Tips for Touring Band Photographers
Very nice Photographer girl:
So I just watched your youtube video for musicians trying to tour with bigger bands and I have no idea if you will be able to answer this question but, what's the harm in askin' ya know? So I'm a concert photographer and want to be a touring photographer. I've built a pretty nice portfolio and have been asking just about everyone I can think of for advice. What would you say would be the best way to go about that?
If ya have the time would love to hear an artists opinion, but I know we're all busy so no worries if you haven't the time.
Hey thanks for the email.
When you are talking about providing a service in a "touring environment" you have to think from the band's point of view.
No matter how "big" the band might appear, almost no one has the budget to pay a photographer to go on the road. Space is another factor. Do you plan to hitching a ride on the bus or van with the band?
Any business proposal should be all about what you can provide for the customer. That being said, if you approached a group and said
"I'd like to take pictures of your tour, free of charge. I'll drive myself and pay my own way"
90% of bands would be into that. It's sort of a "no lose" situation for them.
What about you? What do you get?
For one, you get experience. Experience is great, but Stop & Shop doesn't ask for photography experience when you bring a cart of food up to the register. However, do a good enough job and this band will ask you to shoot album covers, facebook promo shots, and live gigs forever. Bands talk to other bands and spread your name around, and so goes the circle of life.
Its not outrageous to ask the band to put you on the guest list for these shows if they are sold on the idea of you shooting them, but thats all I would expect for "payment".
Never fear rejection. It can't hurt to ask. I hope this helps.