It’s All About Access
Special Guest Post by David Stemple, a photographer for the Fluvanna Review Newspaper in Fluvanna County VA.
A recent post by Joe got me thinking about a real life experience that happened to me the previous week. Like Joe’s shirts its all about having the right viability that you are important and that you are there to take serious picture just not one of those parents or kids out to grab some cool shots. You need to make it visibly know you are pro shooter and your images will be used in local or regional print media and also that your there to make the team look good in the next issue of the paper.
For me it wasn’t the shirt but an official press badge that got me access above and beyond the other shooters. I work for a local weekly newspaper, The Fluvanna Review, which covers one county in Virginia, that covers everything from sports to government to local business and grab type news and photos. So when the High School Basketball team made it to the Regional Tournament you knew I had to be there and capture the game. In addition to the game itself the games in Fluvanna are as much about the crowd, fans and the behind the senses moments as they are about the play. So I always try to look for that shot that tells more than just a basket or player being fouled and tells the who over all store..
I arrived early to the game with press badge around my neck and walked passed the line of fans waiting for tickets to the sold out game. Walked past the sheriff’s deputy, flashed the press badge and walked right into the gym (it also helps if you know the Athletic Director and his wife – who is usually selling the tickets.) I stashed my coat and bag and starting shooting warm-ups in order to get my camera dialed in (a tip Joe taught me from a past post) and as the team was headed back into the locker room right before the game the school’s official photographer was going in to get a team shot and the coach looked over at me with my press badge and said “you want a couple of shots?” So I followed them into the locker room and got a posed team shot and few other grabs. The rest of the shooters some of which were from the visitor’s side and the big local paper where just left on the sidelines waiting for the game to start.
Then when the game was over and the team had won the regionals I slowly walked right behind the team as they headed for the local room and walked right in and as I walked in the door behind me closed and the AD mentioned something about the coach will be available soon for interviews. So I got a few more priceless shots for the paper sure to have an accredited press pass/badge.
So if you ever have the chance to get an official press badge for an event jump right in and do it. Then make sure you wear it and be highly visible (in a good way), for you never know when the coach or AD will ask if you’d like some behind the scene access.
David Stemple shoots sports weekly for the print issue of the Fluvanna Review as well as to fill a scrolling web gallery of images from one of the major events of the past week. Fluvanna County High School Basketball Team is in the Virginia state semi final game scheduled for Tuesday afternoon (March 6th) at the VCH Segial Center. A gallery of David’s basketball images from the 3 regional games is current running on the Fluvanna Review website and more images from the State Semi will run later in the week