Jimmy Eat World's Management Hates Photographers
Tonight I got the opportunity to shoot Jimmy Eat World at the House of Blues inside the Mandalay Bay for the UNLV Student Newspaper, The Rebel Yell. My supervisor contacted me asking if I could cover the concert later that night. Being Jimmy Eat World, it was hard to refuse. I packed up my gear and made my way to Mandalay Bay.
Getting my pass was easy; present a photo I.D. to Will Call and pick up the credentials. After that, I had access to the pit as well as any area the crowd had occupied.
There was a group called Matt Pond that was headlining before Jimmy Eat World. I got to shoot the first three songs, and that was it. That's usually the standard when photographing a concert. Photographing Matt Pond went well, I dialed down my settings and was good to shoot.
After Matt Pond, there was a 15 minute break to set up for Jimmy Eat World. As they took the stage, their sound was awesome. I was really photographing Jimmy Eat World. Since my settings were already locked in from the previous band, all I had to do was worry about shooting. I made sure to get some awesome wide angle coverage as well, as I'm always inspired by photographer Jared Polin and his radical work with a wide angle lens.
Things were going excellent. My exposures were spot on, my focus was tack sharp, until suddenly some tall guy in a black shirt rushed over and told me I wasn't allowed to shoot and motioned for me to follow him. I walked over to the side of the pit where we met up with a few other security personnel working for House of Blues and they explained to me that I needed a GREEN photo badge. I currently had a blue one. The tall guy who "retrieved" me said that I had to be approved by Jimmy Eat World's management and kept drilling insolent remarks at me such as, "Come on, I don't want to hear what you have to say," and "You've done this before, you know the drill," when in fact I haven't done this before and don't know the drill. I kept asking him questions about why this was happening and how I was supposed to be approved, but he just wasn't having it. He brought me over to the side of the stage and made me go through and delete the photos I took of Jimmy Eat World one-by-one. As I was deleting my photos, I persisted on knowing what exactly was going on and all he told me was that I was supposed to go through management, get permission, and sign some sort of press release. After the guy was satisfied, HOB's security informed me that I could either leave, or stay and watch the concert if I checked in my cameras. I chose to step outside for a moment and call my supervisor, Chase.
He apologized for what happened as I'm sure it usually never happens. I was supposed to have full clearance to shoot the first three songs. I told him about the badge color issue and he recommended I go back to Will Call and check if there were any badges I should have received.
Arriving at Will Call, I spoke with the initial woman who gave me my credentials and explained the situation. I was presented to the manager who said she'd try to help me out. She brought me back into the venue and told me to wait around the entrance while she spoke with her supervisor. After about 5 minutes, she returned and motioned me back outside.
She explained to me, and I quote: "...they're being complete Nazis." She said HOB's promotional manager said it was okay, but apparently Jimmy Eat World's management wasn't okay with that. She told me after 7 years of working there, she's never had a problem like this. After it was all said and done, it was already too late to go back in and shoot so I was left with nothing. Well, almost nothing.
What the bozo from Jimmy Eat World's management had somehow failed to realize is that I had two camera bodies on me: a 5D Mk III and 7D. When the guy pulled me over and made me delete the photos, I only deleted photos from my 5D Mk III, not the 7D. So if anything, I was still left with half a song worth of photos with that body. I recalled when I was on the phone with Chase, he briefly mentioned card recovery software that recovers deleted data on memory cards. When I got home, I found some software and bought myself a license.
Within minutes I found myself staring at a list of files that were once deleted, now safely on my hard drive. I was able to recover some of the great-looking wide shots I captured from Jimmy Eat World. I even found some photos that I deleted via formatting the card a few days ago. If I hadn't done this, I would've missed out on my all-time favorite shot of the night:
In the end, this experience has its fair share of silver linings:
- I had the opportunity to shoot my very first ever concert and apply methods I've been learning over the past few months via Jared Polin.
- I learned that City and Colour, whom I highly enjoy, will be performing at the House of Blues October 12, and bought tickets to see the show.
- Through newfound connections between the House of Blues and The Rebel Yell, I might possibly get the chance to shoot City and Colour when he comes out October 12.
- I now have software that allows me to recover deleted / corrupted data from memory cards.
- I have another great image to showcase in my portfolio.
Take that, Silva Artist Management.
On my way to school I received a tweet from Zach Lind, drummer for Jimmy Eat World.
Apparently there was a mixup between badges, and maybe their management didn't hate me after all. Regardless, the guy (who I presume is apart of Jimmy's management) could've handled the situation a bit more professionally.