Behind the camera: Jodie Cunningham

Who are you? My name is Jodie, I’m 23 years old and I live in Stafford, UK. I take photos and play the guitar.

How did you get started? In 2006 I saw this band play at the old Carling Academy in Birmingham and every now and again I talked to them through Myspace. I said I’d love to do a shoot with them one day but I never really pushed myself to do much photography outside of college back then. Then one day I saw that this band were touring so I thought I may as well ask them now while I have the chance – so I asked them and within minutes I was put in contact with their manager and on their guest list to shoot a show (I didn’t realise it would be that easy!)

I wanted to do live music photography for a long time, but after experiencing how much fun it could be it really pushed me to want to do it even more.

What’s in the bag?:

  • Nikon D90
  • Tamron SP AF 10-24mm
  • Nikon 50mm F1.8
  • Sigma AF f2.8 18-50mm

Which photographers do you admire? I think a few of the photographers I shoot with in Birmingham deserve a mention here – Andy Watson, Katja Ogrin, Gobinder Jhitter, Rob Lawrence (to name a few) look them up…

Your top 3 tips for music photographers?

  1. To get the best quality out of your images, set your camera to RAW!
  2. When you go to shoot a gig, come prepared with the right kit. I always take 2 lenses with me – Nikon 50mm f1.8 – This lens works great in low lighting and is one of my favourites to use at gigs. However, if it’s a smaller venue I use a Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 as the 50mm is a bit too close. Sigma 18-50mm f2.8 – Another great lens I like to carry around with me! It’s not as sharp as the 50mm, but it still works well in low lighting. Also, I find if the lighting isn’t too great and I’m already set at 1600iso / f2.8, I’ll drop the shutter speed slightly and SOMETIMES can get lucky.
  3. If you see a great photo opportunity that every other photographer is going for, don’t be scared to squeeze your way in with them to get that shot too. Don’t be pushy, no body likes that! But if you want that shot you have to try as hard as you can and you don’t have long to do it. Just don’t hurt anybody 🙂

My favourite shot is? The shot of Davey Havok (AFI) is by far my favourite photo in my entire portfolio – I’d only been doing music photography for about 4 months when I took this and I was so determined to get at least one good photo at this show because AFI have been my favourite band since I was a kid! When I got home and found this on my camera I was very happy. I’ve taken a lot of photos I love since then but this will always be my best I think!

How can we find out more about you and find more of your work?


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