1. Please introduce yourself. Who are you? What do you do? How long have you been into photography?
My name is Edwina Hay and I’m a freelance photographer based in New York City. I started capturing photos during my childhood which transitioned to bringing my film camera to concerts in my 20s, and I haven’t stopped shooting live music since.
2. In one sentence, please describe what you captured in this shot.
3. Why did you select this photo to share?
I have had a Flickr account since December 2004 and have been sharing concert photos and other types of work since then. I published a full gallery on my website the very next day, but I also shared this particular image via social media, in addition to Flickr, for others to see my photos from this show.
4. What style of photography would you describe this as, and do you typically take photographs in this style?
This image would be considered concert photography and I usually document moments at live music performances around New York City.
5. When and where was this photo taken?
The image was taken on Tuesday, May 23, 2023 at a venue called Baby’s All Right in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.
6. Was anyone with you when you took this photo?
June McDoom held a record release show so Baby’s All Right was full of music fans, like myself, to experience songs from her newest album live, plus she had additional musicians join her onstage for about half of her set, including a small string section.
7. What equipment did you use?
I used a Nikon Z5 mirrorless camera with a 24-70mm f2.8 lens plus an 82mm Prism Lens FX Halo filter attached to this lens for this photo. After the show, I used Adobe Lightroom to edit and export photos on my computer.
8. What drew you to take this photo?
I was able to capture the entire show and decided to use a filter I had with me since I had the time to experiment. Most concerts restrict credentialed photographers to the first three songs of an artist so I generally don’t use prisms or filters if I’m only permitted to document the first three songs of a set.
9. How many attempts did it take to get this shot? How long did it take you to get one that you were satisfied with?
I took about ten shots before landing on this particular image of June. In looking at the photos I didn’t choose, I remember spending some time moving the filter around until the streaks on the sides had different colors. The ones before this shot were only white streaks on the sides.
10. Did you edit this photo?
The swirling lights effect was done via the Halo lens filter so I didn’t do much post processing/production on the photo. I did some minor editing in Adobe Lightroom but the colors and light effects came via the house lights at Baby’s All Right that night and the lens filter.
11. What encouraged you to share this photo online and with others?
I was happy with the images I got that night, so I shared this photo online along with photos of the other act that went on before June McDoom, Seafoam Walls, of Miami, FL who performed as a duo rather than their full band. If I bring my equipment with me to a concert, then I usually share what I’ve captured online as soon as I can afterwards.
12. Did you learn anything in the process of taking, editing, or sharing this photo?
In capturing this image, I was reminded that I don’t always have to strictly document what happens during a performance. Sometimes it’s necessary (and fun) to experiment with tools and techniques that may make an image more interesting to the viewer.
13. Do you remember what you had for breakfast (or lunch or dinner) the day you took this photo?
The event was three months ago so unfortunately, I don’t remember what I had to eat at any point that day.
14. What would you like people to take away from this photo?
I hope people see the image and decide to check out June McDoom and her music. McDoom lives in NYC, but grew up in Miami due to her parents moving there in the 1970s from Jamaica. I find her voice to be really beautiful.
15. Is there any feedback that you’d like to get on this shot?
I’m open to truly constructive criticism so if the feedback is meant to be helpful to me, like if someone is pointing out an image is underexposed or is unflattering to the subject, then I would absolutely want to know that as it will help me improve as a photographer. If the comment is intended to hurt the recipient’s feelings by being a personal comment and not constructive one, then I’ll politely pass on that type of feedback. I try my best to criticize my own images and figure out what works and what doesn’t constantly.
16. How can anyone reading this support your work?
Edwina Hay (she/her/hers) is a New York City based freelance photographer. She is a member of Black Women Photographers and The Photo Ladies. She has had work published in BrooklynVegan, Creem, Brooklyn Magazine, Hell Gate, and other places.
Headshot by Ellen Qbertplaya.