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Archive 2013 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue
  
 
jspytek
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p.1 #1 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


I am very excited. I just sent communications to two MLS teams asking for permission to shoot a game in the upcoming season. To my shocked but very pleasant surprise, both of them have not only acknowledged me, the both said yes and offered to allow me to pick one game to receive media credentials. I have never shot a professional game, so I have absolutely no idea what protocol is. So let me ask a few questions and go from there:

A) Do I have unlimited rights and ownership of my pictures? I'm asking not expecting to have some amazing shot, but more so from the perspective of the legal terms you typically see on a ticket or broadcast - you know something like ... all images of the game are property of the MLS and written permission is required ...

B) Do I have to pay to get in? Again, in all seriousness, I'm not asking for a freebie so how does this work?

C) Will they tell me what I can and cannot shoot? E.g. does this mean I have access to more than just the pitch and a media area for camera, such as pregame tunnel and post game locker room shots? I don't want to over step my bounds, but I do want to get the most from the experience.




Feb 10, 2013 at 07:53 AM
Frank Lauri
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p.1 #2 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


John....congrats on your upcoming shoot. I can't comment on MLS but regarding protocol...your best bet would be to contact the Media Director and talk with him/her. On a personal level....when I shoot MiLB for the AAA Yankees franchise, I own the copyright....but I can't market the images without the consent of MLB or the player. But I can sell them to other media sources such as MiLB, USA Today, etc.

They give me unlimited access to shoot wherever I want....anywhere on the field before the 1st pitch and after... either the 1st or 3rd base photo wells....in the stands as long as the seat is open....press box (also access to the media chow), club house but have to vacate 30 minutes prior to the start of the game. Then access to any press conferences whenever they exist.

You shouldn't have to pay to get in but you may have to pay for parking.

For access do's & don'ts....there was info on the back of my media pass.

Sorry I couldn't offer more info butI'm sure others will step up.

Good Luck.



Feb 10, 2013 at 09:56 AM
Trevorma
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p.1 #3 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


As for the locations:

I shoot a lot of Toronto FC Games and on your media pass it is colour coded, there are charts up all around the stadium showing what areas are certain colours. Some Photogs have access to the broadcast areas and others do not. Locker room is generally out of bounds unless you have a specific pass.

When you get to the field where you can go may be limited. When a FIFA event is being held at BMO field NO photographer can move along the sidelines or shoot from the sidelines, ends of the pitch only.

When it is an MLS game you can go up the sideline to the 20m box......no further.

I would bet each stadium has it's own rules but these are the TFC examples.

Just ask the security guys what the rules are for sidelines ect.... they generally are nice and willing to help.

Most important is to not be a jerk. Watch how the other pros work, act and interact with each other. Do not assume that since you have a media pass you get to be king for the day. Do your thing, be respectful and maybe this is just the start to getting more and more access.

PS Most photo rooms have snacks and Pizza in them for you and the others.....it's a bit of a bonus I tend to grab a bottle of water and take it out to the pitch with me. I avoid any carbonated options as I sat near a guy who had one blow up on him and it got INSIDE his lenses and camera during a lens change. Cost a bit to fix.....



Feb 10, 2013 at 04:45 PM
jspytek
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p.1 #4 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


Thanks Frank - Thanks Trevorma - I normally shoot from the endline for soccer anyway - and thanks for the color coded tip.


Feb 10, 2013 at 05:54 PM
Carl Auer
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p.1 #5 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


I shoot the MLS Rapids and I can offer a few things. MLS is really good with freelancers. Great place to start. You should have a media contact. They will be able to tell you in more detail where you can and can not shoot. I like talking to ushers and security before games so they give you a little break. In Colorado, and I assume most other venues for MLS, you can not photograph from the press box. Also, you have to be on the sideline between the end line and the top of the goal box or on the end line to almost the goal. If you do not have a long lens, get one. A 300 at minimum, 400 better, with enough light a 600 would be killer. I typically shoot with a 300 on my 7D and 70-200 on my 1D. Get a three legged rotating camp stool to sit on...this is a life saver.

Ask questions when you pick up your credentials (credentials get you in and here in Colorado cover your parking too). The media room is for people trying to get stuff out on deadline, but there will probably be plenty of room for you in there, just try to stay out of the way of people obviously working.

Try to get to know these shooters if you can, they can give you great tips for your venue. I went in for my first MLS game not knowing anyone, and came out knowing 2 shooters (one from my wire, one from one of my older wires), my second game, met a couple freelancers, next game meeting a USA Today shooter, and the Getty Shooter, then suddenly, they were asking me questions and we were all working together (sharing WIFI, grabbing food for each other, helping each other set up remotes, etc). This can be one of the best things you can take away from this, networking.



Feb 10, 2013 at 11:58 PM
Carl Auer
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p.1 #6 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


Oh, and one more thing, ask about what you can do with the images. I shot under a credential for a wire service. My service allows me to do anything I want with the photos (within reason). I was contacted recently by a Denver magazine who wanted to buy one of my photos for 1/4 page use in their March issue and they went through me (more money) than my wire.


Feb 11, 2013 at 12:01 AM
 

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mkchang
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p.1 #7 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


Like Carl said, talk with your media contact. But as far as rules, basic rules for soccer is that you pick an side and stay there the whole half. Only shooting from the back, no sides.




Feb 11, 2013 at 12:32 AM
jspytek
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p.1 #8 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


Thanks Carl & mk - I'll get in touch with the media contact ahead of time. I think I'll plan on shooting from the end lines and I'm working on a remote to place near the goal like I've seen in the EPL. I'll be practicing on the local high school and college teams this spring.

I have a 120-300 mm and a 2x teleconverter so I'll probably do 1/2 the game with and 1/2 the game without the 2x. I also picked up a second camera which I plan on equipping with a 17-50 mm behind the net set on manual focus.



Feb 11, 2013 at 04:12 AM
Trevorma
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p.1 #9 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


I read that as you want to set up a remote?

If so also ask the media person about it. Some places only allow certain media outlets to use remotes behind the net, while here in Toronto there is no limit on who CAN use them, but you must have it set up 45 minutes before kick-off.

That adds another ripple to the whole remote thing. I have set one up a few times I then stand by it while the teams warm up. Quite often a ball goes over the net, hits a railing and come flying right at the remote

Just some helpful tips !!!!!!!



Feb 11, 2013 at 06:29 PM
mkchang
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p.1 #10 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


One other quick thing about remotes. The last 2 soccer matches I shot there was a possibility that they could turn the sprinklers on 10 minutes before the game. So be prepared. They didn't do it on Sat, but they did the last time I shot it.


Feb 11, 2013 at 07:03 PM
pbjunkiee
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p.1 #11 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


That was a waste of a plastic bag on my part last week...

Also, dont shoot in the tunnels, youll get yelled at...



Feb 12, 2013 at 08:22 PM
jspytek
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p.1 #12 · I need help with protocol for a professional venue


I sent a response to the media directors and one sent back a list of photographer policies - included were where I could be, when I could move, where I could shoot photos from, AND they give a stool requiring me to use it. Also, remotes are ok as long as it doesn't interfere with other equipment.

I'm going to shoot one during the day to get the most light possible and the other is an evening game, but it's the middle of the summer so I'm hoping for good light at least during the first half.



Feb 13, 2013 at 05:03 AM





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