Martin Waters sits down to talk photography with Getintothis’ resident Jiu Jitsu expert and photographer Georgia Flynn to talk gigs, Coldpay and the Shout About it Festival.
It’s a busy time for Georgia, aside from shooting gigs for Getintothis, she is also the founder of the Shout About it Festival, which takes place this weekend at District. Spread across two days, the festival focuses on exploring gig photography, with photographers from across the globe, with the aim of building a large community of gig photographers.
Ahead of the festival, we managed to grab a few minutes with Georgia to put the now traditional Getintothis‘ In the Pit questions to her.
Getintothis: Tell us a bit about yourself and how you got into photography.
GF: I got my first SLR camera when I was 15 as I always had a passion for making anything creative. I took my camera absolutely everywhere, begged friends to be a model and photographed anything and everything. I then went off to the University Of Westminster where I did a degree in Contemporary Media Practice.
I kind of abandoned photography during my time in University to concentrate on other forms of media. It was in my third year when I started going to friend’s gigs around London and bought a new camera and got back into it. When I moved back to the Wirral my first action was to get into gig photography so I started to contact local publications to ask if they could get me in to shoot a gig, the rest is history.
Getintothis: What was the first gig you shot?
GF: I don’t really count the gigs I shot in London because I was really just messing around with my camera and didn’t realise I would like shooting gigs. I’d say my first gig shoot was Loyle Carner at 24 Kitchen Street.
Getintothis: So what’s in your camera bag when you’re shooting?
GF: Not gonna lie, I don’t carry much because kit is expensive. I have a Nikon D7100 with an 18 – 105mm lens which has got me through pretty much every gig I’ve ever shot. I have taken spare lenses in the past but I always just end up sticking to the same kit.
Getintothis: Which is your favourite shot?
GF: My favourite shot changes all the time. I love different shots for many reasons. Whether it’s how hard I worked to get the shot or how much I like the band I shoot there is a different reason for everyone. I’d say my favourite at the moment is one I took of Frank Turner at Liverpool Guild last year. I managed to catch loads of beaming red light in the background. It’s always good when there is a huge stage production because it gives photographers so much to play with.
Getintothis: Any terrible or fun shoots you’d like to share?
GF: I recently had an opportunity to photography Coldplay in Cardiff. It felt like a terrible day because I found out super last minute and literally had to grab my bag, take holiday from work and get in the car to drive to Cardiff. The drive there took 6 hours in the torrential rain.
I almost didn’t make it on time and turned up looking like a drowned rat in a pit of photographers that had clearly been in the industry for much longer than me. I have never been so anxious to get a good shot to make it all worth it.
When the countdown started and the confetti cannons went off, everything changed. I was suddenly in a world of colour and had so many challenges to face in 10 minutes, all while hearing some absolute bangers. I was rushed out of the pit and sent on my way after 10 minutes but it went from something I thought would turn out terrible to one of the most fun, magical nights of my life.
Getintothis: So what’s your favourite bit of kit?
GF: I shot with an 18 – 200mm lens recently and I absolutely loved it. It’s definitely the next thing on my wish list (amongst many other things).
Getintothis: Any particularly difficult musicians?
GF: I have never really experienced a difficulty with musicians as such it’s more the venue. I’ve found it’s always difficult to collect your photo pass when shooting in bigger venues. They just seem to always be hesitant to give you your pass even though you know it’s there.
Getintothis: Who are your favourite Liverpool bands to shoot?
GF: My ultimate favourite has to be Clean Cut Kid. Other than that I regularly shoot Eleanor Nelly and Brothers of Mine who are always great to see live and photograph. I love going to festivals around Liverpool like Threshold and LIMF that give me a chance to shoot loads of local bands in one day. It’s all about supporting your local music scene.
Getintothis: Where’s your favourite place to shoot?
GF: I’ve only ever shot there once but I absolutely loved The Ritz in Manchester. I also love The Guild in Liverpool. Anywhere that puts on a good light show so I can photograph as much colour as possible.
Getintothis: What one tip would you give anyone starting out?
GF: Shoot as much as you can. Don’t worry about taking 1000 pictures in your first couple of gigs it’s how you learn and get better with time. If a bunch of photographers are taking pictures all from the same place in a pit, go to the opposite end and get a completely different shot to everyone else. Also, enjoy the gig and listen to the music. Get a real feel for the atmosphere and it will show in your photography.
Getintothis: What’s the worst advice you’ve been given?
GF: You need an expensive camera to shoot. Just take what you’ve got and work with it and keep going.
Getintothis: Any favourite photographers?
GF: Everyone on my Instagram feed it seems. I love the work of John Gilleese, Deb Kloeden and Trust A Fox to name a few but there are so many incredible gig photographers out there it’s great to take inspiration from everyone.
Getintothis: What would be your ideal gig to shoot?
GF: Anything with a good stage production as it gives the biggest challenge. There is nothing worse than photographing a gig in almost pitch black with a couple of red lights. Ideally, one where I’m into the music as well. I always love shooting Clean Cut Kid because I’m a big fan and there is always great stage production, I end up dancing while taking my pictures.
You can see more of Georgia’s work at:
The Shout about it Festival takes place at District, Liverpool on August 19 & 20