Ladies with Lanyards is a blog post I published a while ago that put a spotlight on some of the most talented music photographers in Australia. That blog post had such a good response so I decided I wanted to dive deeper into this and interview these creatives! So, I'd like you to meet fellow music photographer, Brittany Long...

My name is: Brittany Long aka simplyphotographz

I am based in: Melbourne, Victoria, Australia 

I started shooting live music because:
I had never ever photographed live music before, in fact the idea had never even crossed my mind. I was always that person who had lived under a rock and never knew the latest music or in fact any songs. But I went to Pink’s final Melbourne show of the ‘Beautiful Trauma’ tour in 2018 and got in with my small Sony camera. I shot from the audience and the rest is history. That was the gig I fell in love with music photography. The lighting, the atmosphere, the passion, the unity. There was just something about it. I haven’t looked back since. 

My favourite gig I’ve ever photographed was:
This is a tough one, all the gigs I’ve shot have been memorable in their own way. Whether that be through the artists I’ve had the privilege of meeting and getting to know, or simply because of an artists stellar performance. I will however have to say Missy Higgins at ‘A Day On The Green’. There’s something about getting to photograph one of your idols, and, for me having loved Missy and her music since I was like 12 that was a moment I’ll never forget. 

The hardest / worst gig I’ve ever photographed was:
My first show after discovering my passion for live music photography ticks both the hardest and worst, but also the one where it really all started. It was the opening show for Perth band Nautical Mile at a grungey Melbourne bar. I had been invited to photograph the show by one of my mates who was in the opening support band ‘A New Way Home’. Both bands of whom the guys are now some of my closest friends. I left feeling so defeated and ready to give up, the lighting was practically nonexistent and it was red. I was absolutely devastated and despite the incredible show itself, seriously I could photograph NM for the rest of my life they have such an incredible stage presence,  I just figured I wasn’t cut out for the gig. When I was finally brave enough to look at my shots I was amazed with what I’d managed to pull off. It was in that moment that something clicked in me and I was like ‘I can do this’. That was my turning point, I’ve learnt to embrace the grain and am constantly looking for light. I also went back for their second gig two days later and took some of my favourite shots. 

My photography style can be described in the following 3 words: 
Simple raw passion 

My advice to young women looking to join the music industry as a live music photographer is:
Just get out there and do it, start small and build your way up, you will never know until you try it. Don’t see yourself as a female photographer but simply as a photographer. 

If I could tell my younger self anything it would be:
You will go through more than you could ever imagine but you will come out so much stronger on the other side, you will have some of the most amazing people enter your life and you will find your true passion in music photography, everything happens for a reason and though you mightn’t ever know what it is be grateful for the journey. 

The best advice I’ve ever been given is:
Don’t let anyone tell you-you can’t, I have literally butt shuffled downstairs at concerts and sat on barrier platforms because I can’t fit with the wheelchair. Just because I can’t walk does not mean that I can’t be a photographer in a photo pit. 

The hardest thing about being a live music  photographer is:
My wheelchair does at times hinder my ability to shoot shows, mainly in the sense that many Melbourne music venues have no wheelchair accessibility at all, and I simply can’t even get inside them, however, I’m working on making waves in the industry and trying to make people aware about the lack of accessibility. I mean people in wheelchairs deserve to be able to see and enjoy live music too! 

The biggest lesson I’ve learnt as a music photographer is:
That you’ll never know unless you ask. I got my first press pass as a freelancer simply by emailing the press contact and taking a chance, the worst that can happen is they’ll say no or you won’t get a response. Now I’m shooting for several publications including Australia wide music publication Amnplify and there’s nothing I’d rather be doing. Embrace the grain, a heavily grainy photo is better than a blurry non-usable one.  

My favourite live music photographer’s are:
Matthias Hombauer, Deb Kloeden, Bron Caple, Adam Elmakias and the entire ‘girls in the photo pit Facebook group’, each and every single one of these photographers have played a large role in my journey becoming a music photographer, they have been incredibly supportive right from the start and I’m so incredibly grateful for all their advice and mentoring. 

My goals as a live music photographer are:
To make waves in the music photography industry by being a photographer in a wheelchair. I want to show people that they don’t have to be limited and that they can truly do anything they put their mind to. I want venues to be accessible to wheelchair users like myself because everyone deserves to enjoy music.  I want people to look at my photos and be able to feel the music and feel the passion in the musician. 

I also:
I am a photographer who uses a wheelchair, more than two years ago I was struck down with an illness and I haven’t yet regained function of my lower body but I refuse to let it stop me from doing what I love! I am also a first year uni student studying biomedical science and I also photograph newborn and maternity. Basically you’ll find me with a camera everywhere I go. 

Excluding camera equipment, in my camera bag you will also find: 
EARPLUGS I will never again shoot a show without my eargasm earplugs! They are the best invention ever! Wheelchair gloves, some random lollies, countless pens, an empty business card holder and a whole pack of batteries

This is the photo I’m most proud of because:
For me this 38 photo panorama of pink is where my journey as a music photographer began. It’s also my favourite photo to date. Shot from the audience as a punter during Pink’s song ‘glitter in the air’ I have this one printed big ready to hang on my wall. 

I shoot with: 
Currently, I have two bodies which are both crop sensor, a canon 600d and a Sony a6300. I love my Canon 50mm 1.8 and can't go wrong pairing the Tamron 28-75 f2.8 with my sony body, it’s a literal dream! Eventually, I hope to go full frame but like I’ve always been taught it’s the photographer not the gear. 

Twitter: @simplyphotogra3

Until next time,
Chels x

Instagram- @littlek
Twitter- @littleksnap

You Might Also Like