10 years ago, I started a blog. I'd been shooting concerts for about a year and a half, and I wanted a place to share my music photography. And, I thought, perhaps I could share what I what learned about music photography along the way.
In the past ten years, this little blog has given me all those opportunities and more. Here's to a decade of ishootshows.com.
The idea for ishootshows.com came to me in 2006, when I purchased the domain. I'd only been shooting concerts for about 6 months, but already I was hooked on music. I wanted a website.
I thought “I shoot shows” seemed like something you could shout during a concert and still have people remember. It was easier than spelling out “Todd O-w-y-o-u-n-g Dot Com,” at any rate.
Back in 2007, there were essentially no blogs or sites that really covered to music photography that I knew of — except for one: boudist.com. Before his he built a small photo empire in Australia, my friend Daniel Boud was posting his concert and nightlife photography to his blog Boudist. His article “Music Photography Masterclass” was basically the first and best articles written for the DSLR age, and really the archetype of what I hoped I might be able to share. Moreover, it was just thrilling to see the gigs that Daniel was shooting, halfway around the world.
In the early days of this blog, I started out just posted images of the shows I photographed. For every show shot with a photo pass, there was another from a gig where I was jammed against the stage, shooting in the crowd in some 250-capacity club. With zero aspirations that anyone would care about my snapshots from club shows in St. Louis, Missouri, I recall checking the stats, being excited to have 25 visitors on a single day.
Since those early days, I've had more opportunity in music photography than I ever would have thought possible.
Without a doubt, I have this blog to thank for my career. Literally all my first big breaks came from someone Googling “concert photographer” or “music photographer” and having this site show up. My first Rolling Stone assignment. Being hired as the house photographer for an arena. Shooting the Rock ‘n Roll Hall of Fall induction ceremony in 2009 shoulder to shoulder with Ross Halfin. Being flown from St. Louis to New York City on my first out of state photo jobs. Working a dream-job to shoot on a campaign for the Nikon D500 camera. All of these opportunities are because of this blog and because you read, commented, or shared an article here.
After a decade of ishootshows.com, I've written 1,187 posts. There are 19,729 comments. 1,364,817 unique visitors.
Along the way, I've always tried to share as much about technique, gear, and what I love about music photography on this site.
Perhaps more than anything, what I've really loved about this site is that it's allowed me to connect with what feels like a whole generation of photographers shooting music. There is a whole legion of music photographers around the world that I've met through this site, in photo pits, and through social media. From Australia to Austria, Indonesia to India, there are thousands and thousands of photographers who live to photograph live music. I think what has meant the most to me over the last ten years of this site is being able to connect with people who are just as passionate about music photography as I am.
Really, all this is just to say thank you for anyone who is reading this or who has ever read this site. Thanks to every one who loves music photography. Thanks for making everything I've put into this site worth more than I could ever imagine.