Concert Photography at Mala Luna

Concert photography is something that has always interested me because of the way it captures artists' passion for music through body language and facial expressions.

Story by Kaylin Balderrama

Recently, I was given the opportunity to shoot my first music festival ever. Mala Luna, a festival focused on hip hop and rap artists, was hosted in San Antonio on Oct. 28-29. As soon as you walked onto the festival grounds, you could feel the eagerness and excitement of the festival attendees. Many of them dressed up for Halloween in costumes and faceprint which made the festival even more unique and spirited. There were two stages to switch between and each act started about five to ten minutes after the other, making the festival a constant blur of music playing and fans screaming.

On the first day of Mala Luna, the line-up was stacked with high-energy artists such as Carnage, Playboi Carti, Wiz Khalifa and Lil Wayne. Some of the festival attendees waited six hours at one stage just to see Lil Wayne perform. When Lil Wayne walked out on stage with a huge smile on his face, one of the festival attendees tapped me on the shoulder and yelled “This was so worth it." At the end of his set, I couldn't agree more, especially because he performed a majority of his songs from the 2000s, which every millennial jammed to in their car at some point. On the first day of the festival, the weather dropped down to 41 degrees and heightened the festival’s Halloween spirit.

On the second day of Mala Luna, the temperature was higher, there was much more dust from the stampeding of the crowds and the energy was even more intense. Houston rap legend Trae The Truth, Xavier Omar, Dubstep DJ Borgore, Afrojack, Migos and Future were all set to take the stage. The crowd was so rowdy and excited before Migos came out that the police had to be called in to control the masses who were yelling and pushing to get closer to the stage. Both Afrojack and Borgore’s DJ sets were beyond insane with confetti canons and dust everywhere from the dancing crowd. 

Photographing Mala Luna was both unique and exhilarating and although I was more than nervous, being able to shoot these artists from the photo pit is something that I will hold close to my heart forever. In sixth grade, I used to listen to Lil Wayne with my friends and now I can say I took pictures of the rap legend. Thank you ORANGE Magazine and my amazing editors for believing in me enough to send me off to this music festival with this insane lineup. All in all, Mala Luna was spooky, spirited and a huge success.