A group of photographers met at my house last week to discuss the future of the business. Not much was concluded, except that it is becoming harder and harder to get access, much the less make a living at this business. This all stemmed from a Facebook post by a Chicago photographer who was treated like crap at the Pitchfork Festival earlier this summer (No surprise- the guy who runs Pitchfork once told me that photographers were last on his list of things to care about when running his festival.) As he is a noted jazz musician in town, I wonder what happens when he needs photos for his publicity purposes??
So, the Facebook post describes the hordes of “Photojournalists” in the pit, many of whom work for blogs who don’t pay them, and shoot with iPhones and iPads.
We are going to continue the discussion, and work on putting up a website so that communication is easier to manage.
On another note, a friend of mine was recently asked to photograph an aging rock star in New York for a magazine that we both work for who doesn’t pay much, if anything, for photographs. When she arrived at the venue, she was told that there was no photo pas set aside for her, as the artist does not allow any photographs. Someone form management came out to talk to her, and explained that the artist does not like to see photographers in front of him. She promised to be discrete, and the manager told her that she could shoot the first three songs. This agreement was finalized half way through the third song!! The manager then threw up her hands and told the photographer to do whatever she wanted, as long as she was not seen by the artist.
On yet another note, as I am writing this there is a great festival happening in Chicago. I called the promoter earlier in the week to ask about getting a photo pass. They emailed me back a spread sheet with photo access rules per band. There are two artists on the bill that I have never heard of.
One is Valerie June, the other is Sylvan Esso. Both have a first three songs, no flash rule. Valerie is now on the Concord label- guess they put that rule in. Sylvan Esso is a pop duo from North Carolina on an indie label. Guess they don’t want people to take good pictures! I for one turned down the photo pass. Only four of the eleven artists had no restrictions, and all the headliners were very restirictive. Hope there is something good on television this afternoon!!