Shoot From The Pit: Live Concert Photography Workshops

Do you want to learn how to shoot concerts from a working tour photographer at a real, live show?

David Bergman is now making this once-in-a-lifetime photography experience a reality. Spend the afternoon at the venue learning the “tricks of the trade” that he has picked up during his 30 years as a working professional photographer. Then use everything you’ve learned to shoot the show that evening from unique locations including inside the photo pit, where your hands will touch the stage and you’ll feel the power of thousands of screaming fans behind you.

David will go over everything you need to know about concert and action photography including proper photo gear, nailing exposures in changing lighting conditions, setting up remote cameras, how to work with the crew and celebrities, and so much more. When the show starts, you’ll get to make pictures all night long! You’ll often be side by side with David, constantly looking for unique angles that no one else can get, and you’ll go home with lots of powerful images and an experience you’ll never forget.

You will get a taste of life as a working tour photographer, and this is a rare opportunity to learn from one of the best in the business. David Bergman has traveled the world with Bon Jovi, Luke Combs, and for Sports Illustrated magazine, and his work has been published on album covers, billboards, and in nearly every major publication.

There are limited spots available in each city and they will go quickly. Don’t miss your opportunity to “Shoot From the Pit!”

 

UPCOMING WORKSHOPS

There are no concert workshops scheduled at this time, but you can
JOIN DAVID IN THE ITALIAN RIVIERA FOR A FUN PHOTO ADVENTURE!
Click here for more info and to sign up now.

The Italian RivieraFuture events will be announced first on the email list. Sign up below.

FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

  • What time does the workshop start/end?

The stadium (US/Canada) workshops start at 12:30pm sharp and arenas/theaters (outside North America) begin at 2:30pm. All workshops end after the show – usually at 11:00pm. Late entry is not possible, so plan your travel accordingly. 

  • How many photographers at each workshop?

Workshops are kept small to give every attendee the best experience possible. Arena and theater workshops usually allow up to 5 photographers. Stadium workshops allow up to 10.

  • Do I need to buy a separate concert ticket?

No. We have made arrangements for you to have a special workshop pass for the show and you will be shooting pictures all night long.

  • What about meals and transportation?

You are responsible for getting yourself to and from the venue. Dinner will be provided, and you can bring snacks like granola bars if you want to keep your energy up during the show. Water will be available.

  • Where do I park, how do I get into the venue, and where do I go?

Specific entrance info will be sent before each workshop. There is a security screening and no weapons of any kind are allowed inside the venue. Parking is not provided by the tour and you will need to park in regular lots. Ride-sharing services like Uber and Lyft, or getting dropped off from a friend, are also good options. 

  • Will I get to hang out with the musicians?

No. There is no “meet and greet” with the artists and your workshop room will be in a separate location from the dressing room area. If you are just interested in attending a concert or getting a VIP experience with your favorite artist, this workshop is not for you. However, if you want to improve your photography skills and have the incredible experience of shooting a real, live show, then you are in the right place!

  • What if I’m not a fan of the artist / band?

It’s better if you’re not a fan. You will be learning practical, action photography techniques that can be applied to many other styles of photography. Most concert photographers will tell you that they don’t even “hear” the music when they’re shooting a show. They’re too busy concentrating on the lighting and camera angles.

  • Do I need to bring my own camera(s)?

Yes. A DSLR or mirrorless camera with interchangeable lenses is required. Two bodies with two lenses are best if you have them, and fast zooms are recommended. 2.8 apertures are great, but you can get away with f/4 or 5.6 (with certain bodies) as well since the stage lighting is very good. The combo of the 24-70 and 70-200 lenses also work well for most arena concerts. For stadiums, even longer lenses are recommended if possible. For reference, David uses the Canon RF 24-105 f/4 and RF 100-500 f/4.5-7.1 on Canon R3 bodies. 

*** There is a lot more detailed information with gear recommendations for the workshop HERE.

Large photo bags / backpacks are cumbersome in the photo pit, and you will be able to leave them in the workshop room during the show. If you want to carry extra items near the stage, a small waist bag is recommended.

Don’t forget memory cards for your camera(s). Bring MORE than you think you’ll need. We can’t stress this enough. At least 128GB is recommended (256GB for stadiums) for each camera. You do not need to bring a computer with you.

  • Will my camera gear be safe?

You are ultimately responsible for your personal belongings including all camera gear during the workshop. Your cameras will be in the workshop room with David’s and we will do everything we can to keep it secure, but nothing is 100%. David uses a lockable camera bag and has insurance on all of his gear. You should always try to keep your cameras from being an easy target in any situation – workshops included.

  • Can I shoot video?

Video is strictly prohibited anytime during the day or at the show, so keep that camera in photo mode. 

  • Do I own my pictures?

US copyright law states that you own the copyright to the photographs that you take. Laws may be different in other countries. Either way, the tour is giving you the incredibly generous opportunity to photograph the show for educational purposes. In exchange, by attending the workshop, you are legally agreeing to only post images on your personal social media sites or portfolio / website for strictly non-commercial use.

  • What should I wear?

As concert photographers, you want to blend in and avoid drawing attention to yourself. The touring crew wears their “stage blacks” so you should also wear black or dark colors. Comfortable sneakers, dark pants and a black t-shirt or polo shirt are best. Please avoid bright colors or patterns since they might distract the performers or the audience. For outdoor shows in hot weather, shorts are OK. It is highly recommended that you bring earplugs. Hearing protection is key when working a concert.

  • Is the workshop physically challenging?

Our workshops are within the abilities of average people in good health. You will likely be walking up stairs in the venue to get to various photo locations. Some locations require the ability to walk over uneven terrain or might require excessive kneeling while also carrying your photo gear.

  • Do I need to be an experienced photographer?

All skill levels are welcome, but you should have a basic understanding of your camera functions and the desire to learn about manual exposure mode. Stadium shows can be challenging for even advanced photographers, so those are not recommended for absolute beginners. Contact us if you’re not sure it’s right for you.

  • Is there an age limitation?

Attendees must be 18 or older to attend.

  • What about languages outside of North America?

The workshop is entirely in English. You must be fluent in both speaking and comprehension to attend.

  • What currency do you accept for the workshop tickets?

Workshop ticket prices are in US dollars ($USD). If using another currency, it will be converted by your bank at current rates when making a purchase.

  • Are there any more workshops coming up?

Future workshop dates and cities are announced first on the email list. Sign up to be notified and you’ll receive exclusive pre-sale access if/when they are available.

  • What about COVID?

While we recommend that you have received the COVID vaccine, proof of vaccination is no longer required by the tour. However, we must abide by all local laws and regulations, so the rules can change and may vary from venue to venue.

  • What’s your refund policy?

Due to the exclusive nature and small size of this workshop, tickets are non-refundable. At the end of the day, we are human beings, so if you have a major issue, contact us for assistance. If the workshop is cancelled for any reason, you will be issued a full refund of your ticket price. We are not responsible for any other expenses including travel that you may have incurred to attend the workshop. 

  • Anything else?

By registering for the workshop, you are agreeing to these important, legal terms and conditions. Please read them. If you have any other questions, contact us for assistance.

ATTENDEES PICTURES FROM PAST WORKSHOPS

“The workshop was amazing. It was non-stop from the minute it started. The access that was given for taking photos was unbelievable. Thank you for a wonderful experience.”

“David is a natural teacher who puts the student at ease and has a persona that allows one to feel that they belong as a true member of the concert crew.”

“This workshop experience was incredible! I can’t say enough about what a great time this was. I can say I’m ready to do it again! That’s how much fun it was!!!”

MEET YOUR INSTRUCTOR

 


David Bergman
is a New York based music, portrait, and sports photographer and is a Canon Explorer of Light – one of the highest honors achievable by a professional photographer.

With more than 30 years of professional experience, David has photographed over a thousand concerts. He is the official tour photographer for Luke Combs and Bon Jovi – for whom he has produced three coffee table photo books. In addition to his other celebrity clients, David has 13 Sports Illustrated covers to his credit, and his high-resolution GigaPan of President Obama’s first inaugural speech was viewed by over 30 million people. His photos have also been featured in almost every major publication around the world.

David is an engaging and passionate public speaker and educator who hosts numerous video series’ for photographers including Adorama’s Ask David Bergman. Before moving to New York City in 2001, David was a photojournalist on staff at the Miami Herald and covered news and sports events around the world.

Follow David on Instagram @DavidBergman and on his website at DavidBergman.net.

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