Podcast Episode

The Lensrentals Podcast Episode #62 – From Concert Photography to Commercial Videography

Published July 21, 2022

Each week Roger Cicala, founder of Lensrentals.com, hosts conversations about the art and science of capturing images. From photography to videography, film, history, and technology, the show covers a wide range of topics to educate and inspire creators of all kinds.

From Concert Photography to Commercial Videography

w/Nathan Armstrong and Will Evans

On this week’s Lensrentals Podcast, Ryan sits down with Nathan Armstrong and Will Evans as they talk about how they went from photographing small local bands, to some of the biggest music productions of the last several years. If Nathan Armstrong’s name sounds familiar to you, it may be because he’s been featured on this blog before, when we sat down and talked with him about how he went about building up his concert photography business and getting access to some incredible concerts and musical performances in the process. As Memphis creators, we’re always excited to see local talent get the recognition they deserve.

From recommending gear to get started in concert photography, to developing a workflow that works in a fast pace environment, this podcast covers it all. We even sit down with NLAs Projects‘ Production Manager, Will Evans, as he gives some insight as to the importance of a Production Manager, and how they’ve built out a successful commercial video business.

Gear Mentioned In this Episode:


0:10 – Welcome to The Lensrentals Podcast! This week Ryan is talking with Nathan Armstrong and Will Evans from NLA Projects about their journey from concert photography to commercial video.

1:30 – Nathan has talked to us once before about concert photography. Here’s a link to that blog article.

2:00 – One of the most difficult parts of shooting concerts professionally is simply breaking in, and getting permission to shoot larger shows. Here’s how Nathan went about moving from small local bands to covering national acts.

5:00 – What are some steps you would recommend for a beginner concert photographer?

7:40 – In addition to concert photography, NLA Projects’ portfolio includes portraits, events, food, and even weddings. In terms of creative approach, how does concert photography differ from those other genres?

8:55 – The best way to make your concert portfolio stand out is to go into each show to capture an image that no one else will be able to capture, whether that’s through gear choices, position, or just timing.

10:20 – Nathan makes some surprising choices on which cameras and lenses he uses for concert and wedding photography. We run down his gear list and his reasons for using the equipment he uses.

16:00 – The turnaround time for awards shows is often incredibly fast. Here’s how NLA Projects’ workflow enables them to deliver edited RAW photos in a matter of minutes and keep on shooting.

19:10 – Break

20:00 – Will Evans is NLA Projects’ Production Manager. Here he discusses the process and motivation behind expanding to commercial video.

22:40 – What exactly does a Production Manager do?

24:25 – A crucial skill in running a successful commercial video business is knowing when you need to outsource niche things like audio mixing or motion graphics. It’s crucial to establish and maintain relationships with freelancers who can handle that type of work.

27:15 – In the same vein as concert photography, a difficult part of getting started in commercial video is simply getting your foot in the door with your first few jobs. How do NLA Projects go about approaching clients?

32:30 – What size crew is typical for NLA Pojects’ video work? How do you know when you need to bring in more people?

34:20 – Surprisingly, NLA uses a lot of the same equipment for their commercial work that they do for their concert work.

43:20 – Thanks for listening to The Lensrentals Podcast! On the next episode, it’s the season finale. We’ll wrap up the season by talking basically about whatever we want.

The Lensrentals Podcast is a production of Lensrentals, founded by Roger Cicala. Our production staff includes Drew Cicala, Ryan Hill, Sarah McAlexander, Julian Harper, John Tucker, and Zach Sutton. Other contributors include Roger Cicala, Joey Miller, Ally Aycock Patterson, Joshua Richardson, and Philip Robertson.

Thanks to Jacques Granger for our theme song.

Submit a topic idea, question, or comment, leave us a voicemail at 901-609-LENS, or send us an email at podcast@lensrentals.com.


Author: Lensrentals

Articles written by the entire editorial and technical staff at LensRentals.com. These articles are for when there is more than one author for the entire post, and are written as a community effort.

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