IShotYourBand – The Importance and Future of Live Photography – Q&A INTERVIEW

Photographer, Jason Wilder, is also the owner of He has done an interview with us about live photography which can be read after the break.

Photographer, Jason Wilder, is also the owner of He has done an interview with us about live photography which can be read after the break.

Do you listen to the radio? Chances are you do and there is an even better chance that Jason Wilder from has done live photography for a band you have heard of, listened to, or like. Just like his website name implies, he shoots bands and he does a damn good job at it. Just this year he has already done live photos for Avril Lavigne, My Chemical Romance, Coheed and Cambria, and Styx. You can’t get much bigger than that, so you should probably read the interview we did with him about his experiences and the future of live photography!

Digital Tour Bus: Can you please state your name, company name, and position?
I Shot Your Band: Jason Wilder,, Owner/Photographer.

DTB: How did you get into the live photography business? What was the first live concert you ever shot?
ISHB: After graduating film school, I decided to move out to LA to pursue working in the movies. It was there that I met a friend that was working for a record label and she invited me out to a Warped Tour VIP style. She knew that I was messing around with photography and told me to bring my camera and she would get me a photo pass. That was my first concert that I ever photographed.

DTB: Can you name some of the more notable artists you have doing live/promo photography for?
ISHB: I really do not do much promo since my specialty is live, but some of the more notable artists I have taken photos of would be The Police, Bruce Springsteen, Bruce Willis (yes, he plays in a blues band), Aerosmith, Elton John and almost any modern band on the radio.

DTB: How many times a week do you shoot live concert photography?
ISHB: I have cut back a lot lately, there use to be a time where I would go to as many shows as possible. I would say I average 1 a week now if that.

DTB: What kind of equipment do you use?
ISHB: I use all Canon gear. That is about as specific as I get on my camera gear. Mainly for the reason that I get tired of people thinking that it’s the camera that does all the work. I have had many people email me asking what gear I use to take photos that good. It really does not matter to me. Hand me a decent DSLR, fast lens, and I will produce results. It’s more about knowing your camera inside out.

DTB: How often do your photos get used/posted on an artist’s social media profiles or in newspapers/magazines?
ISHB: Not so much on social media profiles, most of my photos get licensed for online editorial use. Every now and then I will make a sale to a print mag.

DTB: Can you name a few of the newspapers/magazines that you have had your photos published in?
A: I have not had my photos in any papers due to the fact that most papers either do not want to pay a freelancer or they want to buy the rights to the photos for dirt cheap. Magazines I have had my photos include: Guitar World, Alternative Press, and various other magazines from around the world.

DTB: What is your opinion on the future of live photography? Do you think point and shoot cameras will ever take good enough photos to replace professional cameras?
ISHB: The future of live concert photography is looking very grim. It’s not that there is no one willing to do it, it’s that there are too many people that are willing. They are also willing to do it for free, which is killing the industry for photographers that want to get paid. To top it off, it seems like every day some artist management will decided to hand us a not so nice contract that we must sign to photograph a show that states that the artist now owns all of our photos (I refuse to photograph artists with these contracts).

DTB: What is your biggest pet peeve about shooting concert photography?
ISHB: People that photograph for free and toe steppers (people that will undercut someone to take their job). That and photographers that do not have a legit reason to have a photo pass.

DTB: Are there ever too many photographers in the photo pit, which in turn makes it hard to shoot?
ISHB: Yes, but most of the time they will limit how many photo passes they give out because of this reason. I have never been to a big fest, but if you ever seen a photo from the pits at Bonnaroo and such, it looks like hell.

DTB: Do you think concert photographers will always be needed in the music/entertainment industry? Why?
ISHB: Yes, there will always be a need to document history. This goes for any type of media photographer.

DTB: Do you think younger photographers rely too much on computer programs like Photoshop to improve or correct flaws in their photos?
ISHB: Not really, a bad photo is a bad photo. There is no correcting a bad photo. I embrace Photoshop for many reasons. Editorial wise, shooting you really cannot correct the flaws or you lose the integrity of the photo.

DTB: What is one piece of advice that you would give to photographers who are just starting out in the live photography game?
ISHB: Do not work for free, if you do not value your work, no one will value you as a photographer. I cannot stress this enough.

DTB: Are there any final thoughts or comments that you would like to add?
ISHB: I will leave you with a quote from Hunter S. Thompson
“The music business is a cruel and shallow money trench, a long plastic hallway where thieves and pimps run free, and good men die like dogs. There’s also a negative side.”