This was both one of the best concert photography years I have had… and one of the toughest. I photographed some of the biggest names in music like Roger Waters performing The Wall, Rush on their Clockwork angles Tour and Peter Gabriel performing his landmark Album SO in its entirety. I also got introduced to new music and bands that were a real blast to photograph including the Neon Trees and Havana Brown. I continued my relationship with the Valley View Casino Center as their house photographer and shot shows for both SoundSpike Media and PR Photo. Next  year I will be adding Zuma Press to my outlets and am very excited about working with them as well.


Going back through the images I shot in 2012 I tried to narrow down my favorites to 20 or so images. It was impossible. So instead I went ahead and tried to  keep it to under 100… so here they are, my favorite 99 concert images from 2012. Now, after I went through all the different lightroom catalogs from this year, there are a bunch of shows that I didn’t pick any photos from. The photos were fine, but none really stood out to me. I also started to see other patterns in the photos that I really liked. It might be the position of the guitar, the way the drumsticks were held or the position of the body.

Scorpions 2012 Adam Levine  of Maroon 5 performs at the Channel 933 Summer Kick Steel Pulse 2012

It really seems that I like that arm creating a leading line down into the image. Even better if I can anchor it with a spot light or a disco ball.

Scorpions 2012 Bestof2012-15

When it cam to drummers, this year gave me the opportunity to get some great shots, especially when the  drummers in questions decided to leap up out of their seats.

Warped 2012 Bestof2012-36 Bestof2012-37 Bestof2012-38 Bestof2012-39 Offspring / 2012

When it comes to photographing guitar and bass players, it seems that I really like to have that classic shot without cutting off the guitar neck or bottom of the body.

Rise Against Honda Civic Tour / 2012 Jane's Addiction performs on June 3, 2012 during the 91X X-Fest One Direction perform at the Viejas Arena in San Diego on June 8, 2012

When it came to capturing vocal, I tried to keep the microphone from covering the face… when I could.

Bestof2012-82 Honda Civic Tour / 2012

Other times, you just have to go with the moment.

And that’s really what this is all about, capturing the moment. Every one of these photos was a special moment captured in time. Geddy Lee creating that unmistakable Rush bass line. Wolf Hoffman from Accept, a true music photographers dream, to the final tour of the Scorpions…

Rush / 2012 Accept / 2012 Scorpions 2012

Now for the frustrating… It seems that there are still a large number of bands out there that believe concert photographers are just fans with cameras and that we should be so happy that they allow us to photograph them that we will gladly hand over all the tights to our images with no compensation. This includes The Cult who had a full rights grab release and Stone Temple Pilots you seemed to have the same release. No photographer should sign or shoot bands with this type of release. It lets them think that this type of rights grabbing crap is fine. It is not! These bands need to look at performers like Roger Waters who had no release at all. Then there are the performers who don’t allow photographers at all, like Bob Dylan. At least he was honest about it, just saying that he didn’t want the show photographed.

Then there are the soundboard shoots. None of these images were shot from the soundboard. It’s not that the shots are bad, they just don’t look as good as those shot closer. I photographed Carrie Underwood from the soundboard this year using the Nikon 400mm f/2.8 and the shots are great, but not great enough to make the top 99.

The images in this gallery came from the following bands, all photographed during 2012

Rush, Steel Pulse, Peter Gabriel, Mana, Scorpions, Tesla, Accept, Anthrax, Janes Addiction, One Direction, Wanted, Devil Wears Prada, As I lay Dying, Pierce The Veil, Incubus, Motorhead, Slayer, Maroon 5, Havana Brown, Pitbull, Wiz Kahlifa, Steve Aoki, LMFAO, Mutemath, Grouplove, Neon Trees, Flo Rida,Roger Waters, Morrissey, Gym Class Heroes, Bush, Jackie Greene, Lucas Nelson, Jimmy Cliff, Ziggy Marley, Barenaked Ladies, Blues Traveler, Chevelle, Furthur, The Band Perry, Brandi Carlile, The Black Keys, Angles and Airwaves, Brad Paisley, Rise Against, Karmin, Slipknot, Linkin Park, Deftones, Trey Songz, Red Hot Chili Peppers.