Wednesday, October 23, 2013
The secret to getting a press pass...
As a photographer, how many times have you gone to an event and thought how much fun it would have been to have unrestricted access to go back stage, behind the scenes, to places where the "normal public" simply is not allowed to go and take pictures?
Well, today I'm going to share with you a secret on how to get a press pass, the secret that I have used to get press passes to 9 out of 10 events that I request them for.
Are you ready?
I ask... yup, I ask, I find out who the public relations person is for the event and drop them an email requesting a press pass.
Okay, there is a bit more to it than that, but not much.
Make it easy for them to say "yes" to you, this can be done in a few easy steps:
Provide them with a business card and/or an online venue where they can view some of your photography (a website, blog, or an online portfolio on a site like 500px.com).
And because they are doing me a favor by providing unrestricted (and free) access to their event, I will say "thank you" by letting them know I am happy to provide a disk containing some of my images (usually 14-20 of what I consider to be my best from that day) for them to use for promotional purposes. I provide these images without a monetary charge, but I do request that they give me photographic credit (both name and website) each/anytime they use one of my images.
Another thing that will help them say "yes" is if you tell them you intend on sharing with your readers that you'll be photographing the event (assuming you have a blog), as this will give them a bit of free publicity prior to the event date. Free publicity to a PR person is pretty enticing. ;)
Put all this information together in the first email you send requesting a press pass as these poor folks are pretty busy organizing the event and don't have time for a "back and forth" email conversation. I also recommend an email over a phone call as (again) they are busy and a phone call will interupt their day, where as an email can be dealt with at a time that is most convenient to them.
Not only have I had the pleasure of photographing fairs, festivals, races, museum exhibits, and other events I normally would have paid to see, I got to see them in a new, exciting way AND I get to combine it with my love of photography.... it really doesn't get much better than that.