Gallery at HOTA exhibits some of the city’s best live music photography in concert with ‘Let There Be Rock’ 

As part of HOTA’s Let There Be Rock exhibition, ‘Live and Local’ will showcase local music photography – where music and photography fuse seamlessly.

Six current Gold Coast music photographers and Blank team members: Nadia Achilles, Leigh Kelly, Dan Maynard, Danny Santangelo, Leisen Standen and Peter Wheeler all have striking images included in the exhibition. These six share a passion for photographing the Gold Coast live music scene that is rivalled only by the musicians they document.

Each photographer has turned their lens to the stage to capture in concert a roll call of some of our hottest musicians – both local and touring talent. We’re thrilled here at Blank to consider each of these photographers a valued member of our content creation team. Their passion for local music and culture is obvious in the stunning images they capture and share in print and online.

The Gold Coast is brimming with creative talent. Local musicians cut their teeth performing at the likes of Miami Marketta, Shark Bar and NightQuarter, bringing a home-grown sound to a new generation of Gold Coasters. The national touring circuit too, brings leading acts to the Gold Coast, who fire it up the stage to deliver cracking shows.

The ‘Live and Local’ photographers have dived in, to get amongst it and preserve the raw energy that comes from performing and enjoying live music at venues of all sizes, as well as festivals.

We asked the photographers included in the ‘Live and Local’ exhibition to share with us what makes a great photo.

“For me a great live music photo is one that captures the atmosphere and transports the viewer to the gig just by looking at the image. Capturing emotion in the musician/ artist is important too. Music can be something you feel (not just hear) so if you can capture that visually, you’re onto a winner.” – Leisen Standen

“A great live music photo is the one that warms your heart if you were there or makes you envious if you weren’t.” – Peter Wheeler

“For me what makes a great live photo is the feeling when you look at it. Your imagination immediately transports you to the magic and the mood of the moment. It’s like you have to capture and bottle energy and spirit.” – Nadia Achilles

“A great live photo to me is when you have captured a moment when the artists are letting loose and leaving it all on stage. When you nail the light, shutter speed and composition it makes an awesome image.” – Danny Santangelo

“It should capture a moment of emotion, whether that be via facial expression or movement. The viewer should feel as though they were there. The image should feel almost like it’s moving.” – Dan Maynard.

Live and Local is part of ‘Let There Be Rock’ which runs at Gallery at HOTA until 17 February. Get more at


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