I first photographed Justin Bieber back in 2010 during his debut MY WORLD concert tour at the Honda Center in Anaheim on October 27. It was quite a spectacle to see a young Justin Bieber and to hear the fans go crazy as he took to the stage. The photos from that show are HERE and it is quite something to see how far Justin has come as a performer and how far I have come as a photographer. The second time I photographed Justin was at the Valley View Casino Center in 2013 during the BELIVE TOUR and that was an fantastic show with the photographers set off to the side,giving us a pretty unique view of the show (or at least the first three) Those images are HERE and I am really happy with those shots.
On Tuesday, March 29, 2016 I photographed Justin for the 3rd time. This was the San Diego date of his PURPOSE World Tour and I was there as the house photographer for the Valley View Casino Center to capture the first three songs of the night. My gear for the evening consisted of two cameras and three lenses; the Nikon D4 and Nikon D750 camera bodies, and the 400mm f/2.8, 70-200mm f/2.8 and the 24-70mm f/2.8 lenses. We were shooting from the soundboard so the for the actual performance I relied heavily on the 400mm and the 70-200mm while the 24-70 stayed in the bag.
The first things I noticed when I got to work was that there were a couple of local news trucks outside. Now while the news has been at the venue before, and we have had sold out shows before, there is something about a Justin Bieber show that seems to bring out the fans… lots of fans.
Once inside the venue, I got a big kick out of people posing with one of my photos of Justin from an older tour that wraps one of the walls in the building.
The tour had two openers, Moxie Raia and Post Malone. The rules for shooting them were the same as the tour, 1st three songs from the soundboard. Due to the opening act status, they didn’t get the same great light show that Justin got, but it was constant and bright.
Then it was time for Justin. He started right on time, and while I wear earplugs to every shoot, in this case it was to help with the screaming fans. The noise was deafening.
Bieber started the show by being hoisted high above the stage in a plexiglass box. At this point, the screaming around me was so loud I couldn’t hear Bieber singing at all. The 400mm f/2.8 with the D4 body was a spot on.
After the box landed, the full production started to come to life with fire, lasers and dancers.
One of my favorite photographs to take is any time the performer interacts with he crowd. As they reached up, Justin reached down.
Smoke, lasers, lights, dancers, giant screens, a moving stage and in the middle of it all, Justin
I love the shallow depth of field that the 400mm f/28 give me. Those great little splotches of color are from the fireworks behind Justin. That would not have looked this way without the shallow f/2.8.