In the sixth edition of IN FOCUS, we chat with Sydney-based photographer and all-around nice guy James Gough aka DADMETAL.


How many years have you been shooting?

I’ve been shooting for just over 10 years

How did you get started in photography?

After playing in bands and touring since I’d left high school I had almost nothing to show for such a huge part of my life. So, when I quit music In 2014, I picked up a camera.
I started covering shows in 2017 after getting the itch to get back into music in some way. I managed to start shooting at the same time as a lot of new Sydney bands were forming, so it’s been great to be a part of a now thriving scene.
What started out as a hobby to document my life is now a full-time job, as a wedding photographer.

Lost in a Daze 2021-2-credit-@dadmetal_

What is your favourite band to shoot?

Easy one, ‘Heilung’. This was such a bucket list shoot for me and as it was their first trip to Australia, it was such a privilege to shoot for them. The local bands I love shooting are ‘Foothills’ ‘Mountain Wizard Death Cult’ & ‘Burden Man 


What is your favourite venue to shoot and why?

I’m from Sydney but it’s definitely The Forum in Melbourne. Light setup is perfection, there’s room to move around, the stage height is perfect, there are multiple vantage points…. and it’s in Melbourne.


What setup do you take with you to shoot gigs?

Currently shooting with a Fuji XH2s & XH2. Depending on the venue 24/70 x 110m 1.2 or 50 & 28mm 1.4 (full frame equivalents). Straps are holdfast money makers. My bag in a Wandrd Prvke. I use Prism Lens FX Filters & I’d rather go home than not have my Loop earplugs.


What software do you use to edit your photos?

95% Lightroom with the odd dip into Photoshop. I wish I had more time to dive into PS but I know I’d just be adding hours to editing and colour grading.

How would you describe your editing style?

Heavy black & white, clean with natural colours


What photographers do you draw inspiration from?

This is such a broad question and one I could waffle on about all day, but my favourites would have be Alex Strohl, Chris Burkhard, Greg Williams & Finn Beales. None of which shoot live music, but their photojournalistic storytelling & portrait work is such a huge influence on how I approach my work.

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

It’d be Metallica & Rammstein, but more than anything, I want to cover the likes of Wacken, Midgardsblot & Copenhell.


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

The final night at Frankies Pizza was pure carnage. I love getting into the crowd and pit to shoot. You get a unique perspective that no one else does… also quite dumb considering the price tags on all my gear. That night at Frankie’s was pure insanity with bodies flying everywhere, getting smashed in the pit, crushed over the guardrail & being covered in beer and sweat, but I now have this gallery of one of the craziest nights in Sydney live music history.


What is your favourite camera to use when you are not shooting gigs and why?

Honestly, it would be one of my first cameras The Ricoh GRii. Having that camera is what made me fall in love with photography. It has a fixed 28mm 2.8 lens that fits in the palm of your hand. I’ve replaced it with the Fuji X100V which needs no introduction these days. Fuji colour science is unbeatable. While the cameras have their limitations it’s really forced me to become a better photographer.

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

Live- @dadmetal_

Weddings –