Like so many of their fans, I grabbed whatever was waterproof, braved the storm and caught up with The Energy at Gramercy Theater.

Although there were no shotgun portrait sessions this time, there were more than enough great moments during their live set to keep even the hungriest concert photographer begging for more. Photos from the live set, on-stage and backstage reportage and complete shooting notes after the jump.

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Concert Photography Notes

Hearing things like “feel free to get up there and get right in my face” is the #1 reason working with repeat clients like The Energy is an absolute blast.

The #2 reason is having complete and absolute rapport with your subjects. As Jim Marshall notes throughout his new book by the same name, “trust” between the photographer and the subject is incredibly important. It can quite literally open the doors for great photography.

I caught up with the guys roughly and hour before their set. The mood back stage was low given that the show was sold out well in advance but the weather was wreaking havoc with attendance. Luckily, the atmosphere improved dramatically when large numbers ticket holders arrived late butt undeterred.

In appreciation of the effort everyone had made to be there, The Energy went on to perform the best show I’ve seen from the band yet.

I shot this show with a mixture of ambient lighting and Nikon CLS. In addition to the house lights, three SB-600s were positioned at the sides and rear of the stage. The setup was controlled by a single on-camera SB-900 in commander mode. Light from the SB-900 was also used for fill as needed.

My exposure during the show was roughly 1/125 – 1/200 at f/3.5 and ISO 2000.  I shoot at ISO2000 even when I’m using flashes to ensure that I can balance the ambient light with the output of my flash rig.

The back stage shots were taken without flash with an exposure of 1/40 at f/2.8 and ISO6400

I used a mixture of Nikon zooms including the 14-24mm, 24-70mm and the new 70-200mm VRII.


Shout outs to Adam, Ian, James and Zack for bringing “the energy”. Also a big thanks also goes out to Beth for all her help.

  1. WOW!

    Very nice pictures!

    The pics of the drummer are very nice! It´s always good to have access to the Stage :D
    Also the beckstage shots are very nice. I´m able to shoot some local bands here, and NOW after i´ve seen your backstage photos i´ve to make some fresh shots for my website ;D


  2. I like the b&w backstage shots. Nice addition to the set!

    • Thanks Scott, the backstage shots are some of my favorites as well.

  3. Exclusive Photos: The Energy at Gramercy Theater —

  4. Off the grid electricity is such a eco-friendlier choice when used properly.