How I Shoot: Capturing Concerts with @ryan_mastro

For each How I Shoot, we ask an Instagrammer to tell us about their creative process. For more of Ryan’s behind-the-scenes perspective on music, follow @ryan_mastro on Instagram.

This year the Connecticut photographer Ryan Mastro (@ryan_mastro) will shoot Bonnaroo (@Bonnaroo) for the ninth time. “It’s become a summer tradition,” he says. “I get to document artists who are doing what they love and be surrounded by more than 80,000 like-minded people.”

Music has always been a big part of Ryan’s life. “I started shooting shows as a student in Montana,” he says. “I’m interested in capturing the energy and emotion of a band as well as the lighting and other visuals they’ve chosen to present with their music.”

Here are Ryan’s tips for capturing the perfect picture of a performance:

Camera

"I use an iPhone 5s but still shoot mostly film and every year I like to try something new."

Vantage Point

"Behind the drum kit is the place to be. I also fly in a helicopter for some aerial photos, which is quite a view! If you’re shooting from the crowd, focus on the atmosphere rather than the bands. At Bonnaroo there’s a lot of off-stage visual stimulation.”

Shooting

"I’m a Libra so I like balance. I’m comfortable shooting high-energy performances, but I also like to set up the tripod at night for some long-exposure, landscape-type work."

Editing

"For mobile, I use Hipstamatic. For film, all of what I do is ‘in-camera’ so there is not much to do in Photoshop.”