April 7, 2022

Andy Frasco @ Spirit | Pittsburgh Music Photographer

Shannon's Personal Photography, Music Photography

I love music.

Who doesn't? I mean, I guess some people don't. That's cool. But I love music. I've always loved music. My dad got me into classic rock when I was really young, and took me to my first concert (btw - It was Rush and Mr. Big, ha ha!) when I was 8 years old! I inherited his vinyl collection and growing and exploring that collection has become one of my favorite activities.

And I *really* love live music. And I have grown to really love photographing live music. I think it started as feeling socially anxious as a youngster and looking at things through a camera lens gave me a feeling of protection, like an extra layer between me and the rest of the world. Like how peeking at a monster is easier through your fingers. And it gave me something to do. You know that feeling where you are in a situation and you are like, welp, I am here, what do I do now? A camera has always had an answer to that question for me!

I love to go to shows and photograph, even if I don't know the band that well. I had never really heard Andy Frasco's music before going to this show. And it was such a great time. Great vibe, great stage presence, funny guys, and of course the tunes!

I enjoy the lighting challenges. You always have a combination of really bright light and really dark venues. Intense colors, and harsh shadows. It's a little bit like the opposite of photographing a family at magic hour. Everything is kind of working against you, but in that, you can create some really expressive and intense images. Often you need to shoot with a really high ISO, and you need to kind of embrace the lack of control you have. Images can be grainy or blurry from a slow shutter speed, or a host of any other technically undesirable things, but any artist knows, the rules were made to be broken.

Personally, I'm terrified of being on stage; it just mystifies me how effortlessly some people perform for others. I love the stage presence and banter. I love trying to capture what a band or musician is all about. I love capturing the connection between musicians as they play together. There might be nothing cooler. I love the audience; watching other fans. I love when they love what they see, too. I prefer the intimacy and chillness of a smaller venue.

I took these pictures at Spirit in Lawrenceville.

Andy Frasco, a musician, singing from the top of his piano.
Andy Frasco, a musician, crowd surfing, while a liquid is being sprayed (beer, probably)
close up of a person's phone while they are recording a video of the performance on stage.
Two audience members wearing hats shaped like squids
Andy Frasco standing on piano while singing, disco ball hangs from ceiling
a saxophone player rocking out
shot of stage during live show, audience is in focus, specifically a man waving his hands to music
Andy Frasco and band thanking crowd at end of show
an audience member wears light-up shoes