In the fifth edition of IN FOCUS, we chat with Adelaide-based Samuel Phillips Photography.

Photo 20-11-2023, 11 42 38 pm

1. How many years have you been shooting?

ventured into Music Photography in Feb of 2018, so just ticked over 6 years if we count the Covid years (do they count?!)

2. How did you get started in photography?

Started with travel photography, around 2011? 
Bought an entry-level Nikon DSLR to take to Europe. Having a camera with me to document the places I was visiting quickly became a primary factor in choosing the next destination. I started with architecture/ landmarks, then landscapes and began incorporating some street photography into my later travels


3. Favourite band to shoot?

Honestly, any band that engages their crowd and brings energy to their live performance is going to be fun to watch. There are bands who play well live and bands who put on a show. Give me the show any day. 

4. Favourite venue to shoot and why?

I do love a big stage and production. Hindley Street Music Hall (Adelaide) has a fantastic lighting rig and a deep-set stage that is not too high. I like separation in my shots, clean backgrounds and minimal distractions from the subject, so shooting into the wings on a deep stage like that makes for great results. 

COAL CHAMBER – Hindley Music Hall

5. What setup do you take with you to shoot gigs?

-I use 2 x Nikon D750 SLR’s. Just workhorses that perform well in low light. 
-Standard lens set-up is a Tamron 24-70mm G2 f2.8, and a Tamron 70-200mm G2 f2.8. 
That focal range covers almost any show adequately, and between the two produces a variety of shots to the gallery. 
-I use a Black Rapid harness and a Lowepro Flipside 400 AWII backpack-Sandisk extreme pro SD cards

MACHINE HEAD – Forum Melbourne

6. What software do you use to edit your photos?

Adobe Lightroom for the major workflow, with Topaz Ai and Adobe Photoshop as extension plug-ins.  

7. How would you describe your editing style?

Clean & bold 

MUDVAYNE – Hindley Music Hall

8. What photographers do you draw inspiration from?

Australia has an incredible community of creatives, but a couple that certainly come to mind are

That is the magic of photography though. Each capture is unique, and each individual’s stylistic choice of editing is unique. I’m inspired by something I see every day which challenges how i see things. 

LAMB OF GOD – Knotfest Melbourne 2024

9. If you could shoot any band in the future, who would it be?

Heilung, Nine Inch Nails and Korn are still high on the list, most definitely.
Metallica is an obvious choice, and would love to shoot Slipknot again too if given the chance. 
Was always a huge Every Time I Die fan, but never had the chance to shoot them so hopefully
Better Lovers tour Australia at some point.

SLIPKNOT – Knotfest 2023

10. Concerts can get pretty rowdy, whats your best gig story?

I saw Slipknot on their first tour here in Feb 2000. The crowd went absolutely crazy, it was impossible to know where to look, it was pure chaos. Sid crowd dived from the balcony. That show was nuts.


11. Whats your favourite camera to use when you are not shooting gigs and why?

I barely touch my camera outside of live music. I pushed into some studio-based photography last year (still with the Nikon d750’s) which was fun. As far as other cameras go I haven’t really ventured into other brands at all, to each their own. 

Photo 26-3-2024, 9 58 31 pm
PANTERA – Knotfest 2024

Huge thanks to Samuel for taking the time to chat with us, you can see more of his work on his official website and social media:


Samuel Philips Photography