Shooting backstage portraits at a three day festival like All Points West could be an entire day’s work. Even though I was running between stages, I was able to catch up with a few artists during moments of downtime.

It’s extremly important to note that every single one of the artists I photographed was a complete delight. A big, heartfelt thanks goes out to Metric, Chromeo, Grace Potter, The Secret Machines, and Sia – you all rock.


In most cases, I used a speedlight balanced with the ambient light to fill in the harsh shadows and compensate for backlighting.

Metric – Shot in nearly full sun. I exposed for the sky and let my 580ex II provide fill. The band commented said “your flash has a funny hat!” They were referring to the Demb Flip-It, a product I highly recommend.


Chromeo – The boys from Montreal were shot in broad daylight with their backs to the sun. I used my flash to fill the shadows. In hindsight, I should have exposed the background more conservatively and let the flash do more of the work.


Grace Potter – It was pouring rain. Grace was standing under the press tent. The portrait is lit primarily by my flash on an off-camera cord to camera left.

Grace Potter (backstage portrait) - All Points West

The Secret Machines – Shot right after Grace Potter. Ambient light plus flash off-camera left for fill.

The Secret Machines

Sia – This was shot in full sunlight, I simply waited for a large patch of clouds to cover her before shooting. The cloud cover acted light a huge diffuser, while the grass provided a wonderful warm fill for her face.

  1. Holy moly, three updates in a row!

  2. chris

    YES. With more in the way!

  3. heh, you snagged metric and chromeo mere minutes after i finished with them.