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23.11.2018 Flemming Bo Jensen

Personal Best vol.1 | Flemming Bo Jensen

Flemming Bo Jensen

I am in it for the music. I am a professional music photographer too, but first and foremost I am a very dedicated fan of music, especially electronic music. I photographic music primarily because I love the music and want to belong in that magical world. I went to music events for more than 12 years before even bringing a camera along for the first time. My first choice of job would be to be the artist playing on stage. I can’t, but I discovered I can photograph it and be part of the music world that way. I can document the music and I can put my love of music into the images. I have been doing that for more than 6 years now.

I am an official FUJIFILM X-photographer from Denmark and I have been photographing exclusively with the FUJIFILM X Series cameras and lenses since 2012. I am also an official Red Bull Photographer and a member of Gonzales Photo agency. I am the author of the ebook GET IN THE LOOP – How To Make Great Music Images. My clients include Red Bull Music, Roskilde Festival, Above & Beyond, Strøm Festival, Kölsch, Bjørn Svin, The Minds of 99.

Being able to combine music and photography is a dream come true. Crank it up to 11. Dream Out Loud.

This picture is one of my personal favorites, and it recently won Best Music Photo of 2018 in GAFFA Magazine’s annual Photo Awards. GAFFA is Scandinavia’s biggest music magazine and I am incredibly thrilled to win their popular photo competition and to share the story behind the picture.

The artist in the picture is the American hip-hop star Anderson .Paak. I am a big fan of his music, and had been looking forward to this concert. It was the closing concert at this year’s Roskilde Festival in Denmark, one of the largest music festivals in the world. Anderson’s performance was an explosion of funk and energy that made the 20,000 people in the crowd completely forget any idea of tiredness after a full week of music. He did not stand still for even a second and I kept shooting non-stop for the 3 songs we were allowed to be in the photographers’ pit next to the stage.

I immediately noticed this particular picture when was looking through them on my laptop back at the press center. I pumped my fist and shouted out “woohoo, I nailed this one”. There are so many things I like about this. I love how he is floating towards the crowd like a superhero, I love the light that shines under his knee, I love that the crowd is in the frame and that both the background and the stage is clean from any distractions.

I always aim for getting all the major elements in my composition when possible, the artist, the light, the stage and the crowd. I want to tell the story of the concert in one picture but to do this can be super difficult! I want to capture a great moment that the crowd reacts to, and get this in great light, and without speakers or microphone stands or someone else in the way of your picture. There are just so many elements you cannot control and it all happens in a split second.

The picture is made with the X-T2 and the stage is tall so I had to hold the X-T2 over my head and use the tilt-screen to get the crowd in my frame. I used my favorite lens, the XF16mmF1.4, which rarely leaves my camera. I absolutely love the 16mm lens and it is perfect for my style of music photography. I can get really close and still fit in the crowd. The F1.4 aperture allows me to make pictures in dark concerts and nightclubs. I was fortunate to receive a prototype of the XF16mmF1.4 for testing back in March 2015, and since then I have made more than 50% of my music pictures with it! I am still using that same prototype 16mm lens and it works perfectly.

In this picture almost everything I try to achieve with my music pictures came together for me. This is very rare, but to have it happen and have the picture win GAFFA’s Best Music Photo of the Year inspires me greatly to keep working hard and keep trying to make pictures like this.

Read more on “Personal Best”

Vol.1- Flemming Bo Jensen
Vol.2- Pieter D’Hoop
Vol.3- Santiago Escobar-Jarmillo
Vol.4- Stefan Finger