Tom Falcone is a music (and fashion) photographer who is most known for his work with bands like Mayday Parade, The Maine and We Are The In Crowd, to name a few. Being a self-taught photographer trying to break into the business is seldom easy, but Tom proves to all that everything is possible with hard work, determination and passion. Continue on to see what Tom has to say about working with bands, setting himself apart, and self improvement.
by Nikki Bonuel • photos by Tom Falcone
How/when did you know that photography was something you wanted to take seriously? Were you self-taught?
It was more of a personal thing where I wanted to do something else rather than sports in high school. I was self-taught until I attended college at New England School of Photography from 2010-mid 2012.
How did you find the process you’re comfortable with? Do you still experiment with different editing and shooting styles?
I recently just started doing something new with my photographs, more of a paparazzi feel. Lots of grain, black and white, direct flash style. Terry Richardson- and Dirk Mai-inspired.
How is it working with bands and being on the road?
Good. I haven’t worked for another band other than Mayday Parade in quite some time, but I currently have some time off with them and in the studio with a folk band, Larry And His Flask, then hitting the road for a week with Allstar Weekend. It is fun. They are normal people. Being on the road is a little rough, being so far away from home, not getting much time to talk to friends, family, all that jazz. I love what I do, and when I do get home, it is the best thing to go to home to such supportive people.
What are the problems you encounter when shooting in concerts?
I try no to shoot much concerts anymore, even if it is Mayday. I try to capture behind the scenes as much as possible lately, compared to live (which anyone can capture).
Who are your favorite musicians to shoot live?
I shot Glassjaw in 2007 or so. That was incredible. I also shot Paramore a few times which was awesome.
Concert/music photography is very popular these days. How do you set yourself apart?
Like I said, I tend to usually not shoot a lot of the shows on the road. I feel as it is repetitive.
What’s one thing you wish you could improve on when it comes to your work?
I wish I could tell stories with all my photos. Not a lot of people look at my work because of art, but because of the bands I shoot. If you go to my website, it doesn’t even look like I work for a band really. It is all lifestyle candid shots of people. I just want people to realize that it isn’t about the people, but art…for me at least.
How do you know you’ve had a great day?
When I can look through images from the day, and freak out and want to post multiple photos on my blog immediately. It is always a good day when the band checks out my camera and gets stoked on the photos too.
What was the last show you went to—as a fan—that you enjoyed?
When I am home, I attend a lot of shows at The Chance in Poughkeepsie. I rarely bring my camera there actually. A lot of people expect me to bring my camera everywhere, but I want some time off, you know? The last show I went to was The Glamour Kills Holiday fest in Poughkeepsie; I was actually shooting for AP Magazine, but did the shoot and put my camera in the car, haha.
Any tips for young aspiring photographers out there?
Network, look at other peoples work, stay inspired, do something no one is doing.
What is your philosophy for 2013?
Work hard, don’t take a day off, no regrets…. Most of my 2013 schedule is booked (until Mid-May). Got some summer offers too. We will see how much time I actually spend at home, haha.