A lot of people dabble in music photography, so if you want to stand out, you have to try different techniques. Don't be afraid to overexpose, underexpose, or use Photoshop to make your photos stand out. Like my senior thesis project that you can find here, I use a prism to distort my concert shots and add a little flair. Try to make sure that you keep details in the image, though, so viewers can still distinguish who you are taking pictures of.
The Dreaded Press Pass
Now that you have an idea on how to take music photos, now comes the tough part: press passes. Basically, when you want to take on photographing a show, you need a press/photo pass in order to bring your camera into the venue. This pass also grants you access to the photo pit, which is usually time-limited as I mentioned before. The best way to get press passes is to shoot shows, which I know sounds a little hypocritical. How do I shoot shows if I haven’t shot any shows? The best way is to shoot local bands at local venues. Smaller venues don’t require a press pass to bring your camera in. It’s a win-win for everyone: venues and bands get shots for their use, you get shots for your portfolio. Make sure to follow up and send off your photographs to anyone would could use them. It can lead to unexpected exposure. Once you have a growing portfolio, try to reach out to brands directly or join a publication. I'm a part of the Allston Pudding, which is a small publication about music in the Boston area. Writers and photographers connect to publish reviews or previews for the website. This is the best way to get a press pass without having a large amount of work in your portfolio. However, bigger venues want bigger publications to showcase their shows, so smaller publications won’t get you there. BUT, don’t give up! Keep shooting and building that portfolio.
Good luck with your musical adventure and show the world what you’ve got!