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Vobiscum, pilgrims!

There was a time when having a photo-pass to a gig was like winning the Golden Ticket to Willy Wonka’s Chocolate Factory.  However, within the past 2 years I think the ticket is now made of lead and weighs too much for it’s worth.

I got chatting to one of the security guys at a gig recently & he had an interesting observation that he wanted to share with me:  “Is it even worth coming all the way out to take pictures of these shows? I mean, I feel bad when I have to chuck you guys out of the pit just when the show really starts to be fun!!” If  ever the truth was spoken so practically and eloquently in such situations, that would have been it.  In this digital age where everyone is a ‘photographer’, the role of the live music photographer (or any photographer for that matter) is becoming more of a challenge. Some of the best live music shots in recent times have not been the ones taken by the accredited guys, but rather than the screaming fans at the front. I’m not hating: on the contrary, kudos to them for getting the shot that most live music photographers have waited years to capture.  The exclusivity of having a music photo-pass is normally elevated if you have the almighty AAA pass (Access All Areas), and only the band photographer & select others have that privilege.  I had one of those magic passes once, and since it’s rare to have as seeing a unicorn race during the Grand Nationals, boy did I max it out!!

So, the question still remains: are music photo-passes becoming a relic to a profession which has now been cheapened by many factors that I don’t have the time to go into within this blog?  That sense of exclusivity of having a music photo-pass in recent times has lost it’s appeal to many of the guys that I have spoken to; having a pass does not guarantee the financial awards or prestige that once came with it.  That said, it also depends on what music genre you specialise in, and also dependent on your relationship with record labels, PR agencies and the bands in question.

What do you guys think?

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