This week proved that you can't give up and hard work eventually pays off. I have been reaching out to bands, venues, and promoters trying to get into a larger concert for quite some time now and I finally got in touch with a stage manager who hooked me up with my first official press pass to see The Bret Michaels Band in Frankfort, IL on Friday night.
It was a medium sized outdoor festival, and to my dismay there was no photo pit. Bret had sold out the first two rows as part of a meet-and-greet package, and the seats were right up against the stage - I knew getting in close was going to be a challenge. I used a Canon 70-200mm 2.8 so I knew I had some reach, and combined with my height it wasn't a major issue. I was able to visualize my shots with a few practice shots of the first opener, and then dial in my exposure settings during Driven Under's set. The main problem of the evening turned out to be the red LED lights that were blowing everything out when they turned on, which compromised more than a few shots.
Just before Bret went on management told me I had a three song limit and then I had to leave, which is fairly common for big acts so I wasn't shocked. The three songs went by in a blur, but I was able stay cool and get the shots I wanted. I was on the left side of the stage for the first song but quickly realized that since Bret is right handed, his hand and mic were covering up most of his face. When the song ended I quickly darted behind stage and back out to the left side, getting much better shots. It was a lot of fun to shoot a really professional act, and I think I got some great pieces for my portfolio. Check out the rest of the shots here.