Concert photography


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Nov 11, 2008
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#1
This is a pretty long shot, but anyone know if concert organisers in Singapore give out photo passes for concerts (the bigger ones) for photogs looking to build portfolio? I know in the US it's fairly common, as far as I know Singapore only gives out to magazines/newspapers etc, but I wanted to whack and see if anyone got lucky here, and how you managed to wrangle a pass. I've shot quite a few small gigs, but I want to try bigger shows. Also, if anyone has shot big shows before, would like to hear of your experiences and any dos and don'ts.

Cheers and thanks in advance!
 

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Ian

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Feb 20, 2002
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#2
This is a pretty long shot, but anyone know if concert organisers in Singapore give out photo passes for concerts (the bigger ones) for photogs looking to build portfolio? I know in the US it's fairly common, as far as I know Singapore only gives out to magazines/newspapers etc, but I wanted to whack and see if anyone got lucky here, and how you managed to wrangle a pass. I've shot quite a few small gigs, but I want to try bigger shows. Also, if anyone has shot big shows before, would like to hear of your experiences and any dos and don'ts.

Cheers and thanks in advance!
I don't know who told you that photo passes are given out to amateurs in the USA because as a general rule they aren't given out for larger concerts to anyone except selected professional photographers and press corps members. Most larger acts will have an official tour photographer who will have stage access (wings only) or will call in a respected pro such as Fin Costello - a man who is responsible fora large chunk of the major rock/pop photography in the west.

How do you get such a gig? Firstly you need to approach the act's promoter directly and state your case as to why you should be allowed to photograph the act. If you're not a professional working for a publication then having a website that is popular inside the genre of your choice will greatly assist. Do send a couple of samples of your work with your request. You need to understand that most major acts are quite paranoid about security while they are on stage and the last thing they want is an unknown potential threat to their well being behind the security barriers.

The easier way is to latch on to an up and coming band/act and gain industry reconginition by your work with them. It's a much harder longer slog as most performers pay crap money unless you're at the top of the heap.

The next thing you need to know is that when shooting a major concert you will only get 1-2 songs (3-10 minutes maximum) at the direct front of the stage to get the shots. You'll need several lenses and most pro's use a wide zoom and 70-210 or 80-200 f2.8 for the solo performer shots, even behind the barriers you may be 10-30m from your target. Have a body for each lens is a good idea if you have the money. NEVER use flash, it's probably the fastest way to be ejected by security and to pi$$ off the performers. The other piece of sage advice is to be very well prepared equipment wise and to take the minimum of gear you will require. Unless you're a big name you won't be allowed an assistant.

Good luck
 

redname

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Oct 8, 2009
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#3
i'm working my profile for this area also,gd thing is tht i'm a musician myself and have know quite a few in the local scene. i go to their gigs and shoot for them. most will wanna see your work and from there words spread if you r gd and you'll have more chances next time.

I've recently met this company who do marketing for things related to the music industry and they dnt mind having a look at my portfolio and engage me free lance if they find my work gd
 

#4
The easier way is to latch on to an up and coming band/act and gain industry reconginition by your work with them. It's a much harder longer slog as most performers pay crap money unless you're at the top of the heap.
Totally agree with the above point from Ian.

With example from the local scene, when u are friends or are close to various bands, u normally get the chance to 'tag' along with them. Most of the time they get the 'media pass' from the organizers for you. This being easy for them as they ARE the performers.
You can very slowly work your way up from here to get industry attention, just like how Ryan Russell is so famous now. (He's actually friends with TBS, MCR, Underoath, Paramore. you name it) He can now almost shoot anything he wants and even for major music magazines like Kerrang! or AP.

Another point is that you should fully make use of your first major chance to impress. I remember my first assignment for Scape* long ago. Either i impressed or they couldnt find any other photographer :bsmilie: , but i am still shooting for them up till today, the many Confessions or WeekendTrip shows. When u impress for a major organization, u get the chance for word-of-mouth recommendations to others, or vice-versa other organizations would in turn have a more serious view of your work since u shoot for a 'serious' client.

I got my chance to shoot the various stages of the Esplanade's Baybeats festival from auditions all the way till the actual festival itself, through this means. I must stress that it's all hardwork and determination and there is NEVER a short cut, considering how i always wished for one.

all the best to you.
 

lamergod

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Feb 9, 2009
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#5
why would they give you a pass?Then the people paying for the tickets could just buy a cheap DSLR and impose as amateur photographers building portfolio too and don't have to pay the ticket price
 

#6
Totally agree with the above point from Ian.

With example from the local scene, when u are friends or are close to various bands, u normally get the chance to 'tag' along with them. Most of the time they get the 'media pass' from the organizers for you. This being easy for them as they ARE the performers.
why would they give you a pass?Then the people paying for the tickets could just buy a cheap DSLR and impose as amateur photographers building portfolio too and don't have to pay the ticket price

Like i said. Friends of the band. They check in as 'band crew'.
 

redname

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Oct 8, 2009
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#7
Like i said. Friends of the band. They check in as 'band crew'.
i tried to do tht once, my frens tried to ask but esplande told them they got official photographer already, so not gng to give.

in the end how? they still allow pple gng ard to take, i was taking more shots than the official guy ;p

to be fair lah, the venue is the esplande waterfront. sometimes the security will stop you from gng right in front to take, some will bo chup
 

redname

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Oct 8, 2009
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#8
why would they give you a pass?Then the people paying for the tickets could just buy a cheap DSLR and impose as amateur photographers building portfolio too and don't have to pay the ticket price
great idea, now i can go for all the concerts tht i want but no money for it :bsmilie::bsmilie:
 

ortega

Moderator
Staff member
Nov 2, 2004
23,694
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Singapore, Singapore, Singapor
#9
as far as i know, no they don't

if you have a chance to get a photographer pass, it is usually only for the 1st 3 songs
then you will be ushered out of the photographer's pit
 

Yatlapball

Senior Member
May 13, 2006
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#10
Like many other things... there are no short cuts. You might get a break, but those are such long shots, why waste your time hoping for one?

Start from small gigs, know the bands, then know their agents, then know the small concert organisers, then know the big concert organisers...

Just asking for a photo pass straight upfront will probably get a "Who are you?" at best. Or ignored.

From some experience, most of the bigger concerts you WILL need accreditation, or you won't even be smelling a pass...



PS: Yoohoo. Aloysius. Where are you.
 

xMetalx

New Member
Sep 5, 2009
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Singapore
#11
Bro go to ishootshows.com

Todd Owyoung one of my idol

There's a Tip on how to shoot concerts. But of course you have to sneak or go to the front stage barrier and crash over it. "If there's a will there's always a way".

Don't let anybody stopped you. Unless some security kick u out hehehe

I follow some of the Metal GiG scenes in singapore and shoot them just dun care anybody else around; you just shoot. Pay for the tickets and go to the front stage.

Check out some of the GiGs i shot its not that great photo but I enjoy it. Next time If you wanna tag along just message me.

http://www.flickr.com/photos/harmangallery/
 

xMetalx

New Member
Sep 5, 2009
146
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Singapore
#12
By the way

Lamb of God a metal band is coming to Singapore this april. Tickets Starts selling in 21st Dec 09.

Maybe you can sneak in with your camera. This concert will be at Pasir Ris Tickets selling at $95.

Good Luck.
 

Dec 10, 2008
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Pasir Ris
#13
Can go watch Green Day's concert, think its in Jan 2009. Great band live. Tickets from $90 IIRC.
 

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