CC: Thanks for taking the time to speak with us, Christian. Tell us, where did your passion for music and photography originate? Tell us the story for each passion.
CS: My passion for music began in 2009 when I went to my very first concert. I saw Metallica in Indianapolis, and ever since that day I’ve loved music.
Now photography? That’s kind of funny. I took photography as a junior in high school but dropped it for Journalism cause I thought photography was boring.
It wasn’t until my senior year when I took yearbook that I actually got into photography. I dated this girl and my mom left her old camera in my room. It was an old Canon 30D, thing was wild. I’ll never forget when my girlfriend at the time asked me to take some photos of her. So, I dabbled in it and immediately I was hooked. I had absolutely no idea what I was doing but I learned as I went.
CC: Wow! What a story. Thanks for sharing. Now tell us what was the first concert you ever shot and how did that experience play out for you? What did you learn?
CS: The first show I ever shot was in May 2015. A local band called We Are Forever headlined. The drummer, Alex, is actually a photographer as well so the entire show I was asking him “What is this?!” “How do I do this?!” it was nuts. I used a Canon 30D with a 75-300mm and a fisheye attachment. The pictures were horrible. Haha.
CC: We all have to start somewhere. Now that you are more seasoned, 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?
CS: Right now I use a Canon 6D with a Canon 24-70 2.8L and a Sigma 24-35 2.0. I really enjoy how I can use my 24-70 for portraits and shows with real nice lighting and I can use my 24-35 for night-time photos and low-light shows.
Honestly, I dislike having to switch lenses. If I could have it my way, I would have a 24-70 2.0 or 1.4. Too bad that doesn’t exist!
If I could have any setup in the world, it would have to be a Canon 5D IV with a 24-70 2.8L Mk II and a Sigma 20 1.4. I got to use one of my friends’ 5D IV and it was insane.
CC: Awesome. #GearGoals. Now tell us what publications and/or companies are you currently shooting for? Why do you like working with them?
CS: I shoot concerts for All Things Loud! I really enjoy working with them. The owner, Jack, is absolutely fantastic. Jack really believes in the publication and does what he can to get his photographers the shows they want. If it weren’t for him, I wouldn’t have most of the opportunities that I do now. Jack even ran my review of Falling In Reverse’s new album, I think that’s so sick. I really like Jack and the other photographers & contributors that are staffed!
Now as for portraits, there’s a studio here in Indianapolis called Dope Print Media that I partner with from time to time. The man who owns it, Greg, is real cool. He has a really good vision and I really like the way he does things.
CC: With all your time spent in the field, can you tell us what do you like most about music photography?
CS: I love how I found a way to combine my two passions, music and photography. It’s honestly so surreal when you get to take pictures of the artist you grew up listening to, or when the artist you really love goes “Wow, that’s a really sick photo!” It’s great.
CC: On the flip side to the previous question, what do you dislike about music photography?
CS: Not getting photo credit. Haha.
Nah, but honestly, I don’t like how self-righteous *some* of the photographers can be! Of course, there will always be areas in life where people think they’re better than others and I’m just not a fan. It’s kind of hard to word this but, I don’t like how some photographers think they’re better than everyone else, you know? There are some photographers that think they’re too good to talk to newcomers or just anyone else. It’s so dumb.
It’s like, hey, man! We all have the same goal. Life is already pretty tough, kind of sucks when people who share the same passion make it tough for you as well.
But, hey. That’s just one kid’s opinion on all of that.
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?
CS: Metallica. 100 percent Metallica. That was the first band I ever saw and I would do anything to photograph them.
CC: Where do you hope to be with music photography within the next few years?
CS: It would be really cool to go on more tours. I love exploring and going to new places!
CC: If an aspiring photographer reached out to you to ask you for advice, what would you say to them?
CS: Learn as you go and don’t be afraid to take risks! Who cares what the current trend is with editing? Do your own thing.
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