If you’re reading this you’re most likely a music photographer (like me) looking to make your photo pass request emails better. Over the past two years of my music photography career I’ve sent a large amount of emails for photo passes. Which means I needed to make sure they were information filled (without being too long), professional, and polite.
When I was first starting out my emails were drastically different than they were now. With time I’ve learned things from my peers and from trial and error on ways to make my emails the best they can be.
I compiled a list of things I think can help you become more confident with your emails. Enjoy!
First things first, subject lines:
Something that can really hinder whether or not someone gives your email a read is the subject line. A lot of publicists that you deal with for photo passes will want to know exactly what your email will entail without having to read the entire thing right that minute.
Here is what I suggest: Photo Pass - Insert Band Name Here - City and date here
I find the date important so that a busy publicist can quickly look at the subject line of your email and know what the time sensitivity is. If the date is that week of then maybe they’ll look at your email right then. If the date is in a few weeks that gives them a chance to deal with something a little more time sensitive first and then read your full request.
For example: Photo Pass - All Time Low - Milwaukee December 22nd
The start of the email:
I think how we address someone in a business email should be very different than how we address our friends via text message. “Hello” is always the one that I start with. Especially when it’s a new publicist or manager that I’m dealing with. Usually once I have a bit of a relationship with the person I’ll switch to a simple Hey or Hi. Most publicists are pretty casual and will probably answer your first hello with a hey anyway. I go for “Hello *insert name here*, and then next sentence will be a “Hope your *insert day here* is going well! Just to start it off smooth and friendly.
For example: Hello Matt,
Hope your Friday is going well!
The information part:
This is where you want to make sure you get all your information in and make it as clear as possible. Here’s what’s important: Who you are, who you’re shooting for, what band you want to shoot, what venue the show is at, what day, and the type of coverage you can offer them. If you’re just doing photos then usually you’ll be doing a photo gallery. But for those of you that also write reviews then maybe you’d be doing a photo gallery and a written review. Let the publicist know so that they can properly determine if the coverage you’re offering will be good for their artist.
What also is important here is being sure to be clear with what you need from them. Do you just need a photo pass? Or do you need a photo pass and ticket. You’ll need a ticket for most club/theatre level shows to get into the venue. For larger area shows you can usually avoid it because someone on their team will escort you out of the venue once the shooting time is up. So if you’re going to review the show you’ll need to make sure you have a ticket for arena sized shows or else you won’t be able to watch the show you review.
For example: I usually say something along the lines of “I would need a photo pass and ticket to make this happen.” Can drop the ticket part if you already have one.
The end of the email:
I always like to end my emails with a message that lets them know you’re thankful they read the email and that you’re looking forward to working with them.
For example: Let me know if you have any questions. Looking forward to working with you! Thanks, Maggie.
Before you send:
I can’t say this one enough: RE READ YOUR EMAILS! It’s so important. We’ve all been there before where you hit send and them immediately notice you’ve spelt the name wrong of the recipient of your email. Do a quick double (and maybe triple) read of your email before pressing the little send button. Once it’s gone you can’t get it back.
To end this blog I wanted to just fully copy and paste a template that shows you exactly what I’d send in an email for a photo pass request. Feel free to copy it and fill in the blanks to use for your own requests. This is something I would’ve loved when I was starting out (thankfully for me I had some friends that sent me their emails for reference). Let me be your friend and share with you my template:
Hello (insert name here),
Hope your (insert day here) is going well so far! I’m looking to set up coverage for (artist name here) show in (city, state/province) on (date here). I’m looking to send myself, photographer (your name here), to photograph the show at (venue name here) for (insert publication name here)(Also add a link to your publications website for them to look at). I’d require (a ticket or photo pass or both) and we can do a (gallery or review / whatever coverage your editor has told you to ask for). Let me know if you have any questions.
Looking forward to setting something up!
(insert your name here)
Hopefully all this information was helpful. Please reach out if you have any further questions I can help you with!