Concert photographers love their photo passes. Not only are photography credentials for live music hard won — but photo passes serve as prized keepsakes that nearly all music photographers collect as souvenirs beyond the images they make at concerts.
I'm sure that every single music photographer has been asked “what are you going to do with that?” by a fan pointing to their photo pass. While a fan would prize a pass from their favorite band or artist, just about every concert photographer I know collects their passes. Here are a few ways that music photographers collect and display their hard earned passes.
This post was inspired by a simple question put to me in this first Tweet:
From there, I asked how concert photographers organized their photo passes. Here's how you responded.
I love this idea of just plastering your computer or road case with photo passes.
laptop to inspire whenever I work pic.twitter.com/wkHFcCHReG— Sarah Northrop (@SARTAKESPICS) January 19, 2020
I keep some of my favorites in my laptop case pic.twitter.com/r9HJMCMY8v— Elena Strawn Photo (@elenasphoto) January 18, 2020
Keeping Photo Passes in Binders
Organizing photo passes in binders is a popular option as well. If you've been shooting for year, it's not only a great way to organize your passes, but it ends up as an extremely impressive way of cataloging the shows you've shot as well.
I put all of mine in a little scrap book, added more since this video was made. pic.twitter.com/X3utZeYEbf— Stacey (@malacey_) January 19, 2020
I hang all my laminated and I have a scrapbook where I stick all the stickies in chronological order— ? maggie ? (@maggielndnphoto) January 18, 2020
I laminate the regular sticky passes and put them in a scrapbook. With the lanyard laminates, I will take it off the lanyard and put in the scrapbook. If it’s a favorite artist, I’ll print an image from the night and put it and the pass in a frame for my wall pic.twitter.com/vsQp4wQiJR— Jenn D Photography (@jenndphotograph) January 18, 2020
I picked up a book for concert tickets but the pages are big enough to hold photo passes. pic.twitter.com/bRDbTAtKpO— Chris Smyth (@notSmithe) January 19, 2020
Keeping Photo Passes on Bulletin Boards
A lot of photographers keep their passes pin to bulletin boards as well, which creates a cool visual effect in showing a wall of passes.
I hang mine on a bulletin board and stick my tickets behind them pic.twitter.com/rwCwQ4e7cZ— Lisa Eggleston ??? (@lisaegg24) January 18, 2020
Wall! But there’s also a load of wristbands and lanyards in my gigantic box of gig crap. pic.twitter.com/5CjTmzp9jM— Sophie Garrett (@sophigarrett) January 19, 2020
Have some of my favorites from the last 10 years displayed on my wall, and others are stored away in a box pic.twitter.com/PF9pqjRwV6— Tyler Church (@T_Church) January 18, 2020
Piles of Passes
I love this idea of including passes as home decor and lowkey displaying them in a container like this.
11+ years of shooting music and have kept every single sticker/credential. All individually laminated with the date, venue, city and artist(s) performing on the back. pic.twitter.com/O2nAcbWeRU— Catherine Powell (@CatherinePowell) January 19, 2020
A lot of photographers, particularly those shooting festivals or other concerts that give out credentials on lanyards, may have a glory wall like this with all of their credentials.
A lil tree pic.twitter.com/8v1aTpgRRK— leo kaczmarek (@KaczmarekLeo) January 19, 2020
Passes on the Wall
Passes framed or otherwise mounted is another popular way music photographers showcase their passes. I love the idea that some people have photos of their families framed and on the wall, while music photographers have their favorite passes up.
Favorite or most memorable tours from my first 5 years of touring (apologies to the ones that didn’t make it, frame would just end up being massive if I included them all). Framing up another 5 years this upcoming November. pic.twitter.com/k2vLXFqwac— Carlos Enrique Navarro Yañez (@Carlitos_N) January 18, 2020
keep in frame but can be a hassle to keep adding so i keep new ones in a box until it’s a good amount to add pic.twitter.com/UFwZ33Vk5O— nattaroni (@nattografi) January 19, 2020
Some are framed with photos, most are in a drawer. pic.twitter.com/NcMoCtStP6— Josh Chaikin (@JoshChaikin) January 18, 2020
Just a few of mine pic.twitter.com/DBNwVgkcyn— Andy watson (@Drw_Images) January 19, 2020
???— brandynnleigh (@brandynnleigh) January 19, 2020
But I keep any tour lamenints in a different spot on a single lanyard. pic.twitter.com/K2XNR3Z3jx
I would bet that a lot of music photographers simply keep them like this. As a music photographer since 2006, I've accumulated what must be hundreds and hundreds of sticky passes and laminates
Up to over 100 laminates and my drawer is getting full pic.twitter.com/9mZYGeY5Nv— rukes (@rukes) January 18, 2020
Personally, I don't do anything fancy with mine, though after seeing all the great responses here, I feel like I'm slacking. For now, I honestly just have a box filled with all the credentials I've received since 2006. It's a bit of a mess, but going through it every once in a while brings back a lot of memories for me.
I save every single pass and credential I get. Yes, even the paper wristbands. Here’s 14 years of photo passes for me. pic.twitter.com/r2jRRuipGX— Todd Owyoung (@toddowyoung) January 19, 2020
I know that for me, as a concert photographer, collecting photo passes is a way of looking back at all the shows I've covered and worked. While each artist might not be in my portfolio, it's special to be able to look back at all the all the shows like this, each represented by a credential — whether it's a photo pass, an AAA laminate, or just a flimsy paper wristband.