Concert Photographer Openly Ridiculed for His Technique, Band Comes to His Defense

The above video, titled “How not to be a photographer at a gig,” has gotten a ton of attention over the past few days as it has made the rounds online. It shows concert photographer Aelle Lucà at a small gig really going at it with the flash and bothering (at the very least) the person who recorded and posted the video.

As you might imagine, the comments section for this video on YouTube quickly turned into a troll-fest of insults and negativity directed at Lucà. But as it turns out, this is exactly what the band wanted and asked for… and his photos turned out pretty darn well.

To be fair, nobody here was entirely in the right. It’s easy, as photo people, to side unanimously with the photographer in the situation — especially after the sheer amount of flack the poor guy took once this video went viral. However, the first band did have to ask him to stop, and according the guy who took the video he was doing this “the WHOLE night.”


That being said, the second band had been asked and given him free rein before the show in hopes of getting better shots than your standard concert photos, and were pleased with the results. So pleased, in fact, that they actually got on YouTube and defended Lucà, silencing at least a few of the naysayers:

We would like to say that Antonio asked us beforehand whether we minded if he got right in there, using flash and getting on stage. we said not at all. This guy has style and we very much respect his work.

Most of us in the band have been gigging and worked in live music for over 15 years and have seen countless flat, boring photos. Some of you may not agree with this style but the results are fantastic. Who is Jay Zee and what right does he have to say how a photographer should behave?

Lucà himself also got on once the negative comments got to be too much, explaining that he asked the band’s permission for “MASSIVE” use of flash and that the venue was nearly empty anyway.

We’ll leave it up to you to decide what you think of both the photos (which you can find here) and the technique. If the venue had been packed out, we could see how this would become annoying fast as a concert goer… Then again, the band asked him for a certain aesthetic, and he was delivering on that request. What’s your take?

(via DIYPhotography)

  • josh

    Whether or not the band liked it is irrelevant. If I’d been a member of the audience and paid money to get in ( although even that may be irrelevant ) I would have found this bloody annoying. Perhaps the band were rubbish, which is why he wasn’t decked by a member of the crowd.

  • Guest

    To tell the truth, the pics are rather boring. Direct on-camera flash is never the best solution for the small venues concert shoots.

  • Bear In Ushanka

    To tell the truth, the pics are rather boring. Direct on-camera flash is
    never the best solution for the small venues concert shoots. But the “camera shaking” effect is cool.

  • Bear In Ushanka

    agree with you. Strobe is a must in small venues will poor light. You just need to ask the band’s permission.

  • Chung Dha

    He is spraying like crazy, seriously when I take shots of a band I would not randomly spray at all. Alway wait for the right key moments of the song . Well seem the guy was only using a wide fisheye to get the shots he wants and be his style to get up so close, but have to say I would at least have few more different lenses at least one fast lens to capture a shot with nice DOF. Fisheye that wide you need to get really close into the action but have to say I would only use that in the rehearsal and actual performance but standing far zooming in and not get in the way of the crowd.

  • Michael McNamara

    Are you trolling? In another comment you said, “strobe is a must in small venues with poor light.”

  • JasonR

    I think the photographer did a pretty good job though some of his drag and pops are a little too messy. This really could have been avoided if sometime during the show between songs, the band leader could have said “Thank you all for being patient with our photographer tonight, we apologize if the flash is disturbing some of you so we thank you for your understanding.”

  • Bear In Ushanka

    not in the least. Strobe is a must, but not in the way it is done in the video. And I wonder, why the people call the shots “great”.

  • procentje20

    The video made me laugh. I was like: What is this guy thinking? Then I saw the result. AWESOME. But I hope he only shot three songs and than stepped to the side like most concert photogs.

  • Karen

    Sorry, but the results look exactly as you would expect from full auto / full flash and cheap wide angle – an endless stream of Instagram grade shots with few accidental good ones. Flickr is full of pics like this.
    Running around frantically with two bodies does not make you a photographer.
    People buy tickets to see the gig and enjoy the live music experience. You do not have the right to ruin it such way even if there is only one fan there.

  • ounkeo

    I like his photos but to be honest it just seems like a regular guy with a really good camera & a strobe set to P, burst, wide angle then spray and pray.

    There’s remarkably no variation in his photos. Everything is flashed, everything is wide angle, everything distorted, plenty of blown out subjects due to the flash being far too close.

    The end result looks great for the first 10 photos, then it’s just all the same. The photos are more about gimmickery and snapshots than anything else. One trick pony at best and to be honest, easily doable by just anybody given the same gear.
    That’s just my opinion and I did enjoy the first, literally, 10 photos.

  • ounkeo

    wth dude. If ppl paid to go watch live music they are there to listen to live music AND watch the musician. Otherwise it’s no different from putting in a CD of a live concert & listening at home for free.

  • ounkeo

    I like his pics as well but to be honest, he can do that kind of photography was a mobile phone. It’s likely the laziest, most generic way to take photos – EVERYTHING wide angle, flashed, moto driven, spray & pray. Even the way he is shooting in that video looks like he’s a rank amateur. I noted he went up to a wall, got up close & flashed it several times. Didn’t see it appear in his photo feed; obviously didn’t work out.

  • Craig Berry

    So true Tagnal. The perfect shot can be a hundredth of a second later than your shutter/curtain.

  • FB-sign-in-still-made-me-guest

    I’m with you Chris, I did exactly the same once. ONCE. A single face-palm and I’ve never done it since.

  • Renee

    Firstly, the above article is wrong to say that photo people will side UNANIMOUSLY with the photographer. The video was taken and posted by a VERY WELL RESPECTED concert photographer. He is not only respected by bands because of his great work for them, but also by fans because of his consideration for them. I know several other professional concert photographers also supported the one who released the video. So there are plenty of “photo people” who side with the audience, not the photographer. Secondly, I absolutely do not take the band’s defense of the guy as making the situation ok. That just makes me NOT respect the band because they obviously did not respect their audience. If the guy told them what he wanted to do, and they were ok with it because they like his work, they should have had enough consideration for the audience to at least tell them before the show that it was actually going to be a live promo photo session so the audience would have known what they were paying to see.

  • Henry Barnett

    and that is the whole point: The band/s have the right to ask/employ a photographer to take photos BUT they are wrong to do this if there are paying audiences and the photographer’s actions disturb the audience. However whether his photographs were good, bad or indifferent or that he was asked to do a photo shot does not matter if the paying audience was disturbed and this guy stands right in front of the musicians blocking the audiences view.

  • Henry Barnett

    not the point