The finalists have been announced for the Australian Women in Music Awards (AWMA), and Fremantle-based music photographer and filmmaker Tashi Hall has made the cut in not one, but two categories. The awards’ second year will be hosted in Brisbane on 9 October, recognising exemplary talent in female performers across genres and mediums.
Tashi Hall, a finalist for the Filmmaker Award and Music Photographer Award, has photographed illustrious performers such as Florence Welch, Matt Corby, Macklemore, Troye Sivan and Julia Stone. From the tender age of 15, she started photographing friend’s bands and quickly garnered industry attention in Fremantle.
For now, Tashi is resident photographer for 6 live music venues, 7 media companies and a host of international organisations. In anticipation of awards night, Tashi writes about some of her most inspired snapshots.
Courtney Barnett, The Bakery Perth
This was my first time photographing inside a larger scale music venue. I was in a sea of CB fans and had to wriggle my way up to the front to get a good view, soon realising that I wasn’t going to be moving much for the entire set. I learnt a lot on the go that night; about being one step ahead of quick lighting changes, how to shoot fast movements, and that it’s ok to get in people’s way. They will always find a way to appreciate your elbows in their face.
Florence and the Machine, RAC Arena
When I was offered to photograph an act who my high school friends had always fan-girled over, I felt like I was moving up in the live music photography world. RAC Arena was the biggest venue I’d ever stepped foot in, let alone shot. The security was tight; I had to stand in specifically marked areas of the floor and, with a ten second limit, would switch positions with other photographers in between songs. I had to keep reminding myself to inhale oxygen. I’ve not stopped since.
#1 Dads, The Rosemount Hotel
Before shooting The Rosemount Hotel professionally, I would pop in from time to time to shoot a favourite band that touring Perth. This shot was taken of #1 Dads special guest Tom Snowdon, with whom I immediately fell in love with. His body language was intriguing, and I just had to capture the moment he turned away from his microphone. I love that in live music photography every second is unpredictable. This has always been a photo I can reflect on and feel like everything is going to be ok.
French Rockets, Jimmy’s Den
I was at French Rockets gig watching other photographers shoot with the camera to their faces, standing tall in front of the stage. I thought, “heck, everyone is going to have the same images”. I finally found my spot at the back left of the stage, in cat-pounce position, trying to make my body fit into a tiny space behind one of the strobe lights. I thought to myself, “I have no idea what I’m doing and I’m sure I look a little crazy”, but also started wondering how the shot would look through the strobe. I lowered my shutter speed and moved my camera from right to left in a single motion. This is the result.
Abbe May, Elizabeth Quay
I wasn’t officially shooting this festival, but I decided to bring my camera along. I purposefully didn’t take more than 5 photos the entire day. I wandered around the outskirts of the large outdoor venue and towards the end of Abbe May’s set found that I’d somehow nudged my way up near the front row. I watched the last few songs thinking that if I’ve learnt anything over the past few years of shooting, it was that observing someone’s body language on stage before taking the photo hugely affected the emotion I’d capture when hitting the clicker.