How I fell in love with music photography

I always liked to take pictures. I remember the first photo I ever had "published" was in my primary school's newspaper. It was of some ducks at the zoo. In my teenage years I tried doing some more artistic photos with my compact camera, and, as expected when you start learning something, they were bad.

When I got in the journalism course in college, it was an obvious choice to buy a proper camera to start doing it more seriously. It was a happy coincidence, and maybe the alignment of the stars, that had me win a contest from the Green Day fan club to have acess to the photo pit and report on the show for the club members. Seriously, I just answered some easy question and bam! This was the first thing I shot with my one-week-old camera.

So I really never had a chance to not love music photography.

I had the camera in full auto, didn't know how to behave in the pit and my first interaction with another photographer was one of them reprimanding me for having the built-in flash up right before the show started. It automatically popped up and I didn't know we were not allowed to use flash.  I learned. And I enjoyed it so much!

It would be a long while before I shot a show again. The journalism  course didn't go well and that year was mostly lost doing nothing, but the next year I changed my studies to audiovisuals and multimedia, randomly decided to go shoot the welcoming of freshmen and I stuck myself to a friend that was going to be part of the coverage team for the parties and somehow convinced them to get me a pass. It was not a great job, but the music photography bug kept creeping in.A few months later I was invited to form the new photography club of my college. 

College was great for me. The photography club, and all the other clubs I was in, gave me so many changes to fail and retry. Also, I had a lot of good opportunities to shoot a lot of diferent things. Like the Rock In Rio festival in 2012, the first one I ever shot. I didn't have permission to shoot the stage because I was just working to feed a brand's facebook with their activities at the venue, but I took every chance I had to photograph the musicians that walked around. I had so much fun. So much fun.

On my last year of college I decided I wanted to make this my job, so I did the only thing I could do: I shot shows that I didn't need a photo pass to shoot. Like store shows, and free outdoors shows and everything I could find.

Soon, a friend of a friend that wrote for a music website needed a photographer and I was the person they called. And then a friend of another friend organized a free heavy metal festival in my hometown and I went to that.

And a few months later I started colaborating with Sapo On The Hop shooting the Pixies in my favourite venue in Lisbon, the Colisseum.

An year later I got a job as a photographer for a publisher specialised in medicine having just my music portfolio and that is what pays my bills to this day. So music photography opened more doors than just in that area and I'm working to open even more doors. I can't wait to see what comes next.

Thank you for reading.

JJ