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Photog Friday: Meet Amanda, Rebekah, and Karen K.

Amanda Stauffer – @amandaleahphotography

Underoath
Underoath – Photo Credit: Amanda Stauffer
August Burns Red
August Burns Red – Photo Credit: Amanda Stauffer
Pierce the Veil
Pierce the Veil – Photo Credit: Amanda Stauffer

What was the first event you shot for?
I acquired my first official photo pass on April 16th, 2016 for Underoath’s Rebirth Tour. It was really the luckiest moment that’s ever occurred in my life. I had a VIP ticket to meet them and when I was talking to one guitarist (Tim McTague), I mentioned that their lead singer (Spencer Chamberlain) had shared a photo that I took of him a while back when playing with his other band Sleepwave. On a whim, I asked if I could take pictures at their show that day. Tim was actually able to get me a photo pass which was mindblowing to me since I had only ever shot local shows beforehand. I never expected to get the chance to photograph a band as big as Underoath for my first ever photo pass.

What is the most important thing about photography that you have learned since you started?
You REALLY have to work for what you want. I think many people feel as though it’s easy to be a photographer. Taking photos doesn’t seem very hard, now, does it? There’s so much more to it. If you’re wanting to get into being a music photographer; It. Is. Hard. Sure, you can start off shooting local shows and eventually build a good enough portfolio to work for a publication. However, if you’re like me and want to tour or get paid for shows, you really have to make connections and know the right people. That’s the one area that I struggle in. I love creating art and finding new ways to photograph shows, but I’m very introverted and it’s a struggle for me to put myself out there and make connections with others. That’s something I try to improve upon in a daily basis but it’s difficult.

Words of advice:
It’s a lot of trial and error. You can’t be afraid of messing up or you’re just going to hold yourself back. Learning new skills, editing techniques and how to work different gear takes time and patience. Being hands on with everything will be the easiest way to learn and improve your craft. Starting small will help you work your way up to bigger and better experiences.

Rebekah Witt – @bekwittt

Judah and The Lion – Photo Credit: Rebekah Witt
3OH!3 – Photo Credit: Rebekah Witt
Mango Lane – Photo Credit: Rebekah Witt

What inspired you to pick up a camera?
I’ve had a camera in my hand ever since I was 10 years old, so it just came naturally to me. I’ve always been interested in art and wanted to be in a creative field, but it wasn’t until high school & college when I started taking photography more seriously.

If you could shoot any band/artist, who would it be?
For years, my #1 bucket list band to shoot was Twenty One Pilots, and I’m super lucky to have gotten to photograph them this past May. Otherwise, I would love to shoot The 1975 or Billie Eilish. Their stage production and presence is insane.

Words of advice:
Pick up a camera and go! Take photos of anything you find beautiful or interesting, even if you’re just starting with your phone. It’s never too late to begin.

Karen K. Tran – @karenk.photos

NOBRO
NOBRO – Photo Credit: Karen K. Tran
Dear Rouge – Photo Credit: Karen K. Tran
July Talk – Photo Credit: Karen K. Tran

When did you know you wanted to be a photographer?
I started working as a photographer out of necessity when I became a contributor for my school newspaper. Often when I was assigned to write a story, they wouldn’t have a photographer to accompany me so I just started doing it myself. At first, I wasn’t sure what subjects I liked photographing, but after I started reviewing and photographing local shows, I realized that I most enjoyed the challenge of concert photography and have been continuing to pursue it ever since. 

What is the most important thing about photography that you have learned since you started?
Always be prepared! Bring extra batteries, memory cards, lenses, and weatherproof gear. You don’t want to leave your telephoto lens behind because it’ll weigh you down a little, only to regret missing a cool shot cause you didn’t bring it. And make sure your battery is charged before you leave home!

Words of advice:
It’s not as daunting as you think! Or at least that’s what my perspective was before I started. Practice lots and get comfortable using your own gear, and experiment with the manual settings so you’ll know instinctively how to get the shot and you don’t waste time fiddling with your equipment in the moment.