I want you to remember that there are no more gatekeepers. There are no more people separating you from anyone in this world no matter how famous they are. Gone are the days where you need to speak to someone who speaks to someone else who finally talks to the person you want access to. You now have direct access to almost anyone in the world no matter how famous they are.
Am I serious when I say I can tell you how to photography a celebrity? Yes, because I have done it myself, I have gotten access to people that I may never have ever gotten close to before.
Here is the secret to getting access to anyone in the world. Start the conversation, find a way to interact and get on their radar. You may be saying to yourself there is no way they will ever talk to me or give me the time of the day. That’s fine, you can give up now or you can think about all the tools we have at our disposal.
I have used twitter to get access to people such as Howard Stern, Pete Souza, Randy Johnson, Gavin DeGraw, Zack Arias and many many more. I have used instagram to get in contact with the lead guitarist of 3 Doors Down Chris Henderson.
All you need to do is engage in a conversation, don’t act like a fan, don’t ask for anything right away, just show interest. Sure it may be harder to access someone who has million and millions of followers but there is always a way.
I was able to get access to Chris Henderson of 3 Doors Down by following him on Instagram. He only had a few thousand followers which means there was a better chance he will see my comments. I would comment on what I thought about his photos and at some point offered up to help him out if he needed a teacher. Guess what, he called me on the phone to talk photography and now we stay in contact.
Randy Johnson AKA the Big Unit who is a future hall of fame baseball player so happens to also be a photographer. I would like to have him on RAWtalk and started to follow him on twitter. I left a few comments on his work when he posted images before I decided to ask if he would be interested in coming on RAWtalk. A few hours later I got a private message on twitter saying he will be heading out of the country for a few weeks but maybe when he comes back I can have an interview.
In a matter of two tweets I got a personal response and a possible interview.
The idea here is to engage in the conversation, get on someones radar. The more you interact, comment but comment smartly the more someone gets used to seeing your name. You may be surprised when that person decides to follow you. If someone decides to follow you you know your close to getting the access you are looking for.
I ended up getting access to Gavin DeGraw by befriending a popular roadie on twitter. This guy has a fantastic twitter following and is always tweeting funny things. I followed him for a year before I ever really started to make contact. But after a while I would comment back to his tweets with things that only people who have toured would say. The more I did that the more it made me look less like a fan and more like someone who has been on the inside before.
I started to interact and comment more often until the day he followed me on twitter and instagram. At that point I knew I was on his radar. He had checked out my web site, seen that I have toured before and that I was the real deal.
One day I asked him flat out if he knew of anyone interested in allowing me access to capture images. As it turns out he did and hooked me up with a few managers to pitch my ideas to. One pitch later I was spending the day with Gavin DeGraw on his tour bus, back stage, at dinner as well as on stage during his performance. We ended up really getting along well which is always a great thing.
The moral of the story is have patience, be smart, don’t be a fan and don’t jump the gun. You may not get to everyone in the world but I can pretty much guarantee that if you want to photograph and up and coming band that the chance will be pretty good.