As we begin encroaching on summer, some of the year’s biggest musical festivals like Coachella, Roskilde, and Glastonbury are right around the corner.
We’ve already weighed in on the best sneakers to wear to a music festival, and now Highsnobiety is here to help tune up your Instagram for festival season. We hit up some of the best photographers on Instagram to share some tips and photo hacks. If you weren’t sure which lens to pack, or whether to take a point-and-shoot or a disposable, check out what our friends and colleagues had to say below, and hashtag your photos with #HSinthefield for the chance to get featured on our Instagram page.
Name: Steve Irby.
Festival of Choice: Songkran Water Festival, Festival d’été de Québec, and Panorama NYC.
Gear: Bring a fancy fanny pack, I know everyone is doing it and you want to be cool and different, but fuck that. It saves lives. You can put everything in there, so just get one that’s fire and call it a day. Also a Mophie, you can’t finesse anything with a dead phone, and Sony’s RX100V, perfect for running and gunning and not looking sus’ with a crazy camera setup. It records dope video too. Last, an Ilford disposable camera – it’s really cheap and you will have bangers to last a lifetime.
Photo Tips: The secret to taking the best festival photos is all about positioning. There will be times when you probably had too much sauce and you’re all the way in the back. But your composition will improve because you can shoot the crowd in the foreground and have the stage as the background. If you’re into being in the front (like me) always leave 10 minutes before a set ends and head to the next stage. Be prepared to throw some elbows but you’ll have a great vantage point to take more intimate photos of your favorite rapper’s favorite rapper.
Festival Hacks: Bring some Altoids, because you don’t want to be coming through with the hot breath. Blistex too, nobody will fuck with you with crusty-ass lips. You will probably get denied entry. Baby wipes, if you can’t get any Jason Markk wipes or anything that’s similar, go get your wet wipes. No seriously, they are effective and you can use it for your neck if you get mad sweaty. Lastly, hand sanitizer, just think that everyone is dirty, plus it’s a great ice breaker for anyone who is dirty but you want to build with them.
Name: Bobby Anwar
Festival of Choice: Roskilde Festival in Denmark. A Tribe Called Quest is coming!
Gear: Canon 5D Mark IV, my trusty Canon 135mm 2.0, which is kick-ass for concerts, as well as my Canon 50mm 1.2, Canon 24-70mm 2.8, and all the battery packs I can get my hands on. Also an iPhone hardcase so my phone doesn’t get fucked up, ProTactic Camera bag 350, shades, waist bag – don’t bring your Supreme one, it’s gonna get messed up – and finally a Rains jacket.
Photo Tips: Basically just be in the moment and follow the rhythm of the scene in front of you, whether it’s a performer, the crowd or a single individual. Feel the vibe with you camera and don’t be shy, people are there to enjoy themselves and don’t mind getting photographed. Look for the in-between moments, get the kissing couple before they actually kiss. Get the performer before they actually sing.
Festival Hacks: If you are in Denmark, bring bags you can wrap around your kicks for the rainy days. You are gonna stink, so bring fresh socks and an air freshener for your sneakers. Get drunk, and have a blast!
Name: Nesrin Danan.
Festival of Choice: Coachella, but I love Lollapalooza too! My job has me going to just about every festival every summer and I’ve decided those are my all-time favorites.
Gear: For my professional music photography, I shoot on a Canon 6D with all Sigma Art lenses, the 35 or 50mm being my go-to; but I also love using my iPhone to capture those super quick candid moments at festivals.
Photo Tips: My tip for festival-goers this season to get awesome photos is probably to take advantage of the gorgeous natural lighting; the sun is your friend! Also, taking photos of the amazing art installations at Coachella is a key point in making all your friends jealous and getting some unique colors and shapes into your images. My Instagram always blows up around festival season cause I get those angles that no one was expecting, making the photos way more interesting.
Festival Hacks: Portable chargers, disposable cameras, and sunscreen.
Festival of Choice: All of them. Gotta get that work in. Coachella, Nocturnal, EDC, FYF, HARD SUMMER…
Gear: Most of the time a simple point-and-shoot, like my Sony RX100 V. Sometimes I can get away with my preferred “festival shooter” the Canon M5, but most festivals are pretty anal with DSLRs and detachable lenses. The M5 is small but packs a punch.
Photos Tips: Just have fun and don’t judge all the wasted people. If you are having fun, most likely you are at the best spot of the festival, and there will be a ton of things to shoot. Everybody has seen festival photos before. Most of the time the best shots I get will be random run-ins on the way to the water station.
Festival Hacks: Gatsby facial wipes, they’re made in Japan and they make you feel like you’ve just taken a shower. Tile key chain, and Tile cards. I give these out to my homies, because at every festival there is always at least one homie who loses their phone or wallet. Tile allows you to GPS track whatever you have lost. Knife, no explanation needed. These are uncertain times. A cozy hoody; it gets cold in the evenings.
Name: Will Nichols
Festival of Choice: Coachella. It’s my favorite because everyone comes together to go all out for the fans and the afterparties are legendary.
Gear: Fuji X-Pro 2 with 16mm, Fuji X-T1 with 50-140mm.
Photos Tips: Wait until golden hour to take the best festival photos. Harsh light during the day sucks, and night can be hard if you don’t have the right equipment.
Festival Hacks: Find yourself a golf cart, that’s the best festival hack without question.
Now check out 13 travel-worthy festivals that will blow your mind.
- Main & Featured Image: Chris Danforth / Highsnobiety.com