I’ve been shooting shows for quite sometime and I was fortunate enough to get a solid first gig to do press for. I realize that many photographers and writers had to start from the bottom, as did I, and eventually make a name for themselves. They are dedicated and put in the time and effort to really shine and promote artists and bands in a great light with every fiber of their being. As a concert photographer and writer, we’re not always going to get approved for the shows we want. Rejection happens and I’m ok with that. I realize I do not write for any fancy outlet that is famous and well known. I can live with that. I’ve started this on my own and I like to think I bring about a unique quality to being “press related”. Music is my therapy, shooting shows and writing is my recovery, and I adore the chance to share that with the world and have people read what I write or share my photo’s.
But here’s the rub, I hate getting rejected when I know I’m going to do a better job than some of the other people that I got rejected over. I get it… it’s life, blah blah blah. Life isn’t fair and being an artist of any kind equals rejection. There are people that shoot for reputable magazines and online sources, they get into shows for free, snap their pics, and leave. No respect for the artist, they didn’t pay to see the show, and they don’t even care about the music. Half the time, they don’t even really know who the band is. My question is why? Why are you there? To shoot a few shitty pics that you don’t even care to adjust to perfection before you post it on your reputable source? You landed a free show, made an appearance, and disappeared into the night like a common thief. Then I wake up the next morning to see your sorry excuse for an editorial and watered down photo’s on page 3 of the online zine.
What made you want to do photography? You think because you use 3 different fancy lenses and a 3 fancy cameras that it makes you someone special? Do you even understand photography beyond having pricey equipment? Do you even understand the passion and energy that it takes to become great?
This is why I started writing. Most people have blogs these days and don’t really depend on any kind of other source to get heard. It’s nice when your work is recognized by a reputable source. No doubt. I’ve even sent in for a few requests myself for big magazines to use my photography. I’m just sad that people that have no heart in music get in for free and don’t do a good job. Just quit and go find something else to do, move over and make room for people that want to be here. Better yet, since my fire is fueled, I’m about to move you the fuck out of the way.
A note to PR. I get that you’re tasked with providing your clients with the best press coverage possible, but it’s ok to go with a smaller outfit sometimes. They work harder and produce better quality work. I’m definitely not downplaying great writers and great photographers who work for famous brands, they worked to get there… it’s just the few stragglers that sneak in and stay under the radar I don’t understand. But please LOOK at prospective work before you make a rejection. Inspect the quality of the photography, the artistry of the shot, the style of writing…etc.