Round 2 of our spotlight on Local Spins photographers continues with Jamie Geysbeek. Browse his favorite photos, including images of Skillet, Slash, Chris Thile and NF, with stories behind the shots.
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Jamie Geysbeek was inspired to take the leap into concert photography by another shooter who has long been featured at Local Spins: Eric Stoike of On the Run Photography.
“Back in 2013, I saw a photo buddy of mine – Local Spins’ own Eric Stoike – taking photos at a Jars of Clay concert my wife and I were attending at The Intersection,” Jamie recalled.
“I thought that looked like fun and asked if they needed any additional house photographers. I was given a pass to shoot a Jake Miller concert, as an audition of sorts. Things went well, they liked my photos, and I was asked back. I’m very grateful to Mike and Chad, and the others at The Intersection for giving me my start in the music photography business.”
Starting with a show featuring West Michigan-bred country singer Kris Hitchcock, Jamie has been covering concerts for Local Spins via photos since 2014 and also serves as one of 20 Monroe Live’s house photographers.
He said he acquired his first DSLR camera (digital single-lens reflex) about 12 years ago. “I was tired of blurry photos of our daughter. It was love at first sight and things snowballed from there.”
And while he’s since shot family sessions, senior photos and weddings, he considers event photography his specialty. And not surprisingly: “Concerts are my favorite events to cover.”
As part of a Local Spins series showcasing the work of freelance photographers featured on the website, here are some of Jamie’s favorite concert photos, with back stories about the shows and images. And scroll down for a photo gallery featuring other concert photos from his catalog. Plus, check out our spotlight on the photos of Anthony Norkus here.
Editor’s note: Photographers retain all the copyrights. Used with permission.
Lauren Daigle (Van Andel Arena 2020) – This was a unique show for me. It was my first photo gig at Van Andel Arena, it was my youngest daughter’s first concert, and it was the last night before the COVID pandemic shut down the music scene. Shooting in an arena for the first time took some getting used to, but shooting from the pit for a big production was a lot of fun.
NF (20 Monroe Live 2018) – I’ve covered two NF shows, and both times I was limited to shooting from the soundboard (as opposed to shooting from the pit). While I love being up close and personal, sometimes you get shots from the back that you just can’t get from the front. This shot is a prime example, and it’s one of my favorites to date.
Chris Thile & Sarah Jarosz (Meijer Gardens 2017) – I’m a huge bluegrass/Americana fan, so when Punch Brothers and I’m With Her got together for the “American Acoustic Tour” a couple of years ago, I was ecstatic. My wife and I went to the show in Cleveland, and then I covered the show for Local Spins at Meijer Gardens. Chris Thile and Sarah Jarosz are two of my absolute favorite artists, so to have their bands joining forces, I couldn’t have asked for a better lineup. This was a nice shot of the opening number, taken down the center aisle.
Miss Velvet and the Blue Wolf (20 Monroe Live 2019) – The ultimate goal for me is capturing the essence of an artist or event in a single shot. That can be extremely difficult as every second is different than the last during a live performance. Lighting changes, people blink, crowd-surfers slam into you, things happen. Luckily, I was able to pull off this shot of Miss Velvet, which definitely captured her fiery stage presence.
Quinn XCII (20 Monroe Live 2019) – Fun shot from the soundboard, showcasing some great work by the light design team. Michigan-based Quinn XCII put on a high-energy performance for a sold-out crowd at 20 Monroe Live.
Slash (The Intersection 2015) – What can I say: It’s Slash. This was early on in my concert photography career and was totally surreal. I was just a few feet from a bona fide, larger-than-life rock legend. It was pretty cool.
Skillet (20 Monroe Live 2019) – This was one of my favorite concert photos, and shows, from 2019. I’ve been a fan of Skillet since I was in high school, and seeing them up close at 20 Monroe Live was great. They put on an incredible performance and an arena-scaled production. When I saw lead singer John Cooper strapping on some sort of robo-cannon apparatus, I knew something cool was coming.
Fatoumata Diawara (Listening Room 2020) – Covering Fatoumata Diawara at Listening Room was a joy. Growing up as a missionary kid in West Africa, it was exciting to hear some familiar sounds and listen to her story, being from Mali. The Listening Room provides for a very intimate setting, and it was the perfect venue for her music.
JOHNNYSWIM (20 Monroe Live 2019) – I love it when artists go into the crowd. Married couple JOHNNYSWIM joined an intimate crowd for a few songs, and it was great. This was my oldest daughter’s first concert, too, so that was a bonus. The staff at 20 Monroe was so great and helped her have an awesome first-time experience.
Tennessee Jet (20 Monroe Live 2018) – One of my favorite parts of the concert photography experience is discovering new (to me) and exciting artists, typically openers. Tennessee Jet was no exception. The dude played guitar and drums at the same time, while slaying bluesy Southern rock on the mic. He was my favorite act that night.
Black Veil Brides (20 Monroe Live 2018) – It’s always fun when you can connect with a band member for a few seconds. Jake Pitts from Black Veil Brides was definitely working the camera during their set at 20 Monroe Live.
Lifehouse (Meijer Gardens 2017) – Most of the shows at Meijer Gardens are pretty easygoing, but Lifehouse brought some rock ‘n’ roll. I loved how this shot from the back turned out.
Tee Grizzley (20 Monroe Live 2018) – Hype man Stewe, jumping into the crowd, during the Tee Grizzley set. I saw this one coming, and had some time to set up for a good shot from the balcony.
PHOTO GALLERY: More of the best from Jamie Geysbeek