You’ve seen her at a show. She may have taken photos of your favourite band. This is Amanda. You’ll see her side stage and in the pit, camera in hand taking great shots. Once again, no, she’s not a band. Yes, I know this is ’20 Questions For My Favourite Bands’, but these folks are all integral in the scene!
1-Who are you, and what do you do in the London music scene?
-My name is Amanda Taverner. I go to a lot of shows put on at the Music Hall and various other venues and photograph bands.
2-What inspired you to begin taking photos?
Well, my dad had a Canon DSLR camera and was always out photographing nature and what not and seemed to really enjoy it. Since I was always going to shows, I thought why not buy a camera and start photographing live bands. I loved it right of the bat and now it has turned into one of my favorite things to do!
3-Who, so far, has been the coolest band you have taken photos of?
I’m always one for local bands! Every time I take photos of Searching For Satellites, it’s always fun. I’ll usually go on stage for a bit and watch the crowd and they get pretty fucking rowdy which gives me a lot to work with.
4-Likewise, what was the best show you got to take photos at?
Well, a while back there was a show with Farewell To Freeway, Searching For Satellites, and No Bragging Rights and the entire time, shit was off the hook. Pretty much everyone in the venue was moving and singing along the entire night. Also, Counterparts came not too long ago and that was a fun show too! It was a bit harder to get pictures near the end when they played just because everyone was going insane in the pit and people were flying off the stage in every direction.
5-Being a photographer at a heavy show can often be risky. If people ask us if they can come on stage to take photos, we always say, sure, BUT, watch out for yourself, because if we demolish you with a guitar it’s not our fault. Have you sustained any injuries while taking photos?
Well I’ve been to enough shows now to know when is the right time to get on the stage and shoot. So, I’ve been pretty lucky so far! As for being near the front of the pit, I’ve been jumped on, knocked my head off a pole, and smashed my head on the ground from falling… fun times!
6-Even worse is taking photos while you’re in a pit. Ever done it? What’s your strategy?
All the time! I pretty much know most of the people who attend shows now, which makes it easier for me to take photos. There is usually the same people that always mosh and I have become aware of their style so I know what to look out for. Also, people are pretty kind and if I have my eye up to my camera and can’t see what is coming at or near me then they block me so I don’t get hurt! If it’s too insane, then I get in quick snap a few, then get out!
7-What are the perks of taking photos at some of the coolest shows?
Meeting new people! I’m fortunate to always meet members of bands and fans asking me to see my photos later on. Probably half, if not more of the people I have on my Facebook friends list are from meeting them from a show.
8-Let’s talk gear! What do you shoot with?
Currently I have a Canon Rebel XS and usually shoot with a standard 18-55mm lens. I want to upgrade to a Canon Rebel T3I though, but I’ll always stick with a Canon!
9-Obviously as DSL cameras have become cheaper, every kid who has one thinks they are a photographer. How do you make your photos better than the average person who points and shoots at shows?
I find that usually I am one of maybe two(?) other people at a show taking photos. It’s either Dan Berry (Berry Photograph) who does some killer shots, or one of a band members girlfriends with a little point and shoot. I think that since I’ve seen bands multiple times now, I know how their stage presence is and know what kinds of things to look out for and I just know what works best for me.
10-What is your dream band to photograph?
Don’t laugh at me people, but I am absolutely IN LOVE with City and Colour. Dallas Green is just incredible. I saw him in March, but didn’t really get to take photos because I was on the balcony and he doesn’t like constant photos being taken at shows. I think I would die if I got to do a shoot with him. Also, Dead and Divine would have been pretty cool! (RIP)
11-If you could shoot a concert with 4 of your favourite bands, what would the lineup be?
Let’s just say I’d probably piss my pants from excitement and definitely would NOT be able to take photos because I’d be at the front for every song singing my heart out…. but put Searching For Satellites, Farewell To Freeway, Dead and Divine together and I know the last one is a different genre but I absolutely love UTKF… So if all those bands were playing together I think I’d going insane!
12-I’ve seen you’re a big fan of Farewell To Freeway. They are my favourite band. This isn’t a question, I just thought I’d bring up how awesome they are.
UH, don’t even get me started, such a fantastic band! They have pure talent and put on incredible shows. I spam the shit out of them on Twitter too, haha. Always retweeting them and tweeting about them! Sorry to my followers. (@amandataverner)
13-What would be the coolest place to see some of your photos published?
I love seeing blogs and such that are using my photos, makes me feel proud! I think it’d be pretty fucking sweet if bands that I shoot started using my photos on their merch. Seeing people walk around with something that I shot would be pretty cool. Even seeing a photo of mine on a show poster would be rad!
14-You’re given a large sum of money, that can only be used on one photo shoot with one band, props, backgrounds, anything at your disposal. What would the photos look like?
Unicorns, rainbow background, and barbies….. no, I’m kidding. I always like the look of grungy warehouse’s or something with a lot of history/past. I’d want the band to be the main focus obviously, but the background has to look cool too!
15-Just as a general concert goer, what have been some of the best shows you’ve seen in London?
We Came As Romans, Farewell To Freeway and Searching For Satellites on the same bill was crazy, Counterparts, Stray From The Path, Hundreth, A Sight For Sewn Eyes, Attack Attack! AND Memphis May Fire together was awesome! I couldn’t even tell you how many shows I’ve been too, I’m starting to forget who I’ve seen now.
16-I ask all the bands this, and I think this still applies. Post show eats, where do you go?
I honestly can’t eat before any shows I go to, I don’t understand it. My nerves take over and make me feel extremely nauseas, it’s weird.
17-Obviously as a female, you get hit on at shows….like every female. Any creepy bands ever try to pick you up…using possibly hilarious pick up lines?
Thankfully no, I’ve been asked to go and grab drinks after, but nothing creepy…. yet.
18-Aside from bands and shows, what do you enjoy photographing? Fruit in bowls? Sunsets? Ducks?
DOGS! I’m obsessed with animals, especially dogs. Also, I like taking photos of flowers, nature, and photos of people.
19-Have you ever wrecked any gear while taking photos?
Not yet and hopefully I won’t! I’m careful! haha
20-The final question, totally unrelated to anything. In a hypothetical situation, you’re given 3 pieces of bacon to split between 4 of your friends. How do you split it up?
I’ll just eat all 3 pieces. Kidding, bacon isn’t that great! Let’s assume one of them is a vegetarian, so 3 of them can have 1 piece. Or, let them all fight for it… I’m sure that would be pretty entertaining!
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