BEST OF 2017

I don’t have to tell you that 2017 was crazy. It was my first year fully freelancing (and I survived! woo!). One of my major goals was to photograph more music, and I can definitely say I did.

2016 | 3 Festivals, 20 concerts & 46 Bands


2017 | 5 Festivals, 72 concerts & 161 Bands

That’s an average of 1.5 shows a week! Some were music festivals, including multiple days but I had a blast. Freelancing has given me the ability to shoot what I’m most passionate about. It was one of the scariest steps I’ve ever taken but it was worth the risk.

I’m aiming high for 2018, my goals include more promotional work, video production and touring with a band (hit me up!)

You’ll find my top 35 concert moments of 2017 below!

2017 TOP 35-1Anti-Flag at The Phoenix shot for Stitched Sound.

2017 TOP 35-2Repartee in London shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-3USS in London shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-4Bad Suns @ The Velvet Underground shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-5
The Flaming Lips at Rebel shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-6A Place To Bury Strangers at The Danforth Music Hall shot for The Photo Ladies.

2017 TOP 35-7Starset The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-8I Prevail at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine

2017 TOP 35-9
Fast Romantics at The Mod Club shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-10
Muna at NXNE shot for FridaeTV,

2017 TOP 35-11
Thursday at The Danforth Music Hall shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-12Passion Pit at NXNE shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-13Jared and The Mill at Adelaide Hall shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-14Third Eye Blind at Echo Beach shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-15Dear Rouge at Niagara-On-The-Lake Canada Day 2017 shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-16Corey Taylor performing with Stone Sour shot for Aesthetic Magazine.2017 TOP 35-17Korn at Budweiser Stage shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-18Chris Stapleton at Budweiser Stage shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-19USS at Elora Riverfest shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-20Gogo Bordello at Elora Riverfest shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-21Palaye Royale at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-22The White Noise at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-23Enter Shikari at Hard Luck shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-24A Day To Remember at Rebel shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-25The Black Dahlia Murder at The Opera House shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-26Fall Out Boy at the ACC shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-28Dear Rouge at The Casbys shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-29Ellevator at The Mod Club shot for FridaeTV.

2017 TOP 35-30Yelawolf at The Phoenix shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-31Circa Survive at Rebel shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-32Thrice at Rebel shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-33The Regrettes at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-34The Interrupters at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.

2017 TOP 35-35SWMRS at The Opera House shot for Aesthetic Magazine.


xo jo

Concert Recap: 05.22-28.2017

I managed to shoot two shows this past week! Still not my three show goal, but getting better! Plus Concerts are picking up for the summer and I’m shooting for more publications so hopefully that means more approvals. So keep your fingers crossed for me! So lets dive right in!

Brothers Of North, May 24th, 2017 @ The Phoenix Concert Theatre

I forgot how much I like this venue, it’s where I attended my first punk/rock concert, MXPX, I believe in 2002 and then the first show I ever photographed, Mindless Self Indulgence in 2007. The Phoenix is a decent sized venue and wasn’t too crowded which was nice considering there was no photo pit. I brought my long lens with me and mostly shot from the crowd. I love having the ability to roam around cause that way you can find the best angles for depth/composition instead of being confined to the 4 feet in front of the stage and super bonus you’re not shooting up people’s noses.

The show started with Dylan Hennessy, a solo singer-songwriter/artist who beatboxes & uses a loop pedal during his performance. He puts on a pretty amazing show and I encourage you to check out more of his music here.

Next up was another Toronto band, Blackie Jackett Jr, who may look a little familiar to you as they are the guitarists from Finger Eleven, James Black and Rick Jackett joined by Sandra Dee and Jimmy Reid. This is the second time I’ve seen them and they put on the best shows. They’ll get you dancing even if you don’t like country music. Their crude lyrics had everyone laughing and they’re really fun to watch so I’d recommend seeing them if you get a chance!

Last but not least was Brothers of North. Love, love, loved their LED panel in the background. It added depth to the images and made for really nice compositions. To be honest I hadn’t head of these guys before but I’m glad i did, they’ve got a really great sound, really catchy tunes and were a ton of fun to watch. They’ve got new music coming out this year so keep an eye out for em!
USS, May 25th, 2017 @ Mill St. Brew Hall for #GreaterTorontoDay

On May 25th, Toronto celebrated #GreaterTorontoDay, an initiative to make the GTA better by doing simple acts of kindness. USS Performed free mini acoustic concerts across the city including Mill St. Brew Hall in The Distillery District. To be honest this was a bit boring to shoot since there was no additional lighting on them during their performance, so I focused more on their reactions. But  They’re such nice guys, before and after their set they hung out and talked to people and even bought a round for everyone in the bar! T

Once again, I’d love to hear what you think or if you have any questions feel free to leave a comment. Thanks for stopping by!


Concert Recap: 05.15-21.2017

Hey guys! I’m back and on track! Somewhat. haha! So this week was a little slow for shows, I’ve been shooting quite a few portraits lately that I can’t wait to show you guys but I’ve had to keep them on the DL. I’ve also been up to my knees in weddings, I assist two studios along with shooting my own events but these images are shared on those respective sites so this weeks recap will be short but sweet.

I was truly hoping to shoot Bush on Thursday but alas approval didn’t come through. But on the plus side, it did for Tokyo Police Club so I can’t complain!

Tokyo Police Club, May 18th, 2017 @ The Danforth Music Hall

Lighting was actually pretty nice tonight at The Danforth Music Hall plus I got to see my photo lady friend Veronique who also shoots for 102.1 The Edge. The night was sponsored by Mott’s Clamato to celebrate National Caesar Day. They handed out free samples of their new Pickled Bean flavour and it wasn’t half bad. I’m a fan of Caesar’s though and I know they’re not for every one. I entered the venue and they had big Mott’s Clamato Logo’s projected on the walls which I thought was a nice touch. The show was great and they played their classics along with some new songs.

Unfortunately there were no more shows this week as I spent 39 hours this weekend shooting weddings and I was so exhausted I practically slept till Tuesday. I hope you enjoyed these though, I’m quite happy with how they turned out. More photos at FridaeTV.

Thanks for stopping by! And once again I’d love to hear what you think! Were you at the show? Anyone have a cool experience?


P.S I also learned in the USA they don’t have caesar’s, but Bloody Mary’s which are made with Tomato juice. I had to explain to someone that our Clamato juice has clams (hence the name) and that’s what makes it that more delicious (sorry vegetarian’s).

Concert Photography 101

I know the thought of concert photography excites a lot of people so I figured I’d answer some questions I’m frequently asked on how I do what I do. Concert photography definitely isn’t the easiest to capture; you’re on a 3 song time limit, you have to be prepared for all types of lighting and sometimes you’re put in tight situations.

Underoath | Photo by Joanan Glezakos |

General Info & Code of Conduct

  1. The Photo Pit, often a small section in front of the stage is barricaded off from concert goers to allow photographers the room to shoot with a clear view. There is a strict time limit to make sure we don’t block the paying concert goers for too long.
  2. 3 Songs, No Flash. Whether you’re new to concert photography or you’ve been doing it a while you’ve probably heard this rule. This is the standard rule for any show unless you’re shooting on behalf of the band themselves, respect it. Your flash distracts from the concert goers experience and interferes with other photographer’s images so don’t be selfish.
  3. Do not share photographs of your credentials, whether it’s a personalized pass, sticker that says “photo” or even your wristband, you’re creating security risks for future events & you’ve worked hard for those credentials, why give them away?
  4. Share the pit. We’re all there for the same reason so if you’re not the only photographer that night and you find a great spot, get your shot & move on. Also, Stop putting your arms up and getting in other photographers photos.


Mayday ParadePhoto by Joanna Glezakos |

Venue Access Areas and Limitations

Sometimes when shooting at a venue you may run into a few rules on top of the 3 songs, no flash including but not limited to;

  1. No photo pit. In this case you’re either left to fend for yourself in the crowd or they’ll ask you to shoot from the sound board.  Tips for shooting from a crowd, arrive early to get a spot near the front or bring a long lens.
  2. Balcony/VIP. Some venues have balconies and sometimes with a media pass they will allow you to go into these sections so you can get some neat angles. You never know unless you ask, and even if they say no you’re in the same position you were before!
Brand New By Joanna Glezakos 2
Brand New | Photo by Joanna Glezakos 2016 |

Camera Settings

  1. I begin with my aperture, I love a nice bokeh so I shoot at f2.8, 99.9% of the time. I don’t like to shoot wide open at 1.4 although I have lenses capable of that only because your focus can be slightly off and I prefer a sharper image & I also find details can easily get blown own with an aperture that wide.
  2. I have two rules of thumbs for shutter speed, 1/60th is the minimum speed I shoot handheld and 1/200th if I want to make sure I capture motion shots. Sometimes even 1/200th of a second isn’t fast enough for hair flips so use this as a starting point.
  3. At this point you’re able to adjust your ISO accordingly & don’t be afraid to go up if you need to. I prefer a grainy image than a blurry image.
Fast Shutter Speed – USS | Photo by Joanna Glezakos 2017 |
Shallow DOF & Fast Shutter – Digital Dreams 2016 | By Joanna Glezakos |


  1. Fixed Spot Lights: These are the easiest to work with and will find them in small bars/venues/clubs. When you have fixed lighting you can usually set your exposure after a single test shot and shoot based on when your subject is best lit. This can be frustrating but will teach you about patience, it’s all about waiting for the right moment.
  2. Moving/Colour Changing Spot Lights: You’ll find these lights at most medium to large concert venues, with moving and colour changing lights you’ll find your camera’s light meter jumping all around. In cases like this I would use auto-ISO not to have to worry about my exposure when I’m focusing on the moments and my composition.
  3. LED Lighting: This is relatively new and I’ve only seen it in a few venues but a lot of bands now will even bring their own LED light panels to a show for audio synced lighting effects. It’s really cool but LED’s don’t sync well with your camera’s sensors. LED’s flicker so if your shutter speed is too fast you’ll get stripes across your images.
  4. The dreaded Block Red & Blue Lighting: I don’t know if this is official term but I’ve heard it on some of the photographer groups so I’m gonna use it. This is when all the lights all turn one colour, our camera sensors are particularly very sensitive to red and blue so if you ever find yourself in a situation like this, lower your ISO! You might not be able to correct the colours but you’ll at least get the details of your subject and it can lead to some cool effects.
Block Red Lighting – Little Dragon | Photo by Joanna Glezakos 2017 |
LED Lighting – Adam Gontier | By Joanna Glezakos 2016|

So that’s it! I hope you’ve found these tips helpful. I’d love to know what you think, feel free to leave a comment below or e-mail me at

Thanks so much for your time! If you’d like to see more, follow along on my photo adventures on instagram, @VENGENZAFOTOS.

xo jo