Who are you? Hello, my name is Jeff Gerew and I’m an addict. I’m addicted to photography. I shoot primarily concert photos and musician portraiture. I work for Corbis Images and SoundSpike, and I have a studio in Rochester, NY.
How did you get started? Probably high school or maybe even earlier as a kid, taking Polaroids and unnecessarily shaking them until they developed. I used to work at Kodak, testing cameras all day, comparing output to everything from single-use cameras to very early digital cameras.
A few years ago I started shooting a lot of concert photography and music related portraiture. Being a musician myself, it just sort of made sense. Combining two of my passions into a single art form.
What’s in the bag? I shoot with twin Nikon D700s which are pretty ideal for low-light concert photography. I tend to shoot mostly with my Nikon 24-70mm f/2.8 or my Nikon 70-200mm f/2.8. If I’m out shooting portraits I’ll throw in a few SB700s and my Pocket Wizards.
Which photographers do you admire? I admire anyone who can tell a story with their photographs. Being from Rochester, where modern photography was pioneered to new heights, there are so many photographers in my own community that I admire, but some of may all-time favourites would be Todd Owyoung (live concert photography), Ross Halfin and Dean Karr (musician portraiture) and Annie Leibovitz (everything).
Your top 3 tips for music photographers?
- Wait for the moment! A lot of photogs will “machine gun” the entire time they’re shooting hoping to catch a moment. But a little patience will pay off if you just set up the angle and wait for the right expression and lighting. This will result in less photos to cull/edit as well.
- Freeze the action. Shoot at a high enough shutter speed to stop the action crisply. Blurry eyes/hands can ruin an otherwise great photo. A rule of thumb that I like to use is shoot at twice the focal length. For example: if focal length is 200mm, shoot at 1/400th of a second.
- Always put the paying concert-goer first. These are the folks who pay hard-earned cash to see these shows. Always try to stay out of their way as much as possible. Do not be a distraction in the pit by dancing around or holding up your camera over your head (hail mary’s).
My favourite shot is? My shot of Steven Tyler from the Aerosmith concert in Syracuse, NY in August of 2010. He has so much character and is a brilliant performer. It was hard to find an angle that didn’t have video screens in the background, but once I found it Tyler seemed to cooperate perfectly.
How can we find out more about you and find more of your work?
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