I have camera and somehow I ended up a concert photographer. (Dead Cross/ Secret Chiefs 3 in Boston)

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“How in the ever living hell did I end up a photographer?!” I can’t stop asking myself this. It’s my hobby. I’m the one who has been doing nothing but taking shot after shot of every senior who needs it. Then Dead Cross came into my sights. My better half bought us tickets – an overnight getaway from the throws of Northern New York?! OKAY.

I love my cameras. My primary is a Canon EOS 60D, and I just got it maybe 3 weeks ago? I’m always seeming to be the lucky duck, having the right friends, the right relationships. And was gifted a photographers pass by Michael Crain. Insert “What the actual fuck am I doing” face and panic mode here. I was going to do it. I was going to shoot my first concert ever and it had to be with a prestigious super group of metal and punk rock gods? Shouldn’t this be some local abomination who can barely stumble their way through Stair Way to Heaven like that asshole at Guitar Center we all know? 

I guess not.

I did my research and thankfully, found videos by the master of music photography, Adam Elmakias. (THANK YOU, ADAM!) He had a video that showed the basics that was about an hour long and I watched as I panicked in fear a day before I left. PANIC? I don’t panic. I’m a veteran, a seasoned girl with 15 years in the music industry, I boast my ability to transition fields with ease – never a hesitation. But how do you capture the emotion you feel when you watch musicians you look up to? How do you show talent in photo, and how to you spot light the gear that makes these musicians talent highlighted and robust?!

It beat the ever living fuck out of me; but I was going to go at this head first. I was going to charge the field and show other photographers, and potential media people, you got this, and you can do it if you continue learning. Below you see my gallery. I did very little editing aside from minor light fixes and maybe a switch to black and white. I was at the Royale in Boston, M.A. I was petrified. The first band was so full of expression; Secret Chiefs 3. They’re lead by Trey Spruance of Mr. Bungle, and I’m sorry, but was that Joe Lester from Intronaut. Excuse my while I fan girl for a moment here. Guess who didn’t figure that out til after she shot the entire set? She has two thumbs and is writing this article.

They were great! It was a fusion of so many different types of music and the talent was overflowing, Secret Chiefs 3 was entrancing. It quickly came clear to me though while I looked both stage right and left when I was standing in the barricade that there was it’s own mosh pit going to go down here soon. There had to be about a dozen photographers for Dead Cross. My chance of getting shots of them turned into “how many elbows do I have to throw to get a shot of Mike Patton here?!” or “Who’s neck can I stand on to get that Lombardo shot that would ice my cake”. It was like a team huddle – we got our shots of Secret Chiefs 3, and went to the lounge. When Dead Cross was about to appear it was like some sort of biblical feat, people with cameras came from everywhere. “Welp, Christine, looks like you’re in over your head.” I shot primarily with a 50mm 1.8, and a prayer. Somehow I managed to snag just about 300 photos and not a single fucking one was of Justin Pearson. Son. Of. A. B…. Now those of you who don’t know of Justin know he’s an incredible author and so much more. I failed myself there. Next time, Next time.

I wrote this article very candidly. I was incredibly lucky to have that photo pass. But why did I write this? I’m a marketing manager, and about 50 other things, am I another? Maybe. I loved it. I hope I did both the bands justice, and I hope the other photographers who were on my side know how much they helped me learn. You guys were great to me in helping the bit you did. I never saw things from the other side like this. I never saw the artistic vision of a photographer. When you finish reading through my ramblings of horror and hilarity I hope you all pull away, scroll through my work, and go “I’m going to go and fucking try this today” and try something you’ve NEVER done before. If it has to do with a camera, look to those ahead of you. No matter what you do, look to those ahead of you. But continue to learn. If you ever stop expanding your learning, you stop expanding your success. I hope to catch you out at a show! I’ll be the awkward one either cussing or shaking hands. Could be both.

Enjoy! XO

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About Author

Christine Collins is a member of the board of Directors for the North American Independent Rock Music Awards and Saranac Lake Youth Center. Having grown up in the heart of the Adirondacks in a small town called Saranac Lake, Christine is self taught and garners her knowledge through experience. She boasts a resume of owning and successfully running several companies, as well as being an educator within the music industry. With a head tip to old school ways, and a creative delivery, Christine has managed to become increasingly successful in her endeavors at the ripe age of 29. The world opened it's door to her career in the music industry when Christine was just 14. Despite the inevitable setbacks that come with running one's own business, she continues to thrive as a Social Media Marketing Manager, Branding Manager, Journalist, Photographer, as well as an Educator. She currently attends Berklee College of Music in Boston Massachusetts. Follow her on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter: UpstateCCP

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