Music Insights #1: From behind the drum kit

Us gig photographer’s are lucky enough to attend hundreds of gigs and see thousands of talented musicians perform. Arguably, a lot of gigs we shoot, we tend to photograph on the person at the front. One shot that always seems complicated to catch is the drummer. Being right at the back of the stage and moving quicker than anyone else, many gig photographer’s find it a fun challenge to photograph the drummer.

“I will never forget photographing Blink 182 a couple of months back and I could not stop photographing Travis Barker. Watching him smash the drums with a background of flames and fireworks was incredible.”

– Georgia Flynn, Liverpool based photographer.


We got in touch with two Liverpool based drummers who both played at Shout About It Live 2017 to ask them their opinions on gig photographers. Introducing Anton from The Cheap Thrills and Marc Terry from Brothers Of Mine.

How aware are you of a photographer when you’re playing on stage? Do you ever do anything different specifically for them (e.g. the way you set up as a band on stage)?

“I am always very aware of every photographer when I’m performing on stage, as a drummer I sit at the back of the stage and observe every movement of the band and the audience but I also notice every photographer more so than any other member of the band. I always judge the ‘hype’ of a band by the amount of photographers that are in the pit at the start of a set so the first thing I do when I walk out on stage is see how many photographers are there and get a real buzz from it. In terms of doing something special for the photographers, I don’t have the chance to do so just yet but I always try to pull a funny face or point a drum stick at them mid song which always gets a good reaction and makes for a class facebook profile picture when it pays of.” – Marc Terry, Drummer, Brothers Of Mine

“As a drummer I’m probably not aware as them much as a singer would be, due to me being located at the back of the stage. I do catch the glimpse of a flash every once in a while though.”  – Anton, Drummer, The Cheap Thrills

Do you look specifically for live shots of yourself after you’ve played a gig?

“Always! Every single time I come of stage at a gig you’ll catch me looking through my news feed for pictures of the band or myself from the show and if there aren’t any, you will definitely catch me searching everywhere the day after for them. Why you ask? Because it’s great promotional material, without a photographer working their asses off to get a great shot of the band then nobody will care, without that great band image nobody gives the band’s posts a second look on social media and let’s face it, social media is everything nowadays for a band. Another reason I do it is because it is so much more than a picture to me, it sums up a memory that you can look back on for the rest of your life.” – Marc Terry, Drummer, Brothers Of Mine


Do you think you’re more aware of the role of a photographer now, compared to when you first started?

“I feel that I am a lot more appreciative of gig photographers than most performers are because my better half is a gig photographer herself and I experience first hand the amount of hard work and dedication it takes to be recognised in such a big industry with so many talented people. She finished work at 5, goes to shoot a gig at 6, gets back home for 11 then stays up till 2 editing to meet a deadline.”

“I would even go as far as saying that the photographers behind the camera work harder than the performers in front of the camera. We have shots of all our favourite artists framed all over her flat and I look at them and get the same buzz as when I listen back to a track that the band has just finished recording. Without photographer’s in the music industry, bands would not have the presence as they do now.” – Marc Terry, Drummer, Brothers Of Mine

“If someone has bothered to come to our gig and photograph our ugly faces we definitely do try to look at what they’ve produced. Especially when they’ve done it for little or no money out of love for their craft. We will try and include the pictures on our social media to give the photographers a bit of a plug” – Anton, Drummer, The Cheap Thrills


Are you a drummer? We would love to hear your thoughts about gig photographers and your favourite photographs of you gigging. Send them over!


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