When shooting concerts, you develop your own style with likes and dislikes. Personally I have always liked shooting metal and heavy metal bands, because of the spectacular clothes, long hair and hair whips, and the challenging lights. But I have also shot some female artists that I have really liked. (Picture above: Ida Jenshus)
The festival season in Norway is almost here, and due to some traveling and personal things, I haven’t been active on my blog since Easter. While I am waiting for some new concerts and festivals to shoot, I have gone through my photos of female artists. I found out that I have always liked posing on stage, and there are many different poses that works well for photography. Some are conscious posers, some are natural posers, some are contrived, and so on. Here are my favorites in no particular order.
One of the natural posers is Florence Welch from Florence & The Machine. I have shot here three times, once in bad lightning at the Oya festival, once in great lightning at the same festival, and once at the Rockefeller Music Hall with dark and difficult light.
I hold the Norwegian artist Ane Brun in high regard. The first time I saw her perform must have been more than 10 years ago, and she has steadily grown to be a sophisticated and original artist, writing great songs and with a very personal stage performance. Specially the last years she has shown her real potential on stage.
Patricia Vonne is an artist that is always fun to shoot. With her elegant looks, and her castanets, she has fascinated me since the first time I saw her on stage at the Continental Club in Austin in 2002. She is also an excellent songwriter, and an actor. Her music can be heard on CD and in brother Roberto Rodriguez’ film, Once Upon A Time In Mexico, and as an actor in Sin City, also by her brother. I have shot Patriia Vonne numerous times in Austin, but also in Norway. You can see two of my photos of her on her newest tour poster.
St. Vincent was new for me the first time I saw her in 2012. But I was fascinated by her very personal and special performance, without lots of effects. The next time I saw her was in 2014, and it was obvious that she had erected her unique style since 2012. I will definitely try to shoot her again.
The Norwegian band Highasakite have become one of our most popular and best bands the last two years. I like the band a lot, and visually their singer Ingrid Helene Håvik is a natural. She seems quite shy, but her musicality is so strong that she also is visually very interesting.
One of my alltime favorite artists and musician, is Carolyn Wonderland. She is a singer, guitarist and songwriter from Houston, living in Austin since the late 90’s. Her music style is blues, Americana, soul, country, and her singing is expressive, matched by her hard and virtuoso guitar style. Visually, her red hair is a bonus!
I have only seen Patti Smith once, but will hopefully be able to shoot her this summer, too. But the one time I did, I was fascinated by her performance. No special effect, and no elaborate costumes, just straight singing, which sometimes i more than enough – specially when you have as strong songs as hers.
Of the younger and more pop-oriented artists, Veronica Maggio is one that I respect a lot. Her songs are refreshing, her lyrics are pointed, and she performs with a natural and unpretentious grace that I really enjoy. I have seen her twice live, and I liked them both.
Emilie Nicolas is a new Norwegian artist and songwriter, having risen from almost unknown one and a half years ago, to one of the most sought after art its this year. Her debut album will be released next week, and she is playing many festivals this summer. Emile Nicolas’ performance style is introvert, and can be a challenge for photography.
Ida Jenshus is another Norwegian artist and songwriter who has come to fame through the last years. All of her three albums so far has won a Norwegian Grammy (Spellemannprisen), and her concerts are all sold out. Ida Jenshus’ visual style is also quite introvert, you can see that she is totally into her music while she performs.
Beth Hart is quite opposite from Ida Jenshus and Emilie Nicolas, being extrovert and very active on stage. I must admit that I liked her former, more wild and untamed personage better that her stylish new one, but it might be amateur of getting used to it. On stage she always gives the audience a great performance.
Bendik is also a new Norwegian artist. Bendik is the name of the band, but the band is really Silje Halstensen’s solo project. I have seen her a couple of times, once on an outdoor big stage with bright sunlight, and once at Sentrum Scene in Solo during by:Larm 2015. Bendik has some really good songs, and her performance is energetic and highly personal. I’m looking forward to see and hear more of her in the future.
My favorite Americana artist is Claudia Scott. She write very good songs and gives great performances, totally without extra effects. What you see is what you get. Sometimes that is exactly what the doctor ordered, listening to a good performer that lets the songs talk for themselves.
I had never heard or heard of Tal Wilkenfeld until I saw her with Herbie Hancock at the Molde International jazz festival in 2009. I was totally mind blown. Being an amateur bas player myself, I almost gave up playing when I saw and heard her performance. She has played with Jeff Beck, Eric Clapton, an you name it, and is one of my absolute favorite bassist. On stage it seems that she has the best of times, delivering a solid backing to whoever she plays with.
Hedvig Mollestad is another musician for whom I have great respect. She is a jazz guitarist with her own trio. Their music is groove based jazz rock with some quite complicated asymmetric rhythms. On stage Hedvig Mollestad usually performs in a red sequin dress and matching shoes. The band has a half year hiatus, but will perform again at the end of the summer.
All photos are © Per Ole Hagen and must not be used without written permission.