So, what’s really the point of music photography? In my opinion, it’s people’s stories. During the first show I ever photographed, I made a connection with a woman who had a powerful story and my life has forever changed. These kind of stories are all around you at concerts, so you just have to know how to find them.
In my last post, I discussed a story revolving around a song called “Loving Someone“, which is about the struggle of feeling love in our current culture. If you listen between the lines, you can hear the lead singer showing love to members of the LGBT+ community. This woman had a powerful connection to the LGBT+ community.
Lyrics comfort those suffering
On June 12, 2016, 49 people were killed inside a gay nightclub in Orlando. I saw The 1975 in concert two days later. The 1975 frequently go out of their way to show love to marginalized groups of people through music, so when they heard about this tragedy, they decided to dedicate “Loving Someone” to everyone connected to the tragedy.
As the first note plays, the screen fades from black to a rainbow flag and the crowd begins to overflow with emotion. At this point, I am standing towards the back of the pit with my camera and I notice a girl powerfully holding a sign that reads “Orlando Strong” in rainbow letters.
What happens after you take a photo?
After I take the photo I approach her and show it to her. She immediately bursts into tears. I give her a hug, probably the longest and most emotional hug I’ve ever given, and got her email address and Twitter so I could send her the photo and hopefully chat with her after the show. I find out her name is Sierra, and her story is more incredible than I could have ever imagined. Sierra and I have been friends ever since.
“I went to school with one of the victims [of the Orlando shooting] and my best friend that was with me knew him personally. I was born and raised in Orlando and this city means so much to me and never in a million years did I think this would ever happen. So when The 1975 paid tribute to the victims and survivors later that Sunday night by lighting the stage in rainbow during “Loving Someone” I felt so much love and I knew that I had to rep my city and love when we drove up to see them just two days later.” -Sierra Turner
Stories like this are why I want to keep photographing music and why you should too. Stories like this are all around us. They may seem hard to find, but all you have to do is look for them. Talk to fans at concerts and let people open up to you. You’ll never know what will pull your heartstrings or turn into lifelong friendships.