I was planning on going to the Houston International Festival again this weekend, but decided to boycott the whole thing. As mentioned before, I don’t get paid to post any pictures on here, but judging by the hits that I get and the search engine results that bring people here, I think it’s fair to say that my little blog helps in promoting the different events that I photograph. Whether it’s the Art Car Parade, Buffalo Bayou Regatta, Via Colori, Houston Marahton, or the Candlelight Tour, I do my best to capture the event from a unique point of view and many times share the pictures absolutely free with the participants. From time to time I even share my pictures with other websites like I recently did with Cultremap.
The only thing I ask is to catch a break and not pay an entrance fee and maybe have better access. Because of this, I decided to contact Ashley S. from media relations (contact information is on their website) a month or so ago. In there, I sent a few samples of my work from last year’s ifest as well as others, explained what I do, and asked whether I could get a media pass. I didn’t even get a courtesy email back from her. I realize I’m not a TV station, but anytime someone googles “ifest photographs”, I bet my blog gets more hits than does other medium so it seemed just a bit rude.
Still, I was going to go buy my own ticket and go there today, but noticed that they suspended online ticket sales on the day of the event. Notice that tickets are $18 at the door which in my humble opinion is overpriced given that this is on city grounds, have no real headliner, and they already make a killing off the vendors. The $15 online price is a bit more reasonable, and the best way to go is to have a discount code which I had from yelp. Of course, on top of the $18, I would have had to buy 9 meal coupons for $10, paid for parking, etc. so it occurred to me to just forget the whole thing and just go out and enjoy the weather elsewhere. Why would I pay full price and help promote an event? The only reason to suspend online ticket sales is pure greed really.
In contrast, organizations like the Houston Heritage Society actually email me and invite me to come each year. I get to take pictures I wouldn’t normally have a chance to take, and they get great pictures in return. Everybody wins.
*edit* I guess I couldn’t hold out for ever…got my tickets for Saturday.