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Thread started 11 Jan 2007 (Thursday) 01:11
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Obtaining Press Passes

Senior Member
303 posts
Joined Nov 2006
Location: Dallas, TX
Jan 11, 2007 01:11 |  #1

What is the process to optain press passes to shoot at huge sporting events? Does anyone have any lead how to obtain press passes to cover NBA, NFL, NHL and other major sports? I assume there is a heavy price to pay to obtain for a press pass. Please share your thoughts with me.:D

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High Plains Chimper
5,629 posts
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Joined Mar 2006
Location: Lago, CA
Jan 11, 2007 01:24 |  #2

Ok, Photoman. You asked the million dollar question. Let me see where to start...

In order to get access to any venue (wether it be a concert, or a sports event, or a movie set), usually you need to contact the organizing party, and secure a Press spot. At places like NHL and NFL, there is probably a ballpark limit of press passes available (Other places like sets or Concerts, you may be given strict regulations, such as length of time you can shoot, or photo styles -non flash, for example- ).

The first and most important question any one of these places will ask you, is " Sure, Mr. xxxxxxx, now who did you say you work with?" ... That would be a great moment to mention your friend the Editor of Sports Illustrated, or the popular Local Daily, and often be able to produce a credential that actually shows you represent them. Once their first concern is satisfied, you will pass onto the Political issue, which is trying to secure a spot for yourself. So remember, Who are you, and Why are you here. (BTW, the statement 'I am a huuuuge fan' does not usually work).

I would start with smaller places, depending where you live, start going to county and state fairs, and gain access to those as a member of the press. Contact their administration, and secure yourself some passes. Do the same at the local racetrack, to gain some extra practice and finesse with PR.

Personally, I have gained entrance to many very interesting places, representing as a member of the press. Although I am but a few minutes away from the 49ers Stadium (I am not sure what the place's name is this week) I am pretty sure I cannot enter the Press area. To give you an example, a few months ago News Photographer Mag (The Natl Press Photog Assoc magazine) did an article on the four guys that shot all 40 superbowls. When I started thinking, these fellers have taken their press spots for 40 years in a row. Not likely that my Daily Planet credential will secure me a space with them or in their place.

I hope this information helps. It never hurts to have a goal to aspire to. NFL is like the ending goal, nothing is better than hanging out with the Big Leaguers. Now map all the points between where you are today and then, and simply take it one step at a time.

Hope this helps.

Mario "MJ" Gravina
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Cream of the Crop
8,819 posts
Joined May 2005
Location: UCLA
Jan 11, 2007 01:32 |  #3

For any big sporting event, you need to work for some editorial agency. Or know some of the top personal at the venues. More often you'd have better luck working for a particular agency, though.

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1,892 posts
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Joined Oct 2003
Location: Indianapolis, IN
Jan 11, 2007 01:42 as a reply to  @ PhotoJourno's post |  #4

The way you obtain a "press pass" is to begin by calling it what it is known as these days, a Media Credential. Secondly, to obtain one, a media orgainazation must call, and usually submit in writing on company letterhead, a request for a credential.
In most states, representing yourself as a member of the media is a crime if you are not affiliated or working for a genuine media organization, so I wouldn't suggest doing this under any circumstances. In the long run, if caught, it would blacklist you for life.

To gain access to pro sporting events you start like with anything else, at the bottom. You shoot high school football/basketball games. Maybe in a few years you get promoted to shoot a college game.

In the real world you probably have a better chance at playing pro football than you do of shooting it. The NFL & NBA started a program last year to limit access along the sidelines to control crowding. There are still opportunities to shoot at the pro level but, they are hard to come by and far and few between. The best chance to get there would be as a contract photographer with AP.

On shooting sports...If you see it happen then you didn't get it.

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Joined Feb 2004
Location: Middle of Michigan
Jan 11, 2007 09:05 |  #5

Help on Credentials please.

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Obtaining Press Passes
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