This post is partly about photographing Nico Vega when they opened for the Imagine Dragons on February 15 at the Valley View Casino Center here in San Diego and it is partially why I will always say yes when asked if I want to photograph the opening act. when I saw that Nico Vega and The Naked and Famous were opening for the Imagine Dragons I requested to be allowed to shoot both of their sets as well. I had photographed The Naked and Famous once before during the 91X Wrex The Halls back in 2011 and had never seen Nico Vega before.

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014 Nico Vega / 2014

The Nico Vega set was great. Good expression, fun lighting and since a lot of photographers hadn’t shown up yet, the pit was empty. I did not get to shoot all three songs as I needed to go shoot a trade shot with the Imagine Dragons and had to leave the photo pit after about 2 and a half songs, but I really like what I got and wouldn’t hesitate to photograph them again.

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

The reasons that I always like to shoot the opening acts are as follows:

  • Get to see the stage setup. Information is key and the more information you have the better. Being able to check out the stage before the main act can be a great advantage.
  • Get to talk to security. I like to talk to the stage security before the acts take the stage so that they know I’m there to do a job and will stay out of their way. Hopefully they will then stay out of my way.
  • Make sure cameras are all working. It’s a great way to make sure all your gear is working properly.
  • Get to see what lighting is in use. This one is self-explanatory. I get to see the type of lighting and howe it is being used. Sometimes this doesn’t make any different but other times it can be key.
  • Sometimes it leads to great photos. Like with this shoot, the band was just a joy to photograph.
  • Never know who is going to get really big. Every band wants to make it big. Some do and some don’t. Having images of a band wham they were starting out can be great especially if they make it big.

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

Nico Vega / 2014

All photos taken with Nikon D4 and D700 and the 24-70mm and 70-200mm lenses.

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