This has happened to me on more than one occasion:
During that calm before the storm of waiting for a headlining act to take the stage, a fan pressed up against the barrier beckons me over to ask me the big question –
“How can I land a photo pass to shoot concerts like you’re doing?”
My answer is the same every time:
“You know how to get to Carnegie Hall, dontchya? Practice!”
Now, while that’s not exactly the answer they’re looking for, it’s about as helpful of an answer I can give. The fact is, I started out several years ago taking a million photos, promoting myself as best I could, scouring the web for contact emails, trying to convince people that my photography made for great press exposure. Now, fast-forward several years to the present, and I’m still doing just that. The only thing that’s changed since then, is the quality of my portfolio of bands and concerts and festivals I’ve shot, and my Rolodex of editors, publicists, managers, and other helpful contacts.
So, the best I can do is put together a few practical steps to help aspiring photographers on the path of practice for getting right up front and center with their cameras: