Who wouldn’t want to see Neutral Milk Hotel, Beck, St. Vincent and a ton of other talented musicians in one weekend? Lucy Hewett got to do just that when she was asked to photograph the Pitchfork Music Festival for The Chicago Reader. While Lucy is currently shooting mostly food and portraiture work, photographing shows is nothing new to her.
I actually learned photography by shooting shows so it was fun to get back to my roots. It was fun to be an observer, letting the day unfold and capturing real moments.
There are, of course, problems that one will encounter when documenting a live event that wouldn’t arise in a produced shoot:
It can get crowded in the pit during the headliner shows. You have to be strategic about where you stand and only take up as much space as you need.
There was not much planning involved. Lucy, along with a group of other photographers, met with the photography director of The Reader the day prior to the festival, and everyone was assigned specific performances to capture. Beyond that, they were given free reign of how they decided to shoot. The resulting images tell an entertaining story of both the performers and the attendees.
The project has Lucy thinking about other stories she would like to work on in the future:
I like shooting festivals, there’s a great energy and a lot of creative freedom. I would love to do a portrait series at Riot Fest this year.
It also reminded her of something: “concert photography is still fun!”
To see more of Lucy’s work, check out her website.