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They surge with energy, inspire a range of emotions, and present unique moods. Concerts burst with photographic opportunity. Live music can yield incredible images, but it also provides unique challenges to even the most talented and experienced photographer.

Your first challenge: get close to the performers. Really close—tenth row won’t cut it. Photocritic advises getting a photo pass through an agency (if you work for one), or calling a local paper and asking them if they would like the concert photographed. Offer to do it for free and they might be willing to help you out with the photo pass. Or, choose a concert at a small venue, and arrive early enough to be up front. Make sure you call ahead and get clearance for your camera.

Small venues provide benefits other than not needing a photo pass, as Jamie Howard explained in his Pop Photo article last year. You can shoot for the whole show (bigger venues usually only allow the first three songs), intimate rooms provide better settings, and, you could end up photographing an act right before they get big. If that happens, the shots could increase in value over time.