music photographer

FAQ: Photography, Finding Models, and More!

Hi, it's me again.

Today, I'm going to answer some questions I get frequently on my Instagram and Facebook. Let's just get into it!

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Q: What gear do you use?

A: I use a Nikon D750 for my camera body and I switch between a 50mm f/1.8 lens and a 70-200mm f/2.8 lens. I use the 50mm for my portrait shots and the 70-200mm for most of my music shots. In addition to these, I always carry a couple prisms and an extra battery pack with me!

Q: What do you use to edit?

A: I use Lightroom primarily for software and a mixture of VSCO and RNI Films presets. I just got an iPad Pro so I'm looking to expand my software library with Adobe Creative Cloud. Hopefully, it makes my work flow easier! I don't really use Photoshop for my fashion/music work, but I did use it a lot for my abstract work in college.

Q: Where do you shoot? Where do you find locations?

A: I live in-between Providence, RI and Boston, MA, so I try to find locations around those two areas. I find locations by driving around and exploring. I also look on Instagram to see where people are shooting and where secret spots are!

Q: What are your rates?

A: It really depends on the shoot and client, the difficulty of the shoot, the travel situation, and the length of the shoot. For portrait sessions like the ones you'd see on my Instagram, I charge $100-$150 for an hour/an hour and a half shoot. This does include the editing. Anything else has a rate depending on the situation! Most of the time, I personally reach out to models and ask them to shoot for my portfolio, which is free. If you ask a model to shoot, don't expect them to pay.

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Q: How do you find models to work with?

A: When I first started out, I asked friends and people I followed on Instagram. I got rejected... a lot. I didn't have money to pay models for sessions, but occasionally, people would agree! After I started picking up the amount of portrait shoots I was doing, I reached out to a modeling agency in the area and asked to shoot their new faces so they could have images for their portfolio starting out. Now I source models from both Instagram and a modeling agency. Really, everything is about networking and shooting your shot. Don't be afraid to reach out. The worst that can happen is they say no.

Q: How do you get photo passes for concerts?

A: When I went to MassArt, some of my friends volunteered at local music magazines and shot low-key shows around the city. I reached out to the Allston Pudding and they put me on as a volunteer photographer. From there, I reached out to Vanyaland and was put on their photography team as a paid photographer. Basically, to start out in music photography, find a music blog in your area and ask to work with them. Press for musicians will focus on you more if you have credentials from somewhere. The bigger the publication, the bigger the shows you can shoot. If you don't have a local magazine you can work for, make your own and get your friends to contribute or find one out of state that will allow you to cover shows remotely.

Q: When will you draw again? Will you draw me a tattoo?!

A: I specifically bought my iPad Pro for drawing because I haven't drawn anything since I went to MassArt!! I'm excited to start again because I've really missed it. But no, I won't be making tattoos again for a while, not until I get the hang of this thing or unless Deane gets an itch for a new tattoo again.

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These next ones aren't frequently asked, but I thought I'd throw them in here!

Q: What has been your favorite concert you've shot so far?

The best one that I've been to has to be, hands down, Unknown Mortal Orchestra. I'm a huge fan and they did not disappoint at ALL. I was having such a good time, I wasn't as focused on getting good photos, which is something I need to work on. But, it was a crazy good experience. As for my favorite photo-wise, it would have to be either Flatbush Zombies or Tyler the Creator (the first time). I don't often have the opportunity to shoot rap shows, but they have proven to me that they make the best photos. 

Q: What is the part of photography that you hate the most?

Scheduling. I hate having to go through the process of scheduling because I never know when I have time off and it's hard to be in sync with people and their own schedules. I also just want to shoot all the time so if I didn't have to plan and I could just shoot, I'd be so happy. Another annoying thing is being told how to take photos at a show. At a Tiny Moving Parts show, a drunk guy kept following me around the venue, trying to tell me how to get the best shot and what angles I should get and it got to the point that he was interrupting my shots. I was getting paid to shoot this show so I was not happy. Fun fact: I was shooting Brockhampton at Boston Calling and a guy did the same thing to me. I turned around and IT WAS THE SAME GUY. Maybe that guy just sucks.

Q: What are your goals for photography?

Get published. Get paid to travel to gigs. Go on tour. Collaborate with a major brand. Take photos at a Bon Iver show.

Any other questions? Don't be afraid to send them to me through DM/email or comment below!

The Revival

I'M BAAAAAAACK!

I can't believe I haven't posted a blog post since January. Time flies when you're not having fun and have to get a full-time job! I've been wanting to come back to posting blogs for a while now, but I honestly have not had the time to write or edit anything. I was fortunate enough to receive a promotion at Apple, which is so awesome, but it also has made me work 2x as much as I did before. So shooting, editing, and going to shows has been put on a back-burner as of late. But anyway, I don't want to spend the whole blog telling you why I haven't been here. Rather, I'd like to take the opportunity to reintroduce myself for the people who are new to my website!

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Hi! 

I'm Emily Gardner and I am a freelance photographer from Southern Massachusetts.

I mainly shoot portraits, fashion, and music, but I pretty much dabble in any form of photography I can get my hands on. Outside of photo, I work at a local Apple Store and fix phones all day, I've been dating my best friend for 4 years, and I am obsessed with cats. I also fail often at Fortnite but I'm pretty decent at Overwatch. I love music and I try to go to shows as much as I can. I went to MassArt and got my degree in photography. Ever since then, I've been working freelance as a portrait photographer and I'm also an contributor to both the Allston Pudding and Vanyaland. You can find my work on their websites!

I'm going to be queuing up some blog posts, but I will not have a set schedule for posts to come out because my schedule changes so frequently. Make sure you keep an eye on my Instagram stories to see when posts come out! If you have any questions you'd like me to answer in a post, DM me on Insta or email me through my website.

Until next time! (Here's some places you can find me):

Facebook // Instagram // Society6

 

My Favorite Albums of 2017

It's that time of year! Christmas is right around the corner, but more importantly, the time to release music in 2017 is coming to an close. This year was a great one for music. There was a lot of crap released, but there was also a lot of gems. I know we still have a couple weeks left in December, but I'm releasing my "Best Albums of 2017" list early. The only two artists that could change my mind and be added to this list after it's posted are A$AP Rocky and Schoolboy Q, who both said they would have albums out at the end of the year, but I'm too impatient to wait for them to pull a Frank Ocean and end up not releasing anything. These are in no particular order because picking favorite music is like picking a favorite child and I just can't do it. So, without further ado, here's my list! 

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Citizen - As You Please

Before this album, I wasn't a huge Citizen fan. I had seen them before as an opener for The Story So Far but I wasn't instantly into their music. For me, their previous albums sounded too much like the rest of the Pop Punk scene, as the case for many bands from that time. However, As You Please changed my opinion. You can sense the emotion in every song and it strays from the path of a typical Pop Punk album. I found myself unable to skip any song when listening to the album and for me, that's when I know it's one of the best of the year.

Highlights: In the Middle of It All, Jet

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(Sandy) Alex G - Rocket

Alex G has a ridiculous amount of music and it's hard to find a bad song amidst his large discography. Rocket is not an exclusion to this trend. This album isn't exactly a "normal" album for Alex G; there's a lot of experimentation and not a lot of consistency when it comes to the trackless, but that's what I like about it. He's released so many songs at this point that he's allowed to experiment so that every track doesn't sound cookie-cutter to the next. You can hear the influence of Frank Ocean in some of the songs, which makes sense seeing as Alex G contributed to Ocean's Blond last year. Overall, I haven't been able to stop listening to this record since it came out and I'm very happy I was able to photograph this genius on his Boston stop during his tour. (Yes, I'm still unsure which name he goes by. Sandy? Alex G? Musical genius?)

Highlights: Witch, Sportstar, Powerful Man

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Jay-Z - 4:44

It's about time, am I right? I love Jay-Z. I love Beyonce. I love them together. I love when they fight because Beyonce releases one of the best albums of all time. So, it's no surprise that I love this album. I actually bought it because I don't have a subscription to Apple Music or Tidal and it's not on Spotify. I haven't bought an album since Lemonade. It's that good. Each track is musically striking and so many of the lyrics are relevant to today's struggles in the government and society. It's politically charged while still being a jam. 

Highlights: Bam, Moonlight

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Turnover - Good Nature

I've been living under a rock for the past year so I didn't even know Turnover was a band until early 2017. Luckily, I got to be a fan when they released Good Nature, which is my most listened to album this year, according to Spotify. Many have said the songs sound very similar to each other, but I think the album's contents are different from one another but keep a similar vibe. That's always a good thing. This album is perfect for a day of driving or a beach visit.

Highlights: Nightlight Girl, Super Natural, Bonnie (Rhythm & Melody)

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PVRIS - All We Know of Heaven, All We Need of Hell

This album has bangers after bangers. PVRIS has gotten huge after their last album and they certainly deserve it. Local to Massachusetts, PVRIS started off small and starting gaining more popularity with their female lead vocalist, unique cross between Rock and Electronic, and their awesome message of positivity in the LGBTQ community. Listening to AWKOHAWNOH will make you feel like a badass and dance around the house.

Highlights: What's Wrong, Same Soul, Anybody Else

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Brockhampton - Saturation I & II

Brockhampton blessed us with two albums this year and a third is due out next week (which may make me regret releasing this list early). This collective is a cross between A$AP Mob, Frank Ocean, and Odd Future. They're incredible. Kevin Abstract and his crew are truly unique and make sure they get that through your head with these albums. I love the range of sounds this collective produces and I can't wait for their third album. Apparently, it may be their last, but it better not be or I'll lose my mind. How can a band release three albums in one year and then call it quits, especially after the following they've gained in 2017? We'll see. If it's true, you'll catch me signing a petition to bring them back.

Highlights: GOLD, STAR, GUMMY, SWEET

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Brand New - Science Fiction

So, this one is hard. This was going to be my number 1 for 2017. I'm a huge fan of Brand New. I have a Brand New tattoo. But, Jesse Lacey broke my heart this year. A month or two after the album came out, sexual assault allegations against Lacey arose on Facebook and the band later confirmed these allegations on their page. I don't want to go into detail (honestly because I'm still not over it) but it has been difficult for me to listen to this album for a while now. It's hard when your idol turns out to be a terrible person. It's hard when you listen to lyrics that seemed about someone else's perspective but now you're unsure if Lacey wrote them about his own feelings. I feel for the victim(s). Lacey is no longer my idol and his pathetic apology was not accepted. However, Lacey's actions don't speak for the whole band and it's heartbreaking that this album is now associated with them. Science Fiction is still one of the best albums of 2017, in my opinion. It's full of emotion, heartbreak, and musical genius. I will no longer be supporting them, but I can't ignore that their music changed my life. I'll still listen to them, but you won't find me defending Lacey. 

Highlights: 137, In the Water, Can't Get it Out

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Kendrick Lamar - DAMN.

This one is pretty obvious. I don't think that anyone has not put this album on a list this year. It's absolutely fantastic. Kendrick proves, once again, he's one of the best rappers of all time. Every track is unique, innovation, politically charged, and lyrically genius. 

Highlights: HUMBLE, FEAR, LOYALTY

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Manchester Orchestra - A Black Mile to the Surface

Manchester Orchestra has never made a bad album, in my opinion. This album isn't an exception to that. I can listen from start to finish and not get bored. It's amazing, well-written, and moving. As always, the instrumental elements are on point and emotional. It's not an album for everyone because of it's emotional content, but if you're a fan of Brand New, Turnover, and Citizen, then I would recommend it. I got to shoot their Boston date of their promotional tour and it's even better live. 

Highlights: The Gold, The Alien, The Moth

HONORABLE MENTIONS:

These albums don't make my list for the "best" albums because they didn't resonate with me like the ones above did, but there's no denying that they're amazing. Sometimes, the music just doesn't make me go nuts and that's okay. So here are three albums that deserve a listen, but just were a little off for me.

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SZA - CTRL

Another Top Dawg production! This time, SZA comes out with her debut album and she kills it. SZA is a vocal powerhouse. I first heard her on Rihanna's album last year and I was instantly hooked. Her voice is beautiful and her songs are seductive. This album sets the standard for debut albums. That being said, some of the songs I can't relate to and that's okay. SZA definitely had a solid concept behind this album that would reach specific people. I think a lot of the songs are fantastic, but some didn't stick with me. 

Highlights: Drew Barrymore, The Weekend, Love Galore

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Tyler, the Creator - Scum Fuck Flower Boy

I love Tyler. I really do. His previous album, Cherry Bomb? Wasn't my favorite. SFFB is definitely better than that one, but it still didn't excite me as much as I hoped. It's still incredible, but I was a fan of Tyler when he produced Wolf and Goblin. Those songs really changed the game of rap for me. I think this album was made by Tyler for Tyler. He comes out of his shell (and maybe out as gay, although it's not exactly confirmed) and made music that no one expected him to make. And while I think that's extremely commendable, it just wasn't my cup of tea exactly. It has some gems on it, but many of the songs aren't my style. That being said, I still think the album is fantastic and a great stepping stone for his career and musical style. I was also honored to be able to shoot this tour as well. He definitely puts on one hell of a show.

Highlights: See You Again, I Ain't Got Time!

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Miguel - War & Leisure

The only reason this is an honorable mention is because it literally came out last week, so I haven't been able to dive into it yet. But so far, it's incredible. Miguel has been consistently impressing me this year with his single releases. Sky Walker was one of my most listened to songs this year, according to Spotify. He really let loose with this album and had fun with it. I respect that a lot, especially because he has so much talent and his voice is so beautiful. Please check out this album if you haven't yet and make sure you have plenty of room around you so you can bust out dancing like I usually do.

Highlights: Sky Walker, Caramelo Duro, Come Through and Chill

Thanks for reading! What was your Top 5 from 2017? Comment down below and check back next week for a new post!

Tyler, the Creator at the Palladium

The Flower Boy Tour - Nov. 15

I was so excited to have heard that I was going to be photographing the Tyler, the Creator show at the Palladium for the Allston Pudding! I've been itching to see him live for a while now and I jumped on the chance that I could go. I have to note: the Palladium stuff are, like, the most polite and understanding folks. They were awesome in the barricades.  I'd also like to thank my 70-200mm 2.8 lens for coming in clutch and contributing to the following photos. 

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Manchester Orchestra/Tigers Jaw/Foxing at the Palladium 9/30

Sometimes, you just get lucky.

Getting a photo pass to shoot Manchester Orchestra, Tigers Jaw, and Foxing? That was me getting lucky! I had bought tickets for the show for Deane and I as a nice date night and had no expectations of bringing my camera to the show. However, like the amazing people they are, I saw Foxing tweet about giving out free tickets to some shows and hopped on the opportunity to ask about a photo pass. I didn't think I'd get a response, but I did and the boys were charitable enough to put my name on the list! The show was incredible and I got the chance to be a foot away from some of my favorite artists. Here are the shots from the show. I hope you enjoy looking at them as much as I enjoyed taking them!

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