Mitch Lowe Interview - Highlighting The Moment
Meet Mitch Lowe, if you don't recognise his name, you'll definitely recognise his photos! With years of experience behind him, and a passion to take awesome photos, it's clear why Mitch is one of the best in the game. Shooting for the likes of Flosstradamus, Desiigner, Peking Duk, FOMO Festival, Party In The Paddock, This That, along with many more, Mitch has solidified his position within the music community. We had a chat about his experiences with live music photography, the SaveTonight collective, and of course cocktails!
(ALL PHOTOS COURTEOUSLY PROVIDED BY MITCH LOWE)
Futuremag Music: How'd you initially move into photography, in particular music photography?
Mitch Lowe: As a young one I use to photograph house parties on the Sunshine Coast under a collective called SaveTonight. As I hit the age of 18 the doors opened into the world of live music photography. I applied to shoot for a bunch of publications but never had any luck. I badly wanted to photograph Tame Impala at The Tivoli on 12/12/12 and wouldn't take no for an answer so as a last ditch attempt, I applied using SaveTonight (at this point we had over 10,000 followers on Facebook) and surprisingly we got approved and from then on I fell in love with photographing live music. Today we have over 30 photographers across 5 capital cities under SaveTonight, following their dream of photographing live music also. Its awesome to see everyones galleries each week.
Futuremag Music: What is in your equipment bag for a festival shoot?
Mitch Lowe: For a festival shoot, I bring along my Canon 5D3 and 6D, my Tamron 70-200 workhorse (surprised it still runs today). I also have a Canon 16-35mm, a Canon 15mm Fisheye and Sigma 50mm and 24mm Art lenses. I love my Sigma 50mm lens, everyone should do themselves a favour and grab one.
If I am working for a festival I also bring along a monopod and lighting for onstage photography and backstage portraits.
Lastly my partner Zennieshia is also a live music photographer and we get to share photography pits at most events, the ability to realistically have 4 lenses running at once has created a whole sense of flexibility and team work for the both of us. It makes shooting live music that much more fun also.
Futuremag Music: What aspects/factors do you look for when capturing to capture the ideal photo?
Mitch Lowe: I photograph a lot of weddings each year and have even noticed myself that my style has changed into photographing a festival or concert like a wedding.
It is one thing to capture a moment, but to frame it in a manner that highlights the moment at its best is key.
Some photographers believe in following the artists as they move across the stage, other photographers believe in standing where other photographers aren't standing to get the 'unique photo'. These are definitely all really valid points though to stand out I believe you need to pay attention to the lighting, pay less attention to where other photographers are standing and take note of all the surroundings (mic stands, scaffolding, artist signage, speakers). Using these items to your advantage or avoiding/using them in the foreground/background of your photos is key. You can take a photo of a moment so many different ways, why not take into account all elements and take it at its best.
Futuremag Music: What is your most favourite shoot so far? Who would you like to shoot in the future?
Mitch Lowe: I have been lucky enough to photograph so many different varieties of artists so its so hard to choose but to name a few I can definitely say I love touring with FOMO Festival in January each year. Have also had a ton of fun photographing sets from Violent Soho, Flosstradamus, Kendrick Lamar, Deftones, Expire and of course Splendour In The Grass is always a highlight each year.
Futuremag Music Can you please tell us about your photography collective SaveTonight?
Mitch Lowe: SaveTonight is a collective of my favourite live music photographers across Australia. Its an outlet for photographers to gain access to shows as well as illustrate their work in a clean professional manner. I love SaveTonight as it highlights live music photography over music news etc like most publications.
We shot over 100 shows in 2016 and even more this year already which is exciting!
SaveTonight began with Jaxon Brumniach and I photographing house parties on the Sunshine Coast. Once we hit the age of 18 we split SaveTonight into nightclub photography and live music photography. Since then I have signed up over 30 photographers to the live music team, with our photographers capturing shows like Eminem, BMTH, Flume and festivals like SITG, Listen Out, FOMO and most boutiques across the country.
Futuremag Music: What advice would you give to aspiring photographers?
Mitch Lowe: My advice would be to not worry so much about other photographers and what opportunities they get. Everyone gets different opportunities that everyone would love to jump on and hard work pays off. Don't let other people's achievements question your own ability and progression.
Most importantly though is just be a genuine friendly person, this is a trait some photographers overlook and realistically who want's to work with someone they don't get a long with?
Futuremag Music: If 'Mitch Lowe' was a cocktail what would be in it to best describe your work and you as a person?
Mitch Lowe: If 'Mitch Lowe' was a cocktail, it would be a straight up double shot Sailor Jerry full of ginger beer and a slice of fresh lime. Whenever a shoot a festival and Nick Miles plus the Sailor Jerry team are there, I know I am going to have a great time.
It's easy to drink, clean and smooth like my editing style but with a nice bite.
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