No Credentials: An Inside Look Into EDM Photography (NSFW)

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Recently, a duo by the name of Cruz + Jacob released an short documentary about a niche of concert photography known as EDM Photography. EDM, short for electronic dance music, has swept up the top music charts and its popularity is spreading quickly. The filmmaking duo snuck into this year's ULTRA, one of the biggest EDM festivals in the US, and did a pretty good job at showing what it's like to be an EDM photographer or videographer.

This video for me is especially personal because I myself am an EDM photographer and have shot some amazing artists. It's an awesome profession and one I feel very fortunate to be a part of. As some of the photographers in the video state though that as the genre of music grows so do those who try to make it as a full-time professional EDM photographer. Just taking your camera to a show to get access on stage doesn't make you a professional.

"And now it's gotten to the point where more and more people that are just like, 'I'll just be a photographer just so that I can get up on stage'. That's not photography, that's partying with a camera."- Drew 'Rukes' Ressler Rukes.com

So many people feel strongly about the EDM photography industry and the lack of professionalism that some younger 'budding' photographers exhibit at the shows. As with all facets of photography we who work in the industry are being heavily taken advantage of not just from artists or promoters, but from other photographers who want to just get access to a free show. There are some pretty crazy talented photographers who work in the scene that were both mentioned in the video and some who weren't. With such awesome talent and names like, Doug Van Sant, Anthony Djuren, Rutger Geerling, Kirill Bichutsky and Justin Nizer it's easy to see that there are individuals out there who are amazing at what they do and are passionate about the most important thing... the music!

I am quite surprised that Cruz + Jacob were able to sneak into Ultra as I hear it is quite hard to get access to that festival. (I don't ever recommend sneaking into a show to shoot by the way.)

If you shoot EDM and are very active in the industry I do have an EDM photography group on Facebook you can join. EDM Photographers is the most comprehensive gathering of the best EDM photographers in the world. We're an incredibly active group, and we have the most amazing members. So, feel free to apply to join. (We do have a screening process.)

I'm going to leave you with a few shots and videos that I happen to love from this year's Ultra and a few of my own from this year's UME.

 

 

 

 

ULTRA 2013 & MISC.

©Doug Van Sant

 

 

©Ash Youd Photography

 

 

©Kevin Verkruijssen

 

 

©Drew 'Rukes' Ressler

 

 

©Dieffson Sousa (Dalsr)

 

 

©Chadwick Morris

 

 

©Barrie Martelle

 

 

©Joeri Swerts

 

 

©Robert Underwood (No Filter Photography)

 

 

©Jas Davis

 

 

©BlaiseJoseph Photography

 

 

©Nathan Bonnici

 

 

©Chiara Gerek

 

 

©Heidie Duteweert (Heidiefocus)

 

 

©Robert Gill

 

 

©Matthew Enbar

 

 

©Zak Mann Photography

 

 

©Alex G Perez

 

 

©James Coletta

 

 

©Jorge Meza

 

 

©Scott Roth

 

 

©Matthew Vandeputte

 

 

©Ian Gildemeister

 

 

©Rutger Geerling

 

 

©Joey Timmer

 

 

©Ariya Behjat

 

 

©Daniel Quinones

 

 

©Pedro Rivera [SkYp3r] Photography

 

 

©Tommy Leas

 

 

©Justin Nizer (EYEWAX.TV)

 

 

UME 2013

 

 

©Rebecca Britt Photography

 

 

©Justin Nizer (EYEWAX.TV)

 

 

ALL Photos used with permission.

 
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25 Comments

vrei sa-ti dau la buci?

You're an EDM photographer!? Oh, so awesome!

Amazing work by everyone!

I shoot mainly rock/metal but these EDM setups are making me drool =] Nice to see a spotlight on music photographers (of any genre) every now and then =]

I'm so impressed with the talent here, but it kinda makes me sad because there are soooooo many other talented folks who love what they do, but are just needles in a haystack when it comes to recognition in the world of EDM photography. Vizual Jockey, Break Point Photography, and DTM Photography are just a few talented people who I know personally. They should be on here!

Rebecca Britt's picture

If they didn't shoot Ultra then they weren't added initially. The video takes place at Ultra so I thought it fitting to add photos that were taken at that festival. I know how much talent is out there, it's insane. There were a ton of people who are crazy talented that didn't shoot Ultra. But just a thought: we're Fstoppers not the yellow pages for EDM photography.

Well, the one from Matthew Vandeputte certainly wasn't taken at Ultra...

Yes, that's not fair!

Rebecca Britt's picture

Fair? What's not fair?

Rebecca Britt's picture

That's why it says Ultra 2013 & Misc.

Matthew Vandeputte's picture

Great stuff! Such an interesting world to be a part of!

I don't know what all the fuss about EDM photography (negatively) is for. Photography has a million routes and a million options - this niche still requires good quality portraits requiring proper lighting, composition, contrast and editing. Good work. <a href="http://www.lawsonphoto.us/tips-to-improve-pictures/" rel="nofollow">More Photography Tips</a>

(Contemporary) Nightlife photography starting in NY in the early 2000's ....!?
Rubbish!

EDM photography has existed far longer than that - as long as the music has - so from the Rave parties of the late 80's / early 90's.
Most people are just aware of it late 90's on due to the internet and then more accessible due to digital cameras of the 2000's - but that's not to say it didn't exist.

I (may not have been very good then) but was taking a (film) SLR to rave/edm clubs in '99

E.g. References images from the Rave seen in the 80's:

http://pymca.wordpress.com/2013/06/26/looking-back-rave-culture/

Am vazut NSFW am intrat am vazut doua țâțe mi-am facut trei labe

Foolish of the producers of this video to think that event photography began or was most popular in NYC. Looks to me like they did little research about the rest of the country or world for that matter and are pushing their own version of near sighted reality. This is prob due to an over blown ego to go along with the rest of the conceited ego maniacs in the EDM industry. Ugh, can't wait for the bubble to burst already, how lame....

and this one that we just got up from Lightning in a Bottle! http://www.groundedmedianetwork.com/lightning-in-a-bottle-2013-through-t...

We don't have such gigantic music festivals in Russia, but I'd like to show you some what we have. http://www.flickr.com/photos/david_rain/sets/72157629088771011/

Speechless.

It's funny this term "EDM" like its some kind of new sh!t?! Hell this stuff has been around in the masses at least 15 years ago already just not so much in the US. I've attended things like Nature One, Sensation White, MAYDAY...to name a few. This photography style has been around far longer than NYC or LA...douchebags need to check their history so they don't look like idiots.

Reading MB's post below I totally agree with what they say.

Scott Spellman's picture

The photography and interviews here are cool. However a video advocating committing a felony by forging festival passes just to make a video is f#cking lame, and FS appears to endorse it by promoting the video. There are proper procedures to get passes and the film makers decided they were above the law and any professional standard. All the people they interviewed had proper passes-why are the film makers above the law? Being creative does not give you immunity from your basic legal and professional obligations.

This is especially troubling because now Ultra and other festivals are less likely to give out media passes. Way to go idiots.

Rebecca Britt's picture

Listen to the last statement in the video...

They didn't actually break into anything. Genius marketing though, like anyone could actually sneak into Ultra.

This turned out to be fake. Coincidentally the video is now set to private, as they've been exposed by other outlets. They never used the credentials they "counterfeited"; they got one of their artist buddies to let them on the boat and come in with them. (This also explains why they never show them in any of the actual stage/production areas.) Also, no self-respecting event/music photographer that's been around electronic music long enough to respect the culture, scene, and music would call it "EDM".