I've LOVED this thread because I'm dying to get more into this arena. I've been directly asked to shoot band performances before, but never done the whole Press Pass thing.
So, for all of you guys who do lots of this: What should I do to start obtaining these Press Passes? Do I need to work for/represent a publication directly?
There are several concerts I'd love to shoot which are coming up. I'd really like to make this happen.
Thanks in advance for your help!
Who owns what rights at a concert, and who has the ability to issue passes and under what circumstances is a complex issue, I'll try and give some guidlines, but always check them.
1.Small/Pub gig. The band have all rights, talk to them directly, but also check with the venue
2.Club gig. The band will have passed image control to their management company, and / or record company. Check with them, and the venue.
3.Working for a radio station/e-zine etc. The venue may have asked a radio station to cover the gig, after all, it's good publicity. The contract between the Venue, the promoter, and the artists, will state that photography will take place, HOWEVER, not all bands will sign that clause (For instance, getting a shot of Axl Rose, is, I guarantee, impossible). You will be told by security who you can, and cannot take shots of
4.Medium sized Concert (Up to 10,000 people) The concert organisers may have negotiated all image rights on a particular stage(Normally the main stage) to a Video production Company, so you may be allowed to take shots on the other stages, but not the main stage.
5. Large venues. Everyone wants to cover these, and passes will be in short supply. Really your only chance to to be an act-specific photographer, where the artists invite you specifically, or to work for a large, well known organisation/e-zine/magazine/record company (BTW, the concept of "Staff photographer" has more-or-less died, when I say "Work for", I really mean "Accredited by, or sponsored by")
There's a negotiation that goes on between bands, band management, promoter, record company, venue, other "Workers"-such as sound crew and lighting techs, and media which is a real dance, there are no real hard and fast rules. So I can only say that should should apply early via whatever "In" you have, be persistent-but pleasant. Your best "In" is via the band, and ultimately, they have the biggest say in what goes on.