Photographer Spotlight: Brad Moore

Posted by: on Nov 2, 2011 | One Comment
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Brad Moore, Photo by Joe McNally

Brad Moore is a photographer based in Tampa whose love for music is the basis of his active photography career. When he’s not shooting concerts, he works with Scott Kelby and the gang at Kelby Media Group as Scott’s photo assistant and photo studio manager. Brad also has been a contributing photographer to some of Scott’s best-selling books, including The Digital Photography Book Set. Before moving to Florida, he worked as an assistant to Joe McNally on jobs for National Geographic, Spots Illustrated, Golf Digest and more.

Having the StrapMoore named after him hasn’t change Brad’s life – yet. But with a career like his, why would you even want to change a thing?!

My first camera was…
An old Nikon FM2, on loan from my college photo professor. First camera I owned was a Nikon D70s.

I got started in concert photography…
Because I needed a creative outlet outside of my full-time job as a photo assistant. I have one of the greatest jobs a person could hope for, but I needed something I could do for me. I’ve always loved music and going to shows, so I decided to start photographing them.

I wanted to become a photographer because…
I’ve always had an interest in it but I fell in love with the craft in college. Shooting and developing black and white film was a pain, but the printing process made it worth the hassle. Shining some light on a piece of paper, then dipping it in some chemicals and seeing your image show up was magical. Once I switched to digital, the learning process sped up exponentially and I was hooked! Also, when I saw the photo by Gjon Mili of Picasso painting with light, I was beyond intrigued about the creative possibilities of playing with light.

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Photo by Brad Moore

My first paying photography job was…
Taking pictures around the Old Country Store & Buffet, where I worked as a server in college. Some of my shots are still up on their website!

My first BIG paying photography job was…
Taking pictures around another store but this time it was a cake store that used FedEx to ship their cakes all around the country, and FedEx was the client. They had a slightly larger budget than my first client!

I would describe my style or shooting philosophy as…
Energetic and atmospheric maybe? Not really sure I have a philosophy… Show up and see what happens!

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Photo by Brad Moore

Some of my industry role models are…because…
Joe McNally and Scott Kelby are definitely at the top of the list. I wouldn’t be where I am today without the two of them. Working for two guys who are such huge influences in the industry has been an amazing experience. Being around them and seeing their work ethic, passion, and desire to continually learn and grow has been incredibly influential on my life. There a bunch of other people I look up to because of the work they produce, but Joe and Scott are by far the most influential ones.

I knew there was no turning back when…
I spent three days photographing a convention the summer after my senior year of college. I was constantly behind the camera and around other photographers, and I loved every minute of it. The day after I finished, I had to go back to my regular job as a server. I literally couldn’t finish my shift that day and left early because I thought I was about to have a nervous breakdown. I just couldn’t handle being back there after such an amazing experience doing what I loved. I had to leave. I finished working there through the summer, then left when I was hired as a full-time photo assistant that fall.

If I could choose one dream gig, it would be…
Going on tour with an up-and-coming band that I love, Needtobreathe. They’ve been on the road opening for Taylor Swift this year, have an amazing new album out, and, I think, will be a household name within the next year or two if not sooner. I’ve photographed three of their shows and they’re amazing live. I can’t wait to see what they do next and would love to be there to document it.

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Photo by Brad Moore

Before I got started in the industry, I wish somebody had told me…
Take a lot of business classes. Business is something you need to know about no matter what your career is. Everyone and their aunt wants to be a photographer these days, but only those who know how to run a business (or have the money to hire someone who does) will be successful long-term. A successful photography career takes talent and skill, for sure. But talent and skill behind the camera doesn’t mean you know how to market yourself. And if you can’t market yourself, it’s difficult to get hired.

My favorite piece of gear is…
Nikon 14-24mm f/2.8 lens. As Todd Owyoung says, it’s the wrong lens 90% of the time but when it’s right, it’s oh so SWEET! I would say most of my favorite pictures were shot with this lens. The angle it gives isn’t something you see from a lot of concert photographers, so I would say it’s kind of my (and apparently Todd’s) secret weapon.

Do you shoot tethered? If so, why? If no, why not?
For concerts, no, but in the studio and even on location when possible, ABSOLUTELY!

What is your current set-up?
Gitzo tripod, Manfrotto accessory arm, Really Right Stuff ballhead, TetherTools Aero Traveler with Aero XDC Duo, SecureStrap, StrapMoore, TetherPro 15-ft USB cable, JerkStoppers.

Have you integrated your iPad into your workflow yet? If so, how?
Not really. I have a model release app that I use for Scott’s shoots, and I keep my portfolio on it, but I haven’t really used it as part of a shoot for anything. Partly from a lack of time to research how I might be able to. If anyone has suggestions, I’m always looking for ways to speed up and improve workflow!

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