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How To Photograph Gigs When You Have Anxiety?

Updated: Mar 11, 2023

This was a question I asked myself time and time again when I first started photographing gigs, 5 years ago. It's a question I can still ask myself because it is scary, either way but ESPECIALLY when you have anxiety.

If I listened to my brain every time I felt anxious, I would have not achieved not even close to half as much as I have achieved. Sometimes you have to say "eff you anxiety" and just breathe through it, trust me it can feel horrific in the moment but after you've got through the initial anxiety - that's when the relief comes.

Every moment is a fresh beginning - T.S. Eliot

I got so in my comfort zone when I started photographing gigs, I invited my friends along to get tickets to small shows I was photographing at - they became my safety net. I'd recommend that at first, to get you comfortable in that environment and a support system for your first few gigs. However on the other hand, if you don't struggle with anxiety - I would recommend this either way. In hindsight, I should've done more photography gigs without my friends when I got more experienced - as I became reliant on them.

I was terrified when I was selected to photograph The Script and Ella Henderson, despite there being no pressure on me for it. I put so much pressure on myself, that halfway through the show, I took a minute outside of the pit to get some water and take a breath and enjoy the show. Being in front of the barrier, rather than being behind the barrier was so surreal, as you see a different view and get to take it all in. But I am so glad I did it, as I always said that my photography dream was photographing an arena.

I hope that I can photograph more arenas and maybe stadiums one day?

Moral of the story is "feel the fear and do it anyway" <3

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