The Best Concert Photographer in Phoenix: Finalist Shari Corbett

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Earlier this year, we announced a concert photography contest. We received more than 46 submissions, and a crack panel of judges winnowed down the submissions to 10 finalists. We are now introducing you to each photographer, presented in random order. The final finalist is Shari Corbett.

See also: The Best Concert Photographer in Phoenix: Here are the 10 Finalists

Up on the Sun: What separates a good concert photo from a great concert photo?

The ability to not only capture the moment but to allow the viewer to imagine their own front row seat to that incredible performance.

How did you get into concert photography, and how many concerts would you say you've photographed?

I've been shooting since high school and lived most of my time in a darkroom (now I'm showing my age). I came from a musical family, and my husband was a radio personality for 15 years and that opened a lot of doors for me. It was a natural progression to go from weddings and portraits to shooting shows. I've covered too many shows to count.

What challenges does concert photography present as opposed to other forms of photography?

I think concert photography is not for the weak, impatient or someone not willing to take risks. It's one of the most challenging but also the most rewarding. The lights go down and you have 3-10 minutes to make the magic happen. The adrenaline rush and the sound of the crowd never gets old. It's a law of light and dark that is forever changing at record pace and you got to be ready for anything.

What advice do you have for aspiring concert photographers?

Shoot, shoot, shoot. Go to as many shows you can, even clubs, and learn your craft. Know your equipment and what you don't know, learn and then find your own style. Just like when you hear an Eddie Van Halen guitar solo, you know it's him. You want that. Last but not least, obey the rules in the pit and give respect to your fellow shooters. You never know what the future holds; it's better to be kind then the guy known as the a-hole.

Choose one of the photos you submitted. Tell a story about it --where was it shot, who is featured, what makes it one of your favorites, and what circumstances lead to your capturing it. The more details, the better.

My photograph of Slash taken at Celebrity Theatre. I'm their house photographer and knowing beforehand how a show will be set up was an advantage. I'm a big Slash fan, so this made the night extra special for me to cover one of the great guitar players of my time. As he came to the edge of the stage (I thought he may fall off) and leaned over me with his sweat dripping on me and my Canon gear, I snapped a few shots and this was one of them. Afterward, I felt like, eww ... Slash sweat on me, and then I thought, nah -- it was damn cool that this guitar god left his mark on me and my camera.

Visit the next page for more photos by Shari Corbett.

Find any show in Metro Phoenix via our extensive online concert calendar.

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