MISSION STATEMENT - This site is dedicated to professional music photographers. Our mission is to advocate sound business practices, warn against predatory client practices, provide helpful and educational resources, and foster a sense of community. All discussions related to capturing, processing, cataloging and licensing music photographs are welcome.

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Photo Passes

Actual Rights Grabbing Contracts


These are actual photo release forms photographers were asked to sign in exchange for receiving their photo pass at the venue or prior to arriving. They are provided here to educate all concert photographers about the egregious, rights grabbing language that management and promoters and artists are taking away from photographers. If you are presented any release form at a concert that asks you to turn over any rights to your photographs, or to turn over copies of your images, or restricts use of your photographs, you are encouraged to corral all of the photographers there and ask all of them to decline (do not sign) the form.

Rights Grabbing Photography Contracts

Photographers are asked to sign increasingly restrictive agreements when they pick up their photo passes. Some restrict the use your photos to the specific edition of the specific publication for which you are shooting. Many go as far as transferring all rights in your photographs to the artist or management company leaving you with nothing. Any agreement that limits your use of the photographs you take is "predatory" because it contains "rights grabbing" language. In this article, I describe what red flags to look for and provide you with several examples extracted from real artist agreements. These really do exist and are getting worse every day.

Getting the Pass: Venue vs. Publicity vs. Band

Guides & Tutorials: 

Commonly, the question of "Do I go through the venue, the band, or through publicity?" comes up. In this entry I will discuss the most feasible & common methods.

Common methods of getting the pass:

- Pre-approval through publicity

- Request through management

- Petitioning a band member; Band member requesting on your behalf

- Petitioning the tour manager

- Petitioning the venue

Pre-approval through publicity:

** This is the most common, feasible, reliable, and appropriate method **