This year, I got to celebrate my New Years in the French Quarter. It was the best New Years experience I've ever had. The big event is held on Decatur St, right in front of Jackson Square. The street is blocked off so that people can gather and hear an amazing lineup til the ball (or in our case, the fleur de lis) drops.
Lagniappe Brass Band was the first to play. And they were exceptional! The crowd was absolutely lovin' them! Not many people can get at least 1,000 people to get low all the way to the ground.
Photographing bands- especially at night- is tricky. It's an art that I'm still trying to figure out. But I love it. I love the challenge of it. I love the action. I love that I'm not making them be still, pose, and smile while I take their picture. It's alive and vibrant. And you never know what you'll wind up with.
But here's the biggest tip that I can offer if you ever try it: have patience! You want them at their best- even if it's not the typical photography. Watch for facial expressions. Watch for character. Musicians follow a rhythm, right? They have patterns- certain things that they do a lot- on rhythmic cue. I know it sounds silly, but if you watch, you'll catch the little things that will make the picture great- for you and the musician.