Get Creative: Rock concert photographer Miikka Skaffari

Miikka Skaffari

Miikka Skaffari is a Finnish photographer who currently lives in beautiful and vibrant San Francisco. He once aspired to be a drummer and spent a majority of his youth making and listening to music, mostly metal and grunge. He started shooting bands as soon as he started photography in the ’90s. He has since shot many leading Finnish bands in festivals and clubs all over Finland. One of his best memories from that era is shooting Waltari for the first time at the Ankkarock festival in Korso.

For Miikka, photography is one of the ways of experiencing the thrill of live music. Spending time in clubs with the bands setting up and seeing the fans pour in gets him in the right state of mind for the shoot. Every gig is different. The energy of the band and the crowd creates some of the best shots. He captures the interaction between the musicians and the audience whenever possible. These candid shots reveal a sense of realism and connection between the musicians and their fans.

Miikka Skaffari

San Francisco is a great place to shoot live music events, as the scene is vibrant with venues ranging from hole-in-the-wall bars to big halls. Bigger venues have their advantages such as a dedicated area for photographers and proper stage lighting; however, there is something raw about shooting in small clubs, where you have to fight with the crowd to get the shot. He gets satisfaction out of the process as well as the images themselves. Editing images with bruises is part of the fun. The cultural diversity of the area creates very different bands from experimental math rock to doom metal. The area also has a rich history of great music ranging from Journey to Santana to Green Day.

The list of bands Miikka has shot keeps growing. They include acts like: Band Of Skulls, Faith No More, GWAR and Overkill.

Besides music, he also shoots people and products for advertisements. When time permits, travel photography is thrown into the mix. Check out his portfolio at for more band and other pictures.