CC: Thank you for being part of our new column Kelsey. To start things off, where did your passion for music and photography originate?
KL: When I was younger, I loved to listen to music. My first concert was Britney Spears when I was 7 years old. In middle school, I started going to a lot of different concerts with my friends and I fell in love. I was really involved in the “Alternative Rock” scene; going to shows, and promoting locally.
Photography became an interest in middle school as well. I would take my camera everywhere I went and I would take pictures of everything. I took classes in high school and minored in it when I attended college. Being a freelance photographer is extremely hard since you always have to market yourself. Along with concerts, I also shoot senior portraits and family portraits.
I started music photography a little over three years ago, when I started my own online blog. I started with local bands in the Boston area by shooting promos and concerts for them. As I built up my name, I was able to go to slightly bigger shows. Now, I have a lot of great connections and I have just recently started working with other publications.
I feel like I live two separate lives sometimes…teacher by day, photographer by night.
CC: Definitely an interesting story, Kelsey. Thank you for sharing. With that said, what was the first concert you ever shot and how did that experience play out for you? What did you learn?
KL: About three years ago, I started a music blog because I wanted to shoot Fall Out Boy. This was my goal at the time. My first “official” concert was with Jillette Johnson, an amazing singer and songwriter.
I didn’t know what I was doing at all! I was terrified. It was at Brighton Music Hall in Boston, which at the time did not have great lighting, so I had to borrow a lens that couldn’t auto focus with my camera. It was a stressful night, but I liked how my photos came out back then. As I continued to shoot shows at different venues, I figured out what lenses I should use, as well as cool angled to get. It was a constant process of trial and error.
I actually just recently photographed Jillette Johnson again since that night, and its awesome to see how far my photos have improved.
CC: That’s so good to hear. It rewarding when you can step back and seen how much you have grown. We’re assuming your setup has changed over the years. What gear are you currently shooting with right now? What do you like and dislike about what you are using? What is your dream setup?
KL: I currently shoot with a Nikon 610 and a Nikon 750 and I love what I shoot with right now. I think I already have my dream set up! My next few purchases will be a new film camera, as well as some prime lenses.
CC: Good stuff! What publications and/or companies are you currently shooting for? Why do you like working with them?
KL: I currently shoot for Concert Crap, as well as a few other publications run by friends. I also shoot for various artists’ social media outlets.
CC: It’s been a pleasure to have you on the team! Likewise, what do you like most about music photography?
KL: I love to find new music to listen to. It’s also exciting to get awesome photos of artists, especially jump shots and close up shots.
CC: What do you dislike about music photography?
KL: You never know what shows you will get into!
CC: Do you have a bucket list of artists you are hoping to shoot in the near future? If so, whom is on that list and why do you have a desire to take pictures of them?
KL: YES! I really want to shoot Fall Out Boy again. Fall Out Boy is my favorite band. However, I would also love to photograph Paramore, Pierce The Veil, and bigger names such as Drake or Ed Sheeran. I’m always down to shoot any artist.
CC: Where do you hope to be with music photography within the next few years.
KL: My goal within the next few years would be to become a touring photographer and travel with bands.
CC: If an aspiring photographer reached out to you to ask you for advice, what would you say to them?
KL: I would tell them to never give up, especially if you are trying to shoot shows. When you don’t get into a show or even get a photo shoot, don’t let it affect your work and your confidence.
Being an artist takes a lot of patience and hard work to get to where you want. I’m for sure growing everyday with my work, but that’s what makes it fun and exciting!
What did you think of our interview with Photographer Kelsey Lockhart? Comment below.
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