by Susan Adcock
Nashville, TN

I hate to be the one to bring it up but  Mick Jagger had a bad day once that  still haunts professional photographers.  As far as I can gather, Mick is responsible for the limits now placed on photographers regarding concert photography. 
Ordinarily, we photographers are told that we can shoot only the first one to three songs, usually without a flash.  Some artists (or managers) who are insecure and irritable by nature have taken this rule to laughable extremes, allowing only the first thirty seconds of the first song to be visually recorded. 

"I pressed the shutter release button as the camera rested in my lap..."

© 2003 Susan Adcock, Freelance.

This explains why I personally have no photos of Don Henley.  At that particular request, I chose not to shoot at all but instead blocked the view of security guards while a fellow photographer secretly shot the entire show.
I understand that a powerful flash can be a distraction and the last thing I want to do is make Mick forget the words to ‘Honky Tonk Women’ in front of sixty thousand people.  The fact is, being there by the stage makes us a little high too. We can't stop ourselves.  Ninety eight percent of us are dying to take the best picture of you that's ever been taken and the chances are good that it's not going to happen during the first thirty seconds.  We try (because we are good people) to follow the rules and we hope you forgive us if we casually forget that you ended the third song, two songs ago.


Tony Bennett entertained a crowd of seven hundred at the Swan Ball, an annual social event and fundraiser, in Nashville Tennessee.

© 2003 Susan Adcock, Freelance.

This brings me to my Saturday night confession.  I knew the rules.  Three songs.  Tony Bennett.  Once in my lifetime I was presented with the opportunity to take pictures of Tony Bennett and what would become a full page photo for nFocus magazine, now would be produced in about seven and a half minutes. No pressure.

At the beginning of the fifth song, a nice woman tapped me on the shoulder and said, "It's time to stop taking pictures now; pass it on."  I did stop, really I did but Mr. Bennett was just getting warmed up.  He told us a story about Eddie Arnold and six bars into Hank Williams' legendary 'Cold, Cold Heart', I could no longer contain myself.  I pressed the shutter release button as the camera rested in my lap, peeked at the digital display, and was so charmed by the fact that he was even in the frame...that I pressed it again.  Twelve times. 

I lost an arm here and there but over all it turned out great and with all due respect to Tony Bennett, Mick Jagger, and the rules, I might  quietly add that I'm not sorry.
Susan Adcock


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