One of the things I appreciate in live music photographs of musicians, whether it’s a picture that I've taken or by another photographer, is separation. What I mean by that is isolating the subject from other objects or band members in the photograph. Microphone stands, speaker cabs and lighting rigs are all static on-stage objects that are easier to shoot around than other musicians. And to me separation is especially important in photographs focussing on singers faces’, when they are singing into microphones.
In this instance I like to see the singer’s mouth, and if there is space between the microphone and the mouth, even better. Some musicians have skilled microphone technique, and this can help us photographers when taking photographs of them. This is because the singer will generally follow a pattern in a song when they are close to the microphone, and when they move away from it. We can anticipate these moments and ready ourselves for when it comes around again.
It’s a difficult shot to get right because the singer is normally at their most expressive when singing at full volume into their microphone, and expression is one of the main things that I'm looking for as a music photographer.
Sometimes, if you’re patient, lucky, or both, the singer will move away from the microphone when singing. Or, in the case of Ty Taylor from Vintage Trouble in the photograph, the singer will completely back off the microphone and belt out an enormous yell at full force showing the full extent of their expression.