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Aaron Anglin's blog

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Aaron  Anglin avatar 10:12 PM on 03.25.2014  (server time)
Hard to get a press pass when you're independent

Not sure if this is conventions in general but conventions out here are notoriously bad at PR. Especially when it comes to getting back to request for press credential. 
Over the past year I have been attending comic/anime conventions and photographing candidly on the floor of the events. It is not uncommon to find kids on the show floor with entry level DSLRs set in auto, stopping cosplayers and holding up foot traffic to take very simple images, but that's not what I do. I actually know photography very well and I pride myself on taking excellent candid photos that end up wowing people who see them.

The most recent convention I attended was Albuquerque Comic Con just this last January and I put in for a press pass and didn't get a response and ended up purchasing a day pass and went with my camera gear to shoot on the floor. (No one had a problem with me being their) While everyone their did the normal thing of blocking the halls to get pictures of the cosplayer I was just sticking to my method of shooting what I saw and kept moving as not not disturb everyone else attending and getting unique images in the process. Upon uploading the images and tagging them respectively there was an overwhelming response from the attendees as well as the individuals running the Convention with them proclaiming on Facebook "Press Pass for life." That would have been great to have had before hand but who ever was in charge of responding to emails didn't do a good job of communicating with me.

Now I know the issue in question has very little to do with the quality of my work. It's good enough for a convention to say Press Pass for life in a retrospective manner. The issue is having a lack of credentials. I'm still in College studying mass communications, journalism and have very little time to work with a legitimate publication. Saying "I write about nerd culture on my blog" is a lot less compelling than saying "I'm a photographer for the associated press." I do work for New Mexico PBS as a student production technician however the convention circuit is not something we would cover and it would be dishonest of my to claim that I'm representing PBS when the content I'm collecting isn't for them. I love my job and I don't feel like getting fired over abusing their name recognition.

It makes since from a convention to be weary about handing out press passes because any kid with a camera and a blog can claim they want to cover the event and they need to be diligent about who is legit in what their doing and who just wants a free pass to be at the convention. The only thing that I'm asking for is that I hear back from them in a timely manner so that I know if I have to go a head and buy a regular ticket while their still cheep. I don't mind paying to attend conventions because the experience is always rewarding (except for when you contract the nerd flu,) but I would like to have access to see and hear what other people at these convention don't get to and share them with the world. 

(All photos were taken by me and I retain all commercial rights to them)

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