Business + Marketing

How to Break into Concert Photography and Videography 

December 21, 2023

By Abbey Pleviak

Concert photography is a glamorous profession for the right person who loves music, traveling, and the roar of the crowd. David Lehr, a Nashville, Tennessee concert photographer recently caught up with Nikki Closser on The Portrait System Podcast to talk about how he got into concert photography and now works with country music star Morgan Wallen, taking pictures, shooting video, and mixing music. He also shares tips for how others can break into the scene. 

Lehr got into photography and music from a young age. From about the age of 13, he played in bands, singing and playing guitar, and even went on a couple tours. In college, Lehr studied music technology, producing albums for extra income and shooting music videos. After college, the band he was in decided to leave Indiana and go where the industry was happening, so they all went to Nashville.  

In Nashville, Lehr made friends with a band and did concert photography for them, but didn’t make enough money at it, so he also drove for Lyft and got into web design. One morning, he discovered that a web design client had scammed him out of $7,000. It was a devastating blow. His account was in the negative. Lehr told a friend about it at a party, who told someone else at the party, who decided to help Lehr out by getting him a gig doing concert photography for country artist April Kry. They liked his style and got him filling in for another band who was touring. Shortly after that, Lehr met Morgan Wallen, who at the time, had around 40,000 Instagram followers. Lehr loved Wallen’s music and they had good chemistry, so Lehr left his other position to shoot for Wallen. Now, Morgan has nearly 7 million followers, and Lehr is his main guy for concert photography and videography, and he even remixes Wallen’s songs to make every video unique. 

[Read: A Photo Education Supreme: WPPI 2024 Educator Highlights]

If you’d like to get involved in concert photography, here are Lehr’s tips to make it happen. 

  1. Move to a city where the industry is happening so you can meet the right people.  
  1. Build your portfolio, so you have good work to show them. 
  1. The best way to meet people is in person in social settings, like at house parties. 
  1. Try a job site like
  1. If you do cold emailing, approach an artist who is up and coming, rather than someone well-established or a manager or agent. Make sure your IG looks amazing. 
  1. Approach people you believe in. Stay with people you vibe with. 

David Lehr really stresses that last point, saying “the human experience is about the people around you. And so whatever you’re doing in the process shouldn’t be as important as who you’re bringing around you.” He feels that is the way to true satisfaction in your career. 

© The Portrait System

To see David Lehr’s work, visit his Instagram profile and Morgan Wallen’s Instagram

The Portrait System Podcast helps portrait photographers navigate the world of photography, business, money, and much more. Hosted by Nikki Closser, the podcast is powered by The Portrait System, a comprehensive, online educational platform that teaches all aspects of running a successful portrait photography studio. If you’d like to be a guest on The Portrait System Podcast, send them a voice message. 

Outdoor and On-Location Photography: How to Create Better Portraits and Make More Money

The Location Lighting Series

Photoshop 101 by Chris Orwig

The Photoshop Masters: Portrait Photographers Collection