Vanessa Holt believes that photography is the best way for her to share her own “eye of the world,” specifically gravitating towards concert photography.

Vanessa Holt: An Eye of the World

Art

“Everyone has their own eye of the world,” concert photographer Vanessa Holt once heard her grandfather say. He was explaining to her that everyone has their own ideas and outlooks when it comes to summing up the world in which they live. This gave Holt a greater appreciation for her own outlook on life and that it was something she wanted to share with others.

Holt quickly came to the conclusion that photography would be the best way for her to share her own “eye of the world,” specifically gravitating toward concert photography. In the four years she has been shooting concerts, Holt has shot hundreds of bands and takes work from publications like the Utah Concert Review, Volume Utah and Tropical Goth Mag, along with any other freelance opportunities she can get.

“Matt West, Guitarist for Neck Deep, at The Depot,” Digital, 2021.
Photo: Vanessa Holt

Holt says she chose her line of work because concerts have always been where she feels most in place. She first fell in love with the experience at concerts and festivals, such as Warped Tour, explaining that everyone has their safe space, and hers is a night at a show. “[It’s] like kind of losing yourself in a way … how every night the artist puts on something different,” Holt says. “Their reaction and their energy is different every single night.” 

“She loves the roar of bigger venues like The Complex and The Depot.”

In the time she has spent shooting concerts, Holt has worked at venues across the greater Salt Lake City area. It’s something she feels she has the right eye to capture. She loves the roar of bigger venues like The Complex and The Depot and the chance to shoot some of the biggest acts from around the world, like Wolf Alice and Machine Gun Kelly. But she also loves the intimacy found in smaller settings like Kilby Court, where she gets a chance to be up and personal with the artists.

“Silverstein at The Depot,” Digital, 2021.
Photo: Vanessa Holt

While Holt has made great strides in her work, she says she’s always looking to improve as a photographer. One step she wants to take this year is getting more involved with the local music scenes in Utah. She has worked with a handful of different local acts, including Afterthought, Brother. and Cardinal Bloom, but admits there are many more bands in the area she could be more familiar with. “There [are] just so many bands … someone new to discover every single day,” she explains, commenting on how intimidating it can be trying to get familiar with all the bands in Utah. “[But] I’m trying to be better about that.”

“I like to tiny goals along the way so I know that I’m at least making progress.”

“Derek Discanio, vocalist for State Champs, at The Depot,” Digital, 2021.
Photo: Vanessa Holt

Something that Holt tries to keep in mind throughout her work is to focus on smaller goals and milestones as opposed to bigger ones. “I like to tiny goals along the way so I know that I’m at least making progress,” she says. One small goal she has is to start working with film instead of digital photography, however, she does admit that one big dream she has is to someday be able to work as a photographer full-time.

For now, she does what she can.

Holt is currently working on expanding her portfolio, shooting  bands wherever and whenever she can. She also works outside of concert photography, taking jobs shooting for weddings, editorials shoots and any other gigs that come her way.If you’re in a band, having a wedding or otherwise need a photographer, you can reach Holt by email at [email protected] or send her a DM on Instagram @ness.holt. Keep an eye on Vanessa Holt, she has a lot more to show the world.