of photographers that cover music in London and the surrounding areas. Usually we bump into one another for 10 minutes before and after a gig, exchange greetings and run off. One of the nice things about covering a 3 day event is that we get time to sit down, chat about the state of the market, gigs we have done, problems we have faced. 

At these events there are also far more lets say, “less experienced” shooters. Maybe it its their first time in a photography pit, maybe they got their pass via friends of friends. Having just spent the last 3 days asking others to move back, or not hold their camera in the air, I thought I would pass on a few pointers for those thinking of entering “the pit”….

1. If there is room, use it. No one wants a shot taken up the left nostril of their favourite performer. Move back, as far as reasonable, angles are better and we can all get alongside and between each other.

2. When moving about either go behind the other photographers or duck under their line.. they may be shooting something you have not seen and if you get in the frame at that decisive moment….

3. Do not.. I repeat.. Do not… lift your camera above your head and shoot blindly. You don’t know what you are shooting. Your camera will not know what to focus on and above all you will probably get asked “nicely” to continue shooting at eye level. You are not in the crowd… That said, shooting wide, over heads into the crowd behind the other photographers can produce some great shots.

I could go on (and probably did all weekend) but just remember polite and professional.

A nice word for the PR team of Lovebox a pleasure to work with. That said, seeing as I am having a moan.. just a thought for organisers. If you have more than one stage, try to stager the performance start times. We are there to cover the event and if 2 stages start at the same time; we can only cover half of it! (oh, and keep the press area nearby)…

So, at last, some images;

From Saturday, for me, performance of the weekend.

And Bryan is looking as smooth as ever.

From Sunday, probably the trickiest shot all weekend. Grace was on a platform at the back of the stage with smoke and difficult lighting…