TOOLS FOR ROCKSTAR PHOTOGRAPHERS
We only recommend tools that we use and find essential for becoming a concert photographer. There is no BS here - just the stuff the HTBARP community believes in working with every day.
There is a ton of Tools for concert photographers out there. Choosing the right ones can change the games for you.
Over the years, we’ve worked hard testing dozens of tools to find the ones that can be real game-changers for you as a concert photographer. Here are the critical few we believe in so much that we use them ourselves.
We're proud affiliates for some of these tools, meaning if you click a link for a tool and make a purchase, we earn a commission at no extra cost to you. Our recommendations are based on deep experience with and knowledge of these companies and their products, and we recommend them because they are genuinely helpful and useful, not because of the small commissions we may receive. Please don't spend any money on these products unless you believe they will help you achieve your goals.
Most Recommended Tools
Shooting the Rockstars is my premium online Academy to become a Concert Photographer and start living your passion. This step-by-step video course will help you to understand the technical requirements as well as the network/marketing needs in order to kickstart your concert photographer career TODAY.
Eargasm: Best Earplugs
My favorite earplugs for concert photography are the Eargasm. They come in two sizes and fit my ear canal perfectly. Their sound protection of -21 dB is one of the highest values on the market. In addition, you’ll get a cool little aluminium case which keeps your earplugs safe. Get -10% discount using the code: HTBARPEAR when checkout
Click here to read my Earplugs Review
Adobe Creative Cloud: Best Post-Production Tool
I use Adobe Lightroom 99% for my post production of my concert photography work. This is THE only tool you'll ever need.
Format: Best Online Portfolio Builder
Setting up an online portfolio showing your concert photos is crucial if you want to become a music photographer and get photo passes. I highly recommend using Format for your portfolio site, and you can get started now with a 14 days free trial version, and -15% OFF on all annual plans using the code: HTBARP when checkout. Click here to read my review.
In 100 episodes, you’ll get access all areas to the most influential music photographers of our time where they'll share their secrets, successes and crazy stories from their Rockstar life. You’ll hear from tour photographers, award winners and best selling authors .Every episode is an opportunity to learn actionable insights to help you live your dreams as a music photographer.
Browse other Must-Have Tools by category
BEST POINT AND SHOOT CAMERAS FOR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY STARTERS
Sony RX100 III
The Sony RX100 III is the "best value for money" point and shoot concert camera around. It offers a high ISO sensitivity, it´s lightweight and provides an accurate autofocus system.
Canon PowerShot G3X
The Canon PowersShot has an impressive optical zoom range of 25x creates a 35mm equivalent 24-600mm zoom lens. This is an extremely useful feature when photographing a concert from a distance.
BEST DSLR CAMERAS FOR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY STARTERS
What you’ll want to get when starting out is a crop sensor Digital Single Lens Reflex Camera. Crop sensor DSLRs are mostly available as a kit package together with a lens and around $300 - $600. If you want to learn more about concert photography on a budget read here.
If you´re looking for an affordable entry-live camera for concert photography the Nikon D5200 is a great choice. The ability to shoot at high ISO settings makes it a no brainer of you´re on a budget.
The Nikon D7200 is a great DX format camera for shooting concert photography mostly due to the great low light performance. This model is halfway between a semi-professional and a full frame camera.
Canon EOS Rebel T6i
The Canon EOS Rebel T6i is your best choice if you prefer Canon cameras. With an ISO setting of up to 6400 it is suitable for low light concert photography and a good camera to start your career with.
BEST LENSES FOR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY STARTERS
Almost every professional concert photographer started with the Nifty Fifty. The 50mm f1.8 lens is a cheap and great lens to start your concert photography career. This lens is available for all brands. Read my review about the 50mm f1.8 here.
Another lens that works great when starting out is a 35mm lens (f1.8 for Nikon and f2.0 for Canon). This focal length will allow you to get a wider shot of the band when standing directly in front of the stage in small clubs.
The Canon EOS Rebel T6 is your best choice if you prefer Canon cameras. With an ISO setting of up to 6400 it´s suitable for low light concert photography and a good camera to start your career with.
BEST NIKON DSLR CAMERAS FOR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY PROS
I am a full-frame sensor Nikon shooter. Due to the larger sensor size (compared to a crop-sensor camera), the sensor doesn’t warm up as fast, thereby producing less noise in your photos at higher ISO settings. With these cameras you can set ISO values of 6400 or 9000 and still get great photos in low-light stage conditions. The quality of the BOKEH is also breathtaking and if you are using the best lenses made by your camera brand, you will literally be blown away by the results. Canon offers equivalent camera gear, so this list is also useful for Canon guys.
The Nikon D500 is a DX-format camera and got a DPReview Gold award for being the "most-well rounded DSLR we´ve ever tested, and among the very best". I also heard raving reviews from concert photographers. So this might be your choice as well.
I absolutely love the D750 camera and it's my workhorse for concert photography. With it's 12 Megapixel resolution and an ISO capability up to 25600 it delivers great, quality photographs. The D750 is the newer model and sets new standards for low light photography.
The D800 is a beast of a full-frame sensor camera. The resolution of 36.3 Megapixels is getting close to the resolution of digital medium-format systems. The D810 is the successor of the D800 and your number choice when it comes to portraits.
BEST NIKON DSLR LENSES FOR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY PROS
I have both prime and zoom lenses in my camera bag. As you're rather limited in your forward/backwards movement when in the photo pit, the zoom ability is crucial in concert photography. Sometimes, the artist will constantly be on the move, so it's easier to follow him/her with your zoom lens. On the other hand, there are shows where it's so dark on stage that a prime lens with an aperture of f1.4 is your only option.
This is my go-to lens in smaller venues and my favorite zoom lens. The autofocus is very fast and the photos are tack sharp, even at f2.8. Having the zoom option let's you get a tight headshot as well as full body portraiture. At 24mm, you're also able to get the whole stage into your frame.
The 70-200mm f2.8 is the state of the art lens. The focal length of 200mm is essential if you plan to shoot bigger venues, such as festival stages. This lens gives you the opportunity to take both headshots and half-body portraiture shots. In addition, you can also get the drummer who is most likely hidden at the very back of the stage.
The 14-24mm f2.8 is one of the best ultra wide angle zoom lenses available. It´s fast and shows a great edge-to-edge sharpness. If you´re searching for an awesome wide angle lens for Nikon, try this one.
BEST CANON DSLR CAMERAS FOR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY PROS
BEST CANON DSLR LENSES FOR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY PROS
This is is the newest version of the highly acclaimed 24-70mm f2.8 standard zoom lens. It´s superbly sharp even at f2.8. Having the zoom option let's you get a tight headshot as well as full body portraiture. At 24mm, you're also able to get the whole stage into your frame.
DPReview commented "Its combination of exceptional optics and quirk-free design even manages to steal the crown of "Best in Class" This is the go-to lens when shooting on bigger stages such as festivals or for tight headshots.
CANON 16-35mm f2.8L III USM
The 16-35m f2.8 is Canons top ultra wide angle zoom lens. It´s fast and shows a great edge-to-edge sharpness. If you want to capture the complete band on stage this lens is a must.
BEST MIRRORLESS CAMERAS FOR CONCERT PHOTOGRAPHY PROS
SONY a7 III
This is Sony a7 III is Sonys flagship mirrorless camera.
The Canon Nikon Z6 is Nikons flagship mirrorless camera.
Canon EOS R6
The Canon EOS R6 is Canons flagship mirrorless camera.
BEST PHOTOGRAPHY HARDWARE
I am an Apple user for the last 15 years and I never looked back when I trashed my PC. Love it or hate it, for me the iMac 27" is the perfect workhorse when working in my office.
The MacBook Pro is a great companion to the iMac when you're traveling or when touring with bands. This little laptop is blazing fast and makes the post production of my concert photos a breeze.
Angelbird SD 64GB
Angelbird Memory cards are built for recording Full HD, 4K+, and RAW Video/Photo and fit perfectly for a concert photography environment. These cards meet those demanding criteria for extremes of temperatures, humidity, and shock. Read my review here.
BEST PHOTOGRAPHY SOFTWARE
JPEGmini reduces photo file size by up to 80% without compromising quality. It´s our Nr.1 Software for uploading concert photos online, especially on our How To Become A Rockstar Photographer Blog. In addition they offer Adobe Lightroom and Photoshop Plugins for a faster workflow
Foto Biz X
FotobizX can not only handle all your estimates and invoices but also includes FotoQuote, the industry standard pricing guide for stock and assignment photography with over 300 stock photo pricing categories. In addition it also includes Releases and Forms as well as Terms and Conditions for different assignments. You can also get a -10% discount using the code 'STR0216'
Best Webpage Tools
If you want to step up your game as a concert photographer by hosting your own homepage with a blog or podcast these tools are for you. The following companies are the ones that we use for How To Become A Rockstar Photographer.
All my websites are running on the servers of WPX Hosting, which is the fastest WordPress hosting available (Google loves blazing fast pages). They have hands down the best 24/7 customer service I have ever seen, which is crucial if you have any questions or run into challenges on your webpage. They also offer a free one-click WordPress installation, making it very easy to get started with your homepage. Highly recommended!
If you´re searching for an all-in-one solution for WordPress, look no further and get Thrive Themes. Thrive Themes includes the best and easiest to use drag and drop Pagebuilder, dozens of pre-done Homepage templates, a lead generation plugin, and much more. I have built all my homepages with Thrive Themes without ever written a line of code, and their support is top-notch.
When it comes to building your email list, you'll want to rely on a system that is: easy to use, ensures to sending emails to your subscribers' inbox (not the spam folder), integrate with your other tools (such as ThriveThemes, Thrivecart) and is relatively cheap. Over the years, I migrated from Mailchimp to Aweber, and finally to ActiveCampaign. Personally, for me, AC is the best email marketing tool, and I highly recommend it for building your email list.
Best Photography Online Course Platforms
Realize your dreams in career, hobby, and life. CreativeLive hosts 1500+ online courses from "photo&video", "art&design", "music&audio", "craft&maker", and "Money&Life". You can learn from the best teachers in the world and I love their photography classes.
Masterclass is a streaming platform where you can learn from 100+ of the world’s best performers.
Whether in photography, business and leadership, writing, cooking, acting, music, sports, and more, Masterclass delivers a world-class online learning experience.
You want to learn photography or post production tools such as Adobe Lightroom & Photoshop? KelbyOne brings your skills into focus with great online photography courses taught by the very best in the business.
Best Photography Books
Photographers are among those creatives that just don't want to focus on business. I made the same experience and therefore I suggest to read this book and get your business to another level.
Austin Kleons Show Your Work!: 10 Ways to Share Your Creativity and Get Discovered is a great little companion. This book will be a revelation to all of you who are wondering how to make your work visible and findable. It's filled with Illustrations, quotes, and stories and it's one of my favorite book.
Zack Arias answers over 100 questions about photography that he fielded directly from his '1000 questions' Tumblr project. These are questions that range across all aspects of the photo industry. It's a great read and highly recommended!