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Freelance Press Credentials

I just wanted to know what press credentials fellow freelance photographers keep with them during international assignments? There are many organizations claiming to provide you with that but it’ll be good to know which one ois most popular and respected worldwide.

I’m talking about self financed or independent projects here, of course if you are working for some newspaper or magazine its their responsibility to provide you with credentials.

by Furqan at 2012-07-14 15:57:01 UTC | Bookmark | | Report spam→

There are a number of posts here on this subject. You can use advanced Google to find them (the LS search feature is pretty weak). The bottom line is? Don’t bother. Just because some standalone organization issues you “credentials” doesn’t mean anyone will accept or defer to them (and usually they don’t).

In today’s security-driven world, most organizations controlling access have their own security procedures, and they don’t give a damn for some badge issued by the International Photographer’s Association (fictitious name) or the like. Save your money. If you need to get access, whether you have a badge hanging on a lanyard saying “MEDIA” or “PRESS” won’t be the controlling factor.

by Neal Jackson | 15 Jul 2012 02:07 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
A letter from a publication/magazine/newspaper is often more valuable than credentials. If you are doing self financed project contact some of the publications on your distribution list and ask them if they can supply you with a letter saying you are shooting project/working on a story for them.

by Gary Austin | 15 Jul 2012 09:07 | Derby, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Thank you Neal and Gary. I work mostly in Pakistan where showing just a laminated Media/Press card can get you through many army and police checkpoints in troubled part of the country. But then again it can be counter productive I guess. I saw a organization claiming to give press credentials for a fee and they had an American flag on their card. Imagine showing that card to someone in Tribal areas of Pakistan or anywhere in Pakistan for that matter…

by Furqan | 15 Jul 2012 10:07 | Nottingham, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Farqan, that’s exactly why the letters are needed, more of a backup to press credentials and if you are having to appease both sides more than one letter from different publications are required depending on which side prefers which publication. Our local journalists print off there own and laminate them which seems to work with the local police (UK) but that would not work with the London police.

I am based in Derby, not to far away from you in the UK if you want to meet up


by Gary Austin | 15 Jul 2012 11:07 | Derby, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Would love to do that Gary, I’m here in uk for next two weeks before I go back to Pakistan. Lets meet up some day next weekend if possible for you.

by Furqan | 15 Jul 2012 11:07 | Nottingham, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
For what it’s worth: in some countries an option is to get local press credentials (i.e. a national press pass as issued by the ministry of information or whoever gives them out; they may want to see credentials from home, which would have to be an editor’s letter of support/assignment or something equally “real”) and then deciding when it’s prudent to use those gov’t credentials (at a gov’t run checkpoint) and when to make them disappear (at someone else’s checkpoint). Working in Lebanon some years ago, I ended up with credentials from the MOI, from Hezbollah, as well as from a couple of the organizations I was working for (and I had to make damn sure my Israeli press pass disappeared completely while I was there). Having said that, Neal is exactly right, though: most of the time, the credentials you’ll need aren’t going to be a little piece of laminated paper; it’ll be the person you’re with or your ability to convince others that it’s worth their while to let you go about your business.

by Lars Blackmore | 15 Jul 2012 23:07 | Norwich, United States | | Report spam→
Press credentials are only issued by the local governement(s)…as far as my experience goes. So you have to go to “a” ministery of inormation-or-something and show proof that you are indeed a video-photo-journalist. There aren’t any world covering press passes.

Was it years ago already? The international press pass off that Rappaport guy…5 bucks more and it’s laminated!


by Tom Van Cakenberghe | 16 Jul 2012 11:07 | Kathmandu, Nepal | | Report spam→
Thank you Lars. haha Tom there are still websites or ‘organizations’ who charge money to issue such laminated and fancy ‘credentials’. For example http://www.aipress.com/ who claim to have 80,000 members and charge $200 for membership and credentials.

But you guys are right about keeping multiple credentials for multiple situations. Local MOI as well as a editor’s letter. Although in Pakistan just a laminated card works most of the time (personal experience) on checkpoints and stuff.

by Furqan | 16 Jul 2012 11:07 | Nottingham, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Lars is right:

“in some countries an option is to get local press credentials (i.e. a national press pass as issued by the ministry of information or whoever gives them out; they may want to see credentials from home, which would have to be an editor’s letter of support/assignment or something equally “real”…

Press Credentials are first authorized (not issued) by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs here in Thailand, and the press card is useful – provided you are prepared to jump through the hoops and submit the correct documentation backed up by proof of publication and “support/assignment” letters. The cost of the card, once you have submitted all the forms/docs etc is only 50 Baht (not even US$2) and it’s issued by the Thai government’s Public Relations Dep’t.

by Matthew Richards | 16 Jul 2012 12:07 (ed. Jul 16 2012) | Bangkok, Thailand | | Report spam→
Notwirstanding all comments above (mine included), there is one possible exception to all this.

If you join the National Press Photographers Association here in the US, you can get a nice press pass membership card for about $20-30. See http://www.nppa.org/member_id/ I think the cost is about $110 per year, which is not cheap, but you get a terrific magazine, News Photographer, with it. You also get some good member services (insurance for your kit at discount, small discounts on Apple stuff, etc.). I am not sure about foreign member prices, but you can check it all out at their Web site.

NPPA is a great organization, worthy of support from all PJs (I have belonged for years), and the press pass even with membership is still less expensive than some of the ones you can buy from loosely named organizations on the Internet. It’s worth at least checking out.

by Neal Jackson | 17 Jul 2012 00:07 | Washington, DC, United States | | Report spam→
Thank you Neal I’ll have a look at their prices.

by Furqan | 17 Jul 2012 00:07 | Nottingham, United Kingdom | | Report spam→
Yeah, I would agree with most of what has been said here. In general, a professional attitude and well used hardware will usually convince local police officers in the U.S. Actually, I’ve only rarely been asked for I.D., and then usually only at events like concerts, where security has good reason to believe that people are trying to sneak in (and they usually issue their own laminates, anyway). In other countries, especially where political problems exist, it is best to keep letters of authorization and transit handy (in different wallets, if handing the wrong one to somebody will be a problem), and these will be of much more value than any “Press Card”. It has become more important, especially with private security at corporate offices, for example, to show a press card that looks official. In the U.S. at least, the NPPA card is pretty useful for this, since security desks can easily look up their website, and it is clearly for professionals. Otherwise, Press Cards are mostly useful for impressing girls at bars, and frankly, they don’t work too well for that, either.

by John Louis Lassen Perry | 17 Jul 2012 15:07 | Liberty Corner, New Jersey, United States | | Report spam→
Darn!! you shouldn’t have dropped that ‘girls at bar’ bomb.

by Furqan | 17 Jul 2012 20:07 | Nottingham, United Kingdom | | Report spam→

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Furqan, Freelance Photographer Furqan
Freelance Photographer
Islamabad , Pakistan
Neal Jackson, Neal Jackson
(Flaneur, Savant and Scapegrace)
Washington, Dc , United States ( IAD )
Gary Austin, Photojournalist Gary Austin
(British Photojournalist)
Derby , United Kingdom ( EMA )
Lars Blackmore, Photojournalist Lars Blackmore
(LIfe is my reality show)
Boston , United States ( BOS )
Tom Van Cakenberghe, Tom Van Cakenberghe
Kathmandu , Nepal
Matthew Richards, Photojournalist Matthew Richards
Bang Saphan , Thailand
John Louis Lassen Perry, Photoanthropologist John Louis Lassen Perry
Califon, New Jersey , United States


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