Whoever said silence is deafening never heard the resonating screams of thousands of fans in an arena. I’ve been in the arena for concerts multiple times, but 3logyinManila was my first arena show as an official photographer.

The night before the show I was informed that I would be shooting the show as well!

I charged my camera battery and prepared both my lenses (the standard 18-55mm and my new 1.8 50mm that’s great during low light) and packed them in my camera bag. On the day of the show, I thought about the possibility that they might only allow us to shoot the first 30 seconds in the photo pit and the rest during the crowd. I asked my friends, family and even the Twitterverse where I could procure a zoom lens, but wasn’t able to procure one. That left me nervous. What if I badly needed it during the show? What then? I wanted to take great photos especially at my first arena show.

I arrived at the Mall of Asia Arena before 6pm–call time was at 6:30–hoping to get my pass and grab a quick dinner before shooting at 7pm. Once the photo pass was given to me, I was informed that we were only allowed to shoot the first two songs. I nodded, thinking, “I can work with that.” and then proceeded to ask, “In the photo pit?” Of course, I was every bit hopeful.

I was handed a major curveball: we were only allowed to shoot the first two songs per band at the lower box area. At that moment, I realised how crucial having a zoom lens was. How was I going to secure a zoom lens thirty minutes to show time?

With all the hullabaloo and a panicked mind, I’d somehow managed to lose my camera’s body lens cap AND my 1.8 50mm back lens cap in between munching down dinner in under ten minutes. I didn’t want to be late as all photographers would be escorted in at 7pm sharp. My mind was bouncing between “What am I going to do without a zoom lens?!” to “Eat faster, woman!”

I went to odd lengths to double-check where I might have accidentally misplaced my lens covers, but I was unable to find it. I had to let my worries go and tell myself to focus on the task at hand: to take great shots from lower box.

Once at our platform, security made sure we only shot the first two songs per artist. The experience was a challenge. When I got home and viewed my shots, let’s say I wanted to scrap most of them away. To date, it’s the most challenging scenario I’ve been in as a music photographer. As my good friend Kara said, “Work with what you have.” I had to get over not having the right gear, because things like this can happen in real life. There will be times wherein what you have isn’t enough for a situation, but it’s important to rise to the challenge and make the best of it. In the end, what makes you a better photographer isn’t your gear— the right gear definitely helps!—but your perspective. Your ability to take the experience as an opportunity to learn. To challenge yourself to become better. To think outside the box and ask, “How can I make this a great shot given my limitations?”

So here I am sharing my photos of that night. I even took a couple of shots with my iPhone once we were instructed to put our cameras away.

The Tide 3logyinManila



It had been a while since I was last at the Arena. I think it was for Michael Buble, if my memory serves me right. If so, then it’s been a year, gosh! Being back there for a show made me realise how powerful a united fan base can be. My ears were ringing after the show. It was crazy! As each act performed on stage, the crowd got louder. I don’t know how that’s possible, but that’s what it felt like. Everyone was super fun on stage: Jayda Avanzado and William Singe opening the show for The Vamps, The Tide and Before You Exit.

You can read the official concert article at PhilippineConcerts.com! 🙂

3logyinManila IMG_7865v2

Were you at the show? What was your favourite moment? Have you ever encountered difficulty while shooting a gig or concert and how did you deal with it?

About the author

Izzy launched Days in Wonderland as an avenue for avid music fans and travel bugs to find inspiration. Days in Wonderland features concert photos and write-ups, song suggestions, interviews and travel guides.

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