My music photography gear broke in the photo pit!

Matthew James Oxlade
Updated on

Needing to fix your music photography gear is a nightmare in itself, but what happens if your camera gear breaks while you are in the photo pit?

It can happen and it happened to me in the photo pit for Skegss at Laneway Festival. I had to figure out what the hell to do! You don’t have much time to even take photos in a photo pit, let alone figure out why your camera isn’t working as you expected it to.

It doesn’t just happen to zoom lenses, mirrorless cameras or a specific type of music photography gear. It could even be your memory card. It can happen to anything for any reason! If you don’t have backup photography gear in your camera bag, you’re in for a stressful 15 minutes.

What I did to test the camera issue quickly

Here are three things I do to troubleshoot camera issues in the photo pit:

  1. Take off the lens, shut the camera off, put the lens back on and turn the camera back on.
  2. Wipe away any residue from the lens contacts with a microfibre cloth i keep in my pocket, or failing that, my shirt.
  3. Mix up the photography gear as best I can with other gear in my camera bag.

As you can see in the video, my lens was jamming up at all focal lengths. I kept running through the above three steps I always take to try and fix any camera issues while I’m shooting concerts.

Camera bodies are durable things, and so are high-end camera lenses. Sometimes you just can’t get a permanent fix on it until you get it professionally repaired.

How I fixed the broken camera gear (temporarily)

Luckily, I was able to get a temporary fix in place by reseating the camera lens multiple times, and repeating the reseating every three or so photos. I managed to get these shots on the gear, even though the problem was getting worse before my very eyes.

Skegss at Laneway by Matt Walter - photography gear

Skegss at Laneway by Matt Walter

Skegss at Laneway by Matt Walter

Skegss at Laneway on broken music photography gear by Matt Walter