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How to Get Into Concerts as a Photographer

While entertaining, attending concerts and sports events can get pretty expensive, especially if you want good seats for photographing. On top of the expense, many events won’t even allow you to bring a camera.

Here is how you can get free tickets to big events and gain practice with event photography. This method doesn’t always work, but it will work more often than you might think…

“George Adams” captured by Tom Marcello.

One thing all event promoters want is publicity. Even better is FREE publicity.

As soon as you hear about the event, contact magazines and newspapers that are not local. To save time, make a list of them in advance. The list will be handy for contacting publications every time a new event comes to town.

All of these newspapers and magazines have an entertainment section and they not only want photos and stories about these events, they really need them. But few have reporters in your area. It just isn’t worth the expense.

Here’s where you come in.

Offer to cover the event, but don’t ask for payment. The promoters and news outlets don’t know you and won’t want to make an offer. Tell the publications that you will send them photos and a story in exchange for a press pass. In the industry, this is called being a “stringer.” News outlets work with stringers all the time. Just as important, the event promoter works with them, too.

This tactic is particularly effective if the event is going to be coming to the news outlet area. The promoter will see your offer as free advance publicity, and the news outlet will see it as a multi-part story.

While you get free admission to the event and get to meet the stars, the news outlet has nothing to lose–a press pass doesn’t cost them anything. If the photos are good, the story can be edited or even rewritten, if necessary. And they have coverage of an event they would not otherwise have had.

If you do a bad job, if it is all garbage, they just toss the story and they haven’t lost anything. (Of course, I recommend you do the best job you can or you won’t be able to get any future passes.)

Do this a few times. Get copies of the published articles and start a portfolio of your work. It won’t be long before they actually will start paying you. Plus when you can send out samples, it will be easier to get the initial press passes from other outlets.

“The Flaming Lips Rock Austin @ SXSW” captured by Kris Krug.

If you’re into concerts and sporting events, this photo tip could save you a ton of money, give you concert and sports event photography practice, and even lead to a professional photography career. For more information, check out the resources box!

About the Author:
Dan Eitreim writes for ontargetphototraining (link currently down). He has been a professional photographer in Southern California for over 20 years. His philosophy is that learning photography is easy if you know a few tried and true strategies.

[via PictureCorrect Photography Tips]

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