Meet The Exhibitor: Jan Roberts

  1. Tell us about yourself. Though an engineer by profession, I originally took an arts and design root through higher education but was not able to fully realise a career.

  2. When did you start photography and where has your journey taken you since? I picked up my first camera, a twin lens reflex Kodak back in the 1970’s and at various stages photography has been an important part of my life, whether motorsports in the1980’s, art in the 1990’s and family during the 2000’s. I now arrive at another stage in my life where music has again become an important part of who I am. Photographing music allows me to be creative again.


  3. What is your favourite thing about music photography? The visual and physical energy, unpredictability and spontaneous nature of a live event coupled with community spirit that underpins the typical local music scene

  4. What is your least favourite thing about music photography? 3 songs no flash, though this does focus the mind and your approach. Too much freedom does not always lead to great creative output. Restrictive rights grabbing contracts.

  5. What has been your biggest learning curve since starting gig photography? The transfer to full digital workflow, setting up websites, Instagram and adapting to social media. Editing until the early hours of the morning to meet a publication deadline


  6. Do you build relationships with bands/artists you shoot? I am still in the early days but I am starting to forge relationships with local bands in my area, making connections with parents or managers or the artists themselves who have been appreciative of the images I make and allow them to share on their social media.

  7. Many photographers spend a lot of time shooting for free, do you have any advice for people just starting out? Shoot often, learn something from every opportunity, find your own style, share your knowledge and show respect to others.

  8. Choose 3 of your favourite music photographers and a bit about why you like their work? I am still learning and finding my way but David Fearn (@shitshowdave) is my current standout. Formerly a British professional sports photographer he is now Los Angeles based covering the underground punk scene. I love the rawness of his images; you can smell the fear, taste the sweat, hear the noise. As a photographer I also like the way he is giving back to his new found community through his work, using social media, crowd funding, putting on events and self publishing ‘zines.

  9. What are you looking forward to at this years festival? Being able to meet and learn from more establish photographers

  10. What are your hopes for the future of music photography? That photographers are accorded more respect for the countless years of learning put in to develop their craft, to be able to deliver the images that help promote your band.

  11. What is your favourite way to share your photographs and why? E.g. Twitter, Instagram etc. Instagram. its quick, relatively easy to share and allows you to give and receive almost instant feedback from our diverse community.

  12. What are your plans for the future with music photography? To keep learning and maybe one day earn an income from my efforts

Find more of Jan’s work on

Alter the Sky


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