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Press / Photographers pass

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by novajova, Oct 10, 2006.

  1. novajova

    novajova New Member

    Can anybody help me.

    I do wedding phtography but would like to branch out into freelance event photography.

    Can anybody tell me how to get a press pass. I have enquired with local venues and they have given me details of relevant promotors. Once I have contacted the promotors things come to a halt!!!

    Do I need to be registered as a Freelance photographer?? what should I do??

  2. Fen

    Fen Well-Known Member

    You don't say what field you want to get into? Different areas are either easier or harder to get into. For example, you're not going to get a press pass to photography the next Man Utd vs Arsenal match!

    Press passes are valuable things.

    To get a press pass you need to prove to the people that are going to issue it that you are worth it.

    That can mean, doing jobs for nothing and posting them the photos to use.

    It's slightly easier if you've already had photos printed in various magazines/newspapers so they can see you've got experience and knowledge.
  3. garryac

    garryac Member

    I agree with fenris, it depends what events you want to cover, I work for an equestrian magazine and cover showjumping, eventing etc. I have no problem getting a pass via the events press office. For he arger events freelancers usually have to have a commision from a magazine or news paper, but for smaller events, passes may be issued to freelancers who are just hopeing to sell pictures later
  4. robc

    robc Well-Known Member

    Apply for membership of the National Union of Journalists- you get a permanent press pass as a member:
  5. Boothy

    Boothy Well-Known Member

    As Fenris says, it all depends on what the event is - so give us more info mate! ;)

    I recently took photos at a Raith Rovers game pitchside, having just went and spoke to the Press Officer (in one of my free periods at school, its only two minutes away) - he said if I e-mailed him to say it was for a school project or a personal portfolio or something, I'd get in, which I duly did. :cool:

    See http://www.mb.t-u-x.com/coppermine/thumbnails.php?album=27 for the pics - only a 30D and 28-300.
  6. rephoto

    rephoto Well-Known Member

    The NUJ press card is the only press card worth having but it isn’t necessarily the best option for all. You don’t really say what kind of ‘event’ you have in mind and in my experience the press card is only a small help in the case of events.

    To get membership from the NUJ you have to prove that it is necessary in your job to be able to identify yourself as ‘a bona fide newsgatherer’. As such you have to submit tearsheets of previous work that has appeared in the press, where you have been clearly credited (I know – how do I get to shoot news without a card to prove that I need a card? – there is no simple answer but a few picture credits in any recognised publication will usually do). I’m not sure how straightforward it is to get membership these days as when I applied some years ago, usable dslrs were still four-figure monsters so there was fewer potential press togs out there. These days when entry-level cameras exceed 10MP, there are a lot more people trying to get press cards.

    Once you have done that you will have to pass the metropolitan police security check (providing you haven’t done anything too nuts, you should be just fine) and then there is the small matter of payment. The NUJ is still first and foremost a union, so you will have to pay for your sub but this is usually means-tested and will normally work out at somewhere between £10 to £15 a month. The other thing is as it is a union you will be fully expected to abide by the unions rules and codes of conduct. You don’t have to go to things like AGMs but they actually can be extremely useful.

    Now here’s the kicker. Even if you do have a press card, that doesn’t mean you have a press pass, and that is a pretty important distinction. 9/10 times my press card has prevented me from being forcibly ejected from a situation or place but has not got me in there in the first instance, and even then it hasn’t always worked.

    If you are talking about doing festival/entertainment photography, you will be back in square one with £15 going out of your bank account every month. It is still at a promoter’s discretion whether he/she issues you with a pass and normally, depending on popularity, those passes are issued to photographers with accreditation from a magazine/newspaper or press agency. In the case of gigs, even once you’re in, you are only given the first three tracks in a set and then unceremoniously thrown out of the pit by some neanderthal security arse.

    The long and short of it is your best bet is to take a hit and offer to do the job for free. I know guys you have actually shot for the promoter for free and given them pretty liberal rights (don’t ever give away your copyright!) just to get a foot in the door. The upside is that they will know you going forward and are more likely to issue you with a pass next time. Good luck whatever you do!
  7. novajova

    novajova New Member

    Thanks for the response. I am interested in photographing bands. Hope this helps.
  8. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    To shoot bands you're best getting to know the promoter of the venue. If its a large/chain venue try getting to know the band's agent. Associate yourself with magazines/press - not just the big mags but stuff along the lines of Plan B or Comes With A Smile (sadly now gone). Its more networking than anything else.
  9. novajova

    novajova New Member

    Thanks again, I am looking at photographing in reasonably small venues!!

    I have contacted the promotors but have not heard back I will persist.
  10. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Morning N_J,

    Been there, done that :rolleyes: and I had the same problems as you, the promotors always quashed the photo pass, even though I had a publication, albeit a small time one, behind me UNTIL one time when I went after a Non-Concert photo pass -- I believe it was a Motocross or Monster Truck even-- and took them photo's thus proving that I could actually take decent photo's......well kinda decent :rolleyes:. Hopefully if you try this, you will have similar luck :) FWIW, here are few concerts shots:

    Steve Clark -- Def Leppard

    Jim Ostenberg aka ...

    A British guitarist

    and, lastly, another British guitarist

    Hope it all works out and look forward to seeing lots of concert pics :)


  11. rephoto

    rephoto Well-Known Member

    You're in a bit of a minefield here but there are multiple avenues. The one thing which I think is still true (from my last posting), is that you will have to work for free initially, to get some exposure.

    Erm is right in trying to make you're plight known to the vnue promoter but sometimes the venue has no sway and the promoters are a different company. For instance, Carling might own the venue , say Brixton Academy, and SJM might be the promoter. In this case, SJM would be the right people to approach.

    One thing is absolutely true though. Without real accreditation from a mag or agency, you won't be going anywhere near the pit.

    Before you get into big venue shooting, I really strongly suggest you get used to the problems assocoated with gig shooting at music pubs, the likes of the the dublin castle or barfly in Camden, or the half moon in Putney stc stc where a lot of bands breaking through come to play. It would be a real shame to get to a big venue on your first effort, get your 3 tracks and come away with nothing usable because the lighting blew out all your shots
  12. ermintrude

    ermintrude Hinkypuff

    Yeah, sadly its very hard - they need to see you have a purpose for being there. Theyre not just going to let you in for free if you're not doing something constructive else we'd all be doing it (my boyfriend was a promoter and it drives you mad the sheer amount of people who want to be on the guestie). When I say "get to know them" I do mean get to know them, as friends, not just an email saying Please Can I Be On The Guest List.

    Maybe start off by doing small gigs as you say you are but paying to get in. Most small venues you will be fine taking photos, but if not then contact the promoter/band in advance and get permission to shoot, even though you will paying to get in. Send pictures to fanzines/small mags like Plan B/whatever suits the style of the gig you're covering. Start your own fanzine if it comes to that. (**DO NOT** send pics for free to the big mags - only send them to those that dont pay for pics anyway). Shoot your mates bands. Get to know people writing reviews of gigs.

    Eventually you'll get to know people and build up a bit of a portfolio.

    Music photography is definitely not something you can do with a click of the fingers. Everyone wants to do it. Why should the promoter be ultimately paying for you to get in to be honest. It really is a long slow slog just getting to know people. Ultimately you'll only get to do it if you're really pretty obsessed with music, because youll have something in common to talk about with the bands, the agents and the promoters and all your friends will be the same people anyway.
  13. Done_rundleCams

    Done_rundleCams AP Forum Ambassador to Canada

    Exactly you have to click the shutter button :eek:

    Morning Erm,

    Hi to Tony :D


  14. JRSPhotography

    JRSPhotography New Member

    Oh no you do not

    You have to be a WORKING press journalist/photographer to get one not every tom dick or harry can apply, thank god

    I have one
  15. Zou

    Zou Well-Known Member

    Wow, that was worth resurrecting a nine year old thread! ;)
  16. AGW

    AGW Well-Known Member

    And a life membership of the Royal Institute of Thread Archaeology!

  17. nimbus

    nimbus Well-Known Member

    Clearly, it was worth joining the forum to do so!
  18. Malcolm_Stewart

    Malcolm_Stewart Well-Known Member

    Do I still detect a serious "chicken and egg" situation? Not that I'm interested for myself, but that's how it seems.
  19. frank1

    frank1 Well-Known Member

    How does one unearth a nine year old thread. Perhaps only special people can do this. It would appear I am not one. Thank god
  20. PeteRob

    PeteRob Well-Known Member

    Out of interest I typed " press pass for photography" into search engine and the AP link came up in the first few hits. So I suspect the answer to your question is " google"

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