AB In-house Photographer Tina Herbots looks back on her first few months as AB In-house Photographer

1. What was the most difficult concert you've photographed, and why?

Without a doubt, Squarepusher. This was one of the first concerts I was able to photograph as In-house Photographer to AB. I was a bit nervous entering the concert hall. Many pep-talks later, Squarepusher began his set. Apparently it was necessary to make excessive use of strobe lights. Neither the photos nor the concert were very personal, with mister artist's face invariably hidden behind an illuminated mask. I didn't persist with taking photos for long, the only thing I could think after the third song was, 'look out, epileptic fit!'. Oh well, maybe it wasn't really my thing.


2. What do you find difficult about concert photography?

A couple of months ago my answer would have been that you're always dependant on the lighting available during the concert. Now I realize that you always have to get by with what you have and, if the light isn't favourable, you have to make the best of the situation. Of course it's easier with a brightly lit subject, but it's at a concert like that that every concert photographer will come home with more or less the same photos. What I find really difficult about concert photography is not so much something technical but rather something mental.  It's mainly the waiting before and between the concerts that bothers me. Arriving on time is not one of my strengths either, something that's important in order to get hold of a good spot.


3.  What was your best experience so far? Most fun moment in AB?

I'm the In-house Photographer at the AB, that's a fantastic experience in itself.  But my very finest moment to date was Tame Impala. When I was 14 years old, I made a list of bands I should one day see, they were on that list too and finally I was able to cross them off. All my musical friends where there too, which made the waiting, dancing, headbanging and falsely singing along ten times more fun. In April, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club come to the AB and, that's right, they can then be crossed off my list too.

4. Which concert did you think was the best?

When I'm not familiar with a band's songs, am present at the their concert and, after the first three songs, decide to stay after all, then I've discovered something new and good again. That was what happened to me with Patrick Watson. I was already sold on them during the soundcheck. Watson and Co. presented the one masterpiece after the other. They began right away with the only song of theirs I knew at the time, 'Lighthouse', which is also their most well-known song. I reckon this shows that they're sure of themselves and that they presumed they would be able to keep things interesting for the entire set. They did it too! A fantastic moment was when these charming Canadians dived into the audience to play an acoustic version of 'Man Under The Sea'. Heart-warming.


5. Which photo are you most satisfied with to date? And why?

A photo from the Chris Isaak show. The fact that I got the chance to see Chris and his band live already was already satisfying. The photo I chose is one I deliberately processed in black & white. Timeless, just like Chris Isaak. This is the evidence that the lighting doesn't have to be ideal to take a photo with feeling. I'm especially proud to have been able to capture THAT particular moment on film.

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