You get to see your favourite bands in action on social media because of the efforts of music photographers. They brave wild crowds and sketchy lighting conditions, all in an attempt to get shots of the musicians in action, before going home and spending hours on edits. One of those courageous creatives is Melbourne photographer Bree Wallace. Shooting for a range of music publications, Bree can be found most weekends in front of a stage or in the photo pit of one of Melbourne’s music venues. The edited end result is what you see all over social media and your favourite music publications.
Bree’s love for music started as a concert-goer herself. She married up her childhood passion for photography with music after seeing photographers in action at local gigs and deciding to give it a go. “I started off with a point and shoot camera I got for my birthday, then went to a few shows and shot with my iPhone. I thought ‘These aren’t too bad!’ and I was happy with the photos, even if they were on a phone! I invested in my first Canon 600d then got a Canon 6D and here we are!”
Bree says it was heartwarming to receive endless amounts of support from friends and also strangers who appreciated her work. However it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. “I got put down a lot by a lot of people I didn’t even know and by people I thought I was at least somewhat friends with, which really sucked. I had someone tell me publicly on a status I wrote when I was starting out that I would never shoot for a publication, pretty much saying I’ll never get anywhere and my work was horrible.”
Regardless of the naysayers, she has forged ahead in the music industry, even coming out from behind the camera and interviewing Chris Cerulli of Motionless In White. “I was incredibly anxious, but he was so laid back and nice. It was a great interview.”
“Every time I shoot a show I’m just incredibly happy, like all the sadness goes away.“
Every creative comes up against doubts and fears about their work and whether it’s all worth it. Bree has experienced this also. She says “I was down recently about my work and everything going on in my life and was close to quitting. But I just had a tiny break and slowly got back into it. And I’ve been producing better work and feeling great because of it.”
Bree credits photography for getting her through tough times, and her passion for it is what has her overcome moments of darkness. “It’s what gives me a reason to keep going honestly. It’s my outlet, and every time I shoot a show I’m just incredibly happy, like all the sadness goes away every time every time I’m at a show shooting.”
Having recently toured with singer-songwriter Phil Wolfendale, Bree is passionate about women being involved in the experience of touring, which may mean that any boys’ club mindset of tours needs a shake-up. Bree wants to see women on tour and involved hands-on with photography work or merch, just as much as guys are. “I honestly hope more girls can get given the opportunity to tour. There’s nothing wrong with it being an all-guy thing, but I personally think girls should get given the opportunity as well despite their gender or whatever it may be as to what would stop them being able to jump on a tour to do those things.”
“Do better, and prove them wrong.”
She fiercely advises younger women or girls who are wanting to get into the world of music to ignore anyone that puts them down. “It’s tough as hell in this industry getting your name out there and dealing with a lot of assholes who will do anything to ruin you and put you down. But it’s so worth it to just ignore it, do better, and prove them wrong.”
You can check out Bree’s photography in action from when she shot Waterparks and The Maine for us earlier this year, or follow her on Instagram:
Catch the rest of our Women In Music series here: http://www.depthmag.com/tag/women-in-music/
Image of Bree courtesy of Electrum photography/Andrew Basso.