10 must-have photos from your choir or orchestra concert

Charity Symphony Orchestra in Romsey Abbey, viewed from the rear of the nave

You put a lot of time and trouble into preparing your performances. High-quality photos give you a fitting visual record of the concert and all the hard work that went into it. They’re ideal for your next concert programme and, of course, your website and social media presence.

The pre-concert rehearsal is where a good photographer should start. Shooting without an audience allows a greater variety of camera angles.

1. Zoomed right out. This is a good way to set the scene. Taken from the west end of Romsey Abbey, this shot shows its size.

Charity Symphony Orchestra rehearsing in nave of Romsey Abbey

2. Wide angle close-up. During the rehearsal, your photographer can get up quite close and convey the size of the orchestra. Here, over 100 players were assembled for the epic Alpine Symphony by Richard Strauss.

Large orchestra rehearsing in Romsey Abbey

3. The conductor and players. This composition puts the maestro centre-stage while showing surrounding players. Everybody is dressed casually but concentrating hard with the performance approaching.

Orchestra conductor

Now let’s look at shots of the performance itself.

4. Soloist close-ups. As freelancers, they need to build a public profile, not least via social media. Good-quality photos are help them build their following.

5. Orchestral climaxes. Sports photographers look to capture the ‘peak moment of action’. It’s the same idea with music.

Conductor with arms outspread in front of an orchestra

6. Sections of the orchestra. These help to tell the story of the concert. For example, the woodwind:


Here, a shaft of light illuminates a viola player:


A shallow depth of field makes a flautist stand out:

Blonde clarinettist in the Charity Symphony Orchestra

And the brass section glitters under the lights, just as it cuts through the musical textures.


8. Behind the orchestra, if possible. This image conveys the size of the venue and puts the conductor centre-stage, albeit at a distance.


9. Zoomed in on the conductor at the climaxes. Gestures from the podium convey the drama like nothing else.


10. The curtain calls. These show most of the players, so they’re images they’ll want to see and share.

Conductor acknowledging applause at the end of concert

I’m grateful to the Charity Symphony Orchestra and their conductor, Craig Lawton, for permitting me to photograph their concert on behalf of Romsey Abbey.

If you’d like me to capture images like these of your concert, please get in touch.

Off the scale concert by OS Choir

Ladies singing in evening dress

Earlier this month, I shot a concert by my friends in the choir at Ordnance Survey, where I work. A lovely, friendly bunch, they’ve been going for four years now and call themselves Off the scale – a great play on words (map scale, musical scale, geddit?!).

An audience of over 100 people enjoyed the choir’s medley of songs, show numbers and sacred music, with mood lighting to match.

Choir singing in a concert
Off the Scale


Two women singing duet in evening dress
Gemma Harrison and Julia Maltby singing ‘I know him so well’


Blond man conducting with pianist in background
Sam Dando directing Off the Scale, Ordnance Survey’s choir



Woman in black singing next to blond pianist
Julia Maltby singng a solo


Choir singing in front of audience
Off the Scale concert from the rear of the hall at Ordnance Survey


If you’d like me to shoot your concert, please get in touch.