I don’t often cry during production rehearsals, actually it’s never happened before. But tears ran down my face as Jada performed ‘Not Alone‘ in a gray rehearsal studio with no crowd. It’s that powerful and beautiful.
Only a few months ago I documented Jada on the Orange Stage at Roskilde Festival, a concert I will remember forever. Truly in my top 5 of all-time concert experiences. This concert, at the Royal Arena in Copenhagen, was announced a year ago and was to be Jada’s largest indoor concert ever. It will also be my third major concert documented for Jada in a year, and to build of a relationship with a musician that I really admire and like and be able to be the ‘documentarian’, well these are the days, the gigs that I really live for as a music photographer. I suck at ‘3 songs in the pit’, I need to be an embedded documentary photographer to do my best work. Thank you so much Jada and ‘Jada family’ for the trust and access. I cannot wait till next time!
The concert was absolutely wonderful, and with a big stage in the middle of the floor and a 360 degree show it really offered the crowd a different and intimate experience in the huge arena. I am so happy I got to hear the production rehearsals because this is when I can almost turn off the picture making part of my brain and just let myself completely go into the music. Be a fan, not a photographer. During the actual concert I am so focused on photography that it seems like time just rushes by so fast. Especially with this concert which was super challenging, but more about that later after the gallery.
Jada at Royal Arena Photo Gallery
Are you on reading this on your phone? Don’t! You need a bigger screen to appreciate this concert and my pictures, so fire up that laptop, thank you! You can read much more about my experiences photographing this concert after the pictures, but for now I suggest playing Jada’s latest album as a soundtrack to my gallery and start scrolling your way through Jada at Royal Arena 2022:
Photographing the concert
I photographed the concert using 2 x brand new FUJIFILM X-T5 cameras with XF16-55mm and 10-24mm lenses, and Samyang 8mm fisheye for that closing picture on stage.
It is an interesting, fun and frustrating challenge to photograph ‘in the round’ concerts because at least half the concert will be playing in the opposite direction of you, no matter where you stand. You can end up running circles around the stage to keep up and miss everything! Because of the 2 x 10 meter catwalks it took a long time to walk to the opposite side of the stage, so I would forever be chasing the shot and not predicting it, it was better for me just to wait in the pit for Jada to come back to whatever side of the stage I was on. It means a lot of waiting though, and there are some very specific moments I missed, also because I could not remember the choreography well enough to know where Jada would end up during the pyro for example and I can’t move around the stage fast enough to document every moment and particularly I found it hard to get decent close-ups. Such are the challenges and pleasures of a concert photographer. You have to appreciate the pictures you make and not the ones you miss, but it is hard for me not to be a little annoyed at myself for standing on the wrong side or wrong catwalk at some key moments! I didn’t end up with the same amount of great coverage as I did at Roskilde Festival, but then this was very different, just no way for one photographer to be everywhere during a 360 concert – let’s do it again soon I say 🙂