Behind the camera: Stuart MacDonald

Who are you? Stuart MacDonald. I have been taking photos, on and off, since the age of 10. I have been living in Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain for the last 20 years, and around 10 years ago I got back into the world of photos and managed to become able to blend my two greatest passions (music & photography).

Official Photographer for mayor music festivals in the north of Spain (Azkena Rock festival / Bilbao BBK Live festival / Ebrovision), as well as other major music events in and around the Basque country. Currently working freelance for music papers, magazines, local venues as well as continuing with the festival work.

How did you get started? I got started in the music photo world by going along to local venues week after week and shooting the bands, both local and international. By always asking first and being discreet and professional I ended up showing some of my work to the venue owners, who eventually agreed to let me be part of the staff and from there on I worked my way up to the festivals etc.

What’s in the bag?

  • Nikon D800
  • Nikon D700
  • Nikon 70-200mm f2.8
  • Nikon 24-70mm f2.8
  • Nikon 10.5mm f2.8
  • Nikon 50mm f1.4
  • Lexar Professional 4GB & 8GB CF cards

Which photographers do you admire? Ruben Navarro and Javier Bragado

Your top 3 tips for music photographers? 

  • Be professional and polite to the venue staff, the crowd any other photographers.
  • Know your gear inside out, in the dark.
  • Try to look for something different, quality not quantity of images is what counts.

My favourite shot is? Maceo Parker – Sala Azkena, Vitoria-Gasteiz, Spain. 13/11/2004. Although this is quite old, it is one of my favourite shots for a few reasons.

  • It is one of the first with new digital equipment after having been using colour slide film for a while.
  • The detail and general quality of the image gave me lots of enthusiasm to continue and improve. Several years later I was lucky enough to meet Maceo again and ask him to sign a copy of this picture for me.
  • The brief but intense conversation and the fact that he liked it so much, both make it a very memorable photograph in my collection.

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

Join the discussion 5 Comments

  • Jason says:

    He is one of the best. I know his job, and I´ve met him personally and he is a really good person and a really good photograph.

  • "uncle" Phil Morgan says:

    Remember Stuart working in a camera shop in Dumfries, probably under the minimum age – he’s that keen on photography! He owes me an email!

  • Stuart MacDonald says:

    Hellloooooo there!! Long time no write/see/hear etc.
    Thanks for the comment. hehe.

  • Stewart says:

    Hey man
    Remember in vittoria I met you
    Now I am one year in Tenerife finally moved to Spain
    I know people here basque that know of you funny hey nagore singer her friend unai
    So contact was a funny coincidence
    Speak soon man

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