Sam Reed

How long have you been shooting for? 

I’ve starting shooting four years ago, but I considered it a hobby at that point. It was two years ago that I began shooting on a professional level. 

Was there a specific moment that made you want to pursue photography as a career? 

Honestly, my evolution into photography was a slow one. I carried the convoluted idea that I needed to get that 9-5 career job and spent a lot of time unhappy doing that. I had always been the one taking 5000 photos on my digital camera, but it wasn’t until I saw an opportunity with a local promotion company to shoot concerts did I realize (concert) photography was 100% what I wanted to do with my life. From there I spent two years doubting myself and sticking to the thought that I had to stay unhappy at these various 9-5 jobs I was working, until one day I finally started to believe in myself and decided that I would take the unconventional path and pursue my dreams regardless of the cost. 

What’s the most difficult part of your career been so far? 

As silly as it may sound, believing in myself and abilities has been by biggest obstacle to overcome in my career. I’ve missed a lot opportunities because I didn’t think I’d get approved and my goodness I’ve thrown myself into my fair share of panic attacks before a show because I was doubting my abilities. Learning to harness in that inner demon that tells you that you suck was a big battle, but I’ve been overcoming it still! 

What is your favorite show you’ve ever shot? 

I would have to say So What Music Festival in 2016 was my favorite. It was my first festival and I got to shoot so many bands that I have loved for years. 

Is there a show you’d like to shoot again? 

Oh gosh, there are so many I’d love to go back and re-do just because I was so garbage for so long haha But I’d say the AP Tour in 2016 would be one that I’d like to shoot again first. It was packed full of bands I loved so I’d love to hop back and relive it and do a little better as well! 

How would you describe your personal style? 

I love using vibrant colors and I try to make things as “crisp” as possible I guess you could say. Finding a “style” to your photography is difficult and I still play around with my editing often as I grow and learn more. But I’d like to think that I’ll always be a lover of vibrant colors (mostly cool tones), contrast and some “crispness” haha 

Has being a woman in your field been difficult for you? Have you dealt with any effects on sexism in your career? How did you handle it? 

I have experienced some sexism before. Along the lines of “well why don’t you just date a big time band dude and hop on tour like that?” while I was explaining my struggles landing a touring gig at the time. Luckily, I have a pretty thick skin and was able to laugh it off while explaining that my work will be what lands me a job, not my romantic life and then unmatching him. This is just one example but I let their ignorance fuel me to be better and land the jobs I want because of my talent and hard work. 

What other photographers have had a big impact on you? 

Adam Elmakias was the first big photographer than inspired me and I genuinely looked up to. Kelly Mason is another rad inspiration as a fellow lady SLAYIN the game! 

Favorite work you’ve ever done? 

Picking favorites is not a thing I’m good at, but I would say my Halloween portrait series with my roommate, Tori Reamsynder was my favorite work. As far as concert photography though I would say my photo set from Sorority Noise at So What?! 2016 or the photo I have of Jaime Preciado (Pierce the Veil) from the Made to Destroy Tour! 

Any advice for aspiring photographers? 

Do anything you can to increase your marketability. Don’t pigeon hole yourself into just concert photography or just being a photographer even! Especially if you plan to tour, be sure that you have other skills to offer. There are so many things you can do within photography, sharpen up your portrait skills, go take some landscapes, shoot concerts; not only will you get better at your craft but you’ll make yourself a more necessary member to a team!