Jazz Festivals and Photographers

No photo today ....

Today in Twitter, another photographer welcomed me as a new follower saying ...

Hi Juan , we are friends on FB and both Jazz photographers. It's been a great summer of shooting, lots of festivals. Hope for you too.

I answered :


frankly, I don't go a lot to festivals, not fan. Why ?

1)there is a lot of photographers and we don't take original photos.. it seems that everyone take the same shots

2) i don't think it's a good thing to cover 6 or 7 concerts per day, I prefer to focus totally on one concert and my work is much better only with one (or two, or until three GREAT max)

3) I don't appreciate a lot the audience of the festivals, I prefer the audience of the clubs, we find more easily true jazzfans and true jazz promotors

4) I believe strongly that this music sounds much better in clubs than in festivals.Lot of musicians too, I know it but it's much more money for them playing in festivals.. a truth

5) today .. majority of jazz festivals are not jazz festivals. For example Montreux Jazz Festival programms only 8% of jazz, sad ...

6) often, photographers are not well treated in festivals.. much more star system. Working in clubs is much more cool

7) we found always the same artists in jazz festivals.Too much are ignored and public is not curious of new heads,in clubs .. we found new heads, discover new things, more easily

that's for why I only cover festivals when they hire me and almost never as a freelance

and that's why for me this summer is a good occasion to finish my book and to finish my future official website

hope i have not disgusted you to go to festivals ! I simply give you my opinion"

and after my collegue said me :

"I don't take offense, we all have our particular preferences (and opinions) for photography. Festivals and clubs each have pros and cons."

I answered :

"yes, true. I prefer deeply clubs because we are more closer to musicians and I believe that in photography when we make portraits it's important to be close

then I think that musicians are more focused and relax, so playing better, in clubs, I dream to see one day Sonny Rollins playing in a club. Disadvantage.. lights are lower.. but finally it's an advantage, if we are really a good photographer. Low lights are not a problem and we take advantage of them.

advantage of festivals : lot of musicians, lot of managers together the same day, ok..it's good for our business, lot of portraits of known people in one day but .. are we making only business or art ?

Are we just collecting star portraits ?

My purpose is to document the jazz.. all the jazz .. not only the jazz we see on festivals. I try to make money with other type of photography (press, fine art, events like weddings, etc)

too bad that you don't give me true arguments for festivals apart the energy between crowd and musicians.

I add here that festivals would have to represent all the type of jazz. Now, it's not the case in a lot of festivals. The mission would have not only to make money but also to present new things

Personally, I love a lot of Jazz(es). From Roberta Gambarini to Peter Brotzmann. I would love to see one day Peter Brotzmann playing in Montreux !

Dear readers, you can give your opinions putting comments
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Don't forget to visit my other blog "Juan Carlos Hernandez - Life Photographer"

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