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How does one get press credentials for photography?

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Thread started 17 Aug 2008 (Sunday) 12:20   
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gjman
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Photography is not my vocation (like most of you here) but off late I have the feeling that for me to take the pics that I want/love to take I need some sort of external validation: I mean press credentials.

Is there any way you can get press photographer credentials without being officially affiliated with a single entity? How do free lance photographers get credentialed?

Any inputs would be highly appreciated.

Post #1, Aug 17, 2008 12:20:31


I wonder how long I have to hang out on POTN before I get as good as Ansel Adams ?

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NickSimcheck
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Depends on where/what your shooting, for shooting the PGA Championship I would need to contact the media department of the PGA and they more or less ask who are you working for and if you are freelance then you tell them exactly that. Or you could tell them what stock agency you shoot for also.

Then they have equipment requirements to insure that you're not just a weekend shooter and are doing this for fun. Usually they just want to see a prime lens 300mm or above and that's good enough. Sounds strange, but makes sense when you think about it.

But like I said, everything is different.

Post #2, Aug 17, 2008 12:43:12


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basroil
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Typically, if it's a major event, you better have a publication backing you, or have friends in high places in the events. For your average highschool thing, just show up with big equipment and talk bigger.

Post #3, Aug 17, 2008 12:45:35


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manutd101
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Well, they're called press credentials for a reason...typically you either have to be associated w/ a paper or a wire service to get credentialed.

Post #4, Aug 17, 2008 18:32:53


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gjman
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Thanks for the replies.

I am specifically interested in what is loosely called "airshow" photography, specifically aviation expo photography (like info boards, prototype mock up, displays etc). Sure they have pretty P-51 and F-22 doing loops but that's not my primary focus or interest.

How do you become a "freelancer"? Do you need to incorporate? Will that be enough to get press access to such events? Or do I need to have Janes or Aviation Week to back me on such endeavors?

Post #5, Aug 17, 2008 19:14:13


I wonder how long I have to hang out on POTN before I get as good as Ansel Adams ?

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airfrogusmc
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Its not easy. If it were everyone would have press passes. A connection wouldn't hurt but you probably have to be with some sort of legit publication either working for them or special assignment.

Post #6, Aug 17, 2008 19:26:12 as a reply to gjman's post 11 minutes earlier.




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FlyingPhotog
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gjman wrote in post #6126432external link
Thanks for the replies.

I am specifically interested in what is loosely called "airshow" photography, specifically aviation expo photography (like info boards, prototype mock up, displays etc). Sure they have pretty P-51 and F-22 doing loops but that's not my primary focus or interest.

Are you aware of this organization?

http://www.aviationpho​tographers.org/index.h​tmexternal link

Post #7, Aug 17, 2008 19:28:27


Jay
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Hark ­ Photography
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I want to go to my local hosplital and undertake open heart surgery, how do I go about getting my doctors acrredtiaion, should I just call a hospital and ask them to let me in.
LOL

it is bad enough that everyone with a P+S now think they are togs, now they want access into press/ media restricted areas....

Events spend a lot of time and money to ensure that real media and press personel are allowed access to get images which promote the event and get published in high profile publications.
Pro togs spend tens of thousands on equipment, we are in a very competetive industry and we all need to get our images to market as quickly as possible. A clearly amatuer tog getting in our way, in our space just so he or she can get better images for themselves is not generally welcomed.

if you want special access, pre arrange for your images to be published and be prepared to prove it. oh and turn PRO.

Post #8, Aug 18, 2008 08:23:45


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gjman
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I don't want to make this a pissing match.

Umm I don't think I stated that I want to compete with or sell my pics. I want the access coz I know from experience what it takes to get in there to take the kind of pics I want (its for my blog and other discussions). And the most you need is a 50 f/1.4 not a white elephant (although I think a 85 f/1.2L would do nicely too)

No offense, but the last time I checked you DON'T need to have 10-15 years of college after completing high school to become a credentialed photographer, but you do to become a heart surgeon. And I think I know my share of heart surgeons who have other avocations that are supported by their vocations (its mostly uber expensive golfing).

Finally these are very specific types of pictures that don't hold any general value and so will be chopped by the photo editor (remember these are not pics of twisting airplanes but rather of components, prototypes and poster boards).

Jay:
Thanks for the link, it was not working yesterday today it only partially loads. Also I am not sure how this will help me.

Rest:
So I am still not sure how to become "free lanced" and credentialed.

Post #9, Aug 18, 2008 11:32:55


I wonder how long I have to hang out on POTN before I get as good as Ansel Adams ?

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FlyingPhotog
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gjman wrote in post #6130410external link
I don't want to make this a pissing match.

Umm I don't think I stated that I want to compete with or sell my pics. I want the access coz I know from experience what it takes to get in there to take the kind of pics I want (its for my blog and other discussions). And the most you need is a 50 f/1.4 not a white elephant (although I think a 85 f/1.2L would do nicely too)

No offense, but the last time I checked you DON'T need to have 10-15 years of college after completing high school to become a credentialed photographer, but you do to become a heart surgeon. And I think I know my share of heart surgeons who have other avocations that are supported by their vocations (its mostly uber expensive golfing).

Finally these are very specific types of pictures that don't hold any general value and so will be chopped by the photo editor (remember these are not pics of twisting airplanes but rather of components, prototypes and poster boards).

Jay:
Thanks for the link, it was not working yesterday today it only partially loads. Also I am not sure how this will help me.

Rest:
So I am still not sure how to become "free lanced" and credentialed.

"Freelance" mearly means you are not a full-time employee of only one publication and are available for assignments from or you sell to multiple clients. But it also means you have the skills and resume that are worthy as well. In most cases, folks toil for some / many years at one publication before they've built either the portfolio or the reputation (usually both) to just hang out a sign as Photographer For Hire.

Oh, and the website? That's the homepage for the "International Society for Aviation Photography" (aka ISAP)

Have you seen the cover feature in this month's Flying Magazine on the Pilatus PC-12? The gentleman who shot it (Paul Bowen) is a member of ISAP. I figured since you mentioned shooting aircraft interiors, you might be interested in an association geared toward aviation photography.

Being freelance is also about networking...

Post #10, Aug 18, 2008 12:27:18


Jay
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Sledhed
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giman - I freelance for a very well known baseball magazine, the freelance just means I am not on their staff and I can shoot for anybody that wants to pay me. The mag gets me the credentials to MLB games, even if you are a freelance photographer you have to be associated with some sort of media outlet to get the credentials.

Post #11, Aug 18, 2008 12:37:45


Chris
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Hark ­ Photography
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Giman, I didn't intend for you to feel it was a pis*ing match.

I just used an analagy to demonstrate my point ....... however in a sense your answer has helped make my point ....

If as you say " these are very specific types of pictures that don't hold any general value" " then I dont see why anyone should afford you special access with Press credentials

In the OP you are asking about "press credentials", IMHO you need to ,at the very least, demonstrate your images will be published somewhere which benefits the event.

I doubt this is the case with you but there are so many blaggers who just want to get in for free and turn up with an xti and kit lens and generally get in the way of those making their living at the event.

Just a thought about "competing" ... if you are allowed credentials to stand next to a pro and your images are published anywhere then you are competing, even if you are not being paid for the images.

That said, advice if you want it is to work out a way to demonstrate your images will be published ( even if they won't), look the part, and behave the part. Like anything once you have done it a few times you will find it easier and easier to get credentials.

I have someone in the office who does little more than spend her days arranging travel and press/ media accreditation for our staffers ..... sometimes it just takes a phone call, others require a a series of emails, letters of assignment and references. Completely depends on the event you are covering and for whom.

Good luck

Post #12, Aug 19, 2008 05:52:36


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gjman
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Jay and Chris:
Thanks for your inputs. Jay, I do more avionics more than aviation photography.

Hark:
I dont think I stated anywhere that I shoot with a Kit+XTi. Even if I did I dont see how that is an issue for genuine Pros. And if you are deluding yourself into thinking that you need a bag fulla white elephants to be a pro who is 1) Published and 2) Awarded, then you obviously have not heard about Alex Majoli.

Post #13, Aug 22, 2008 20:28:09


I wonder how long I have to hang out on POTN before I get as good as Ansel Adams ?

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Hark ­ Photography
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Giman .....

HMMMMMMMMMm obviously I'm clearly deluded ........ or am I

My points were trying to be constructive ... and demonstrate the issue from a pro's point of view ... a pro who gets accreditation to any event he has an assignment for ... and those he wants to shoot for himself .. therefore someone who can provide a llittle insight into issues one might care to be aware of when seeking out press credentials.

However ... seems your being picky and seems you think that I believe its about the kit .... well it is and it isn't.
I own, and use often, a canon EOS 400d (XTI) which I bought with the kit lenses. However it has limitiations in use, particlarly the glass. and frankly the combination simply is not suitable for most events where you are shooting for excellent results.

I have many images published from my 400d but they are rarely with the kit lens.
It can be used effectively when :
1 The light is good - high iso = lots of noise on this body
2 The pace of the action is relatively slow = Frames per second is not great and buffer can be slow
3 no need for fill flash .... the pop up flash is not very effective IMO

In a studio or controlled environment this kit is great ... for backpacking it is great (light and small).

Oh and I think you must have missed the phrase " I dont think this will apply to you" right before any mention of xti.

Also from previous posts you are right ...... there is no formal training required to become a pro tog and get press credentials as there is with surgery ... however there is a period of danmed hard work, making contacts, networking, heartache, rejection, blood sweat and tears before you get accepted enough to get the credentials you need. Thats why you are on here asking others how to get them and get a free ride in.
For the record I have no issue with the kit someone s using at any event I am at. My prime concern is getting the images my publication/ assigment needs .... i couldnt give a rats ass about the guy next to me unless...... He is getting in my way and He clearly shouldnt be there.
Now back to the OP .... the fact still is that press credentials are primarily for the press ...... who are there doing a job .... they have invested time effort money etc etc to be in a position to sell or supply images ..... you are deluding yurself if you think that they welcome punters turning up (with any kind of gear) and invading their market place.

Go show up at a wedding this weekend( just for your blog.. published on the web), set yourself up ... start organising the groups of friends, family, bride and groom for poses for you. How long do you think it will be before the pro comes over and kicks your ass the hell out of his way.

The other issue is competition ..... given that most of the worlds population now thinks they are photographers ( well they are actually) the lines between pro and am are continually blurred. That means for a pro to make a living his/her images have to be of consistantly better quality (inc composition etc etc) than those taken by punters.
Thats why we give ourselves the best opportunity, carry a big 600 round all day and you will know it aint to look good, we do it because they improve our image quality considerably. Now an AM arrives in the press area .. no big deal, just taking pictures for his blog and personal website ... ok no issue until they appear the same day on Flikr royalty free and all of a sudden the images the Pro's have taken are de-valued. Your deluding yourself if you think anything other.
Take that scenario then add another 20 guys with cams into the mix and it gets much more serious.

I want you to be able to further your photography, to be able to get access to get the shots you need, not just the shots you want but you really need to understand the environment you are going into ... GIMAN and given your responses I'm not sure you do ... strike that I am sure you dont.

To anyone else reading this and interested in getting credentials ... remember
ACT PROFESSIONALLY ...and courteously to the pro's you are alongside.
don't p**s people off and there is every chance you might get invited back .... make contacts, network and have fun .... try and go unnoticed.

I can help arrange credentials/ accreditation in special circumstances where you are able to demonstrate a need .... not just a want.

Post #14, Aug 23, 2008 02:56:38


Currently in East COAST USA
EOS 1d MKII , 1DS MKIII ,400d
L 100-400 L 24-105
PRIMES 14mm 1:2,50 1:2, 400; 2:8
580ex II X 2 ,480 ex II Bowens Portable strobes

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AB8ND
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You need to be affiliated with a creditably news/media source. The term freelance is not totally true in many cases, a freelance when on assignment is actually representing some media source or agency. Normally the agency will get credentials to an event in his/her name. Also the bigger the event the bigger the media or agency will need to be. Had a weekly newspaper in my area, it was a bigger and better paper then the local daily, tried to get passes to a Detroit Lions home game to do a piece on a local player. Nope, you ain't big enough to cover our games.

Jack

Post #15, Aug 23, 2008 07:45:15




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