My best friend Andrea is a band photographer. She's also awesome so she got me a press pass for this year's Warped Tour. Here's an interview I did with her while we hung out after lunch:
EB: When was the first time you did band photography?
AI: Ninth grade... so... 2009.
EB: Who were you shooting?
AI: Bigger Lights and Anarbor.
EB: Did you have a pass or did you shoot from the audience?
AI: Yeah, I got a press pass by some miracle.
EB: So do you usually stick to shows or shoot bands one-on-one?
AI: I usually stick to shooting shows. It's hard to get one-on-one time with a band, especially as a girl, and especially as one who's 18 or 19 years old. Already being well known or being taken seriously is the only way to work one-on-one with bands.
EB: So how did you decide you wanted to do band photography?
AI: In 2008 I went to my first show, Bring Me The Horizon on October 3, and I brought a crappy point-and-shoot camera and managed to get some good pictures... looking back I realize they were shit, but that was my favorite concert. I felt so alive, and realized the effect of music, and I realized I wanted to get involved in this business. At Warped in 2009, at Devil Wears Prada, that was one of the best. I crowd surfed for the first time. I got good pictures with a crappy camera, and I realized I could really do something beyond the barricade.
EB: So are you usually invited to shows or do you request a press pass?
AI: There are so many band photographers that it's hard to get recognized. So I went straight to big shows so I could get into photographing them early. I do get invited to shows by random record labels who have my email, but it's usually for smaller unknown bands. I'd like to shoot them all, but I try to hit social media targets so I can get as far as possible as fast as possible.
EB: So how do you go about getting a press pass? Do you send people your portfolio?
AI: I'll send a bio about my media site, include the link with my signature and offer to send the band photos after the show.
EB: So do you work for a media site or have your own?
AI: I started independently, but I was looking for an outlet and found a media website. After working for a while, I took over the site. Since I look like I own a media website, I get press passes. After a while the site died, so I started a new site. And now I get to meet lot of photographers with common interests.
EB: So what band is your favorite to shoot?
AI: I really want to shoot One Direction but I don't know if that's ever going to happen.
EB: Who are you most excited to shoot today?
AI: I'm most excited to shoot Bring Me The Horizon today. I might get one good picture just because they move so much. And one band I always wanted to shoot was Suicide Silence, RIP Mitch Lucker... -Oh look, there's I See Stars!- Anyway, my favorite to shoot is probably Asking Alexandria. I don't know what happened to them
EB: Oh yeah, I meant to give you that Alt Press article... I'll bring it with your birthday present
AI: Aw thanks!
EB: Okay, so what's your biggest goal for the show today?
AI: I try to get as many different pictures as I can that are different from the rest of the photographers. I also try to meet at least one person at a show, but photographers can get into bitch mode, which makes it hard to meet people sometimes.
EB: What's your goal for the rest of 2013?
AI: I want to get published! I almost did but it didn't work out. A band wanted one of my photographs for an album cover.
EB: Wait that's so cool, can I ask which band?
AI: Motionless In White. But it didn't happen. So I'd like to get published on a magazine or website. And I want to get my name back out there. I climbed fast and didn't take it seriously, I goofed off with the bands instead of working, and I want to start taking this seriously again.