A picture says a thousand words, but Alyssa’s photographs capture the rhythm, drama, enthusiasm, and excitement of live music. She’s worked with legends like Sting and Fall Out Boy and runs her own company, AM Media LLC.
She sat down with us to take us backstage into the world of concert photographers and told us all about how she became the photographer she is today. In this article, Alyssa discusses her start from the ground up, how she sources her work, and the best piece of advice they have ever received.
From passion to profession
Alyssa’s passion for capturing the world started when she was in high school. She got the chance to learn Adobe Photoshop skills and a few photography techniques, but this wasn’t enough for her. There was also her passion for music waiting to be unlocked.
In 2014, she got a unique chance to pick up a camera and photograph a show. This was the moment when her passion grew through the roof. The rest is history.
Today, Alyssa has an impressive portfolio after working with legendary artists like Sting, Shaggy, Ne-Yo, Hunter Hayes, Too Short, Crown The Empire, Atreyu, Good Charlotte, Winnetka Bowling League, DeeJay Silver, and many more.
But she didn’t stop here. Alyssa decided to build her own Photography Business, AM Media LLC, officially established in February 2020.
Now, she is also running a new publication called The Vinyl with her friends Amy and Crystal.
Starting from the ground up
So when was the combination of music and photography born for you?
Photography started as a hobby for me. It all began when working with a friend on their publication Vinyl Record where she would write about music and dabbled in some photoshoots with bands.
At first, I was just the person who pushed the recording on/off button for interviews for the Rumored Nights Press. With time, I started to pitch in a bit more, and that’s when it all began for me. I never thought I would get this far with it.
Who was the first band who photographed?
My first photo pass was for the Fall Out Boys and Paramore tour. I managed to snag a shoot with Fall Out Boy, and things started growing from there.
That first shoot ignited this passion in me. I was 18 years old, owned the cheapest camera I could find, and Fall Out Boy was one of my favorite bands of all time – it was surreal.
Over the past 7 years, I’ve done nearly 700 shows, and my payment for the first few was simply access to the concert. I sourced all my work through a concert photography Facebook page, reaching out through publicists and management teams.
Things have changed a bit since then. Instagram has become my primary channel for exposure, and things have been growing well from there.
“I met both Shaggy and Sting, got to work with them, their crew, and shot their whole show. I was blown away when my photos ended up featuring all over their tour book.”
“I also worked with Ne-Yo at the NYC tree lighting ceremony in Rockefeller Center in New York, which was definitely a highlight. I got the chance to see the Saturday Night Live stage at that time.”
“I’ve always been told to ‘know your gear.’ I’ve learned that you don’t need top-of-the-line equipment to get the best photos. It all comes down to your eye for detail, your focus, and how well you can work with the gear you’ve got.”Alyssa Howell, Concert Photographer
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