My name is Rob, and I'm surprised. People say you'll be surprised what you can get if you just ask for it. As it would turn out, they're right.
Today is 311 Day, and sadly, I'm not in New Orleans at the show. I'm sitting here pushing buttons on my laptop.
But, I do have reason to celebrate.
For one, 311's new album dropped today, and it's awesome!
Second, something happened last week in the form of a series of emails between me and a gentlemen named Peter Raspler.
I pre-ordered the new album a few weeks ago. That's something I almost never do, but I had reason for it this time. They were holding a contest to win all sorts of stuff: an autographed guitar, hand written lyrics to a song, VIP passes, etc.
I don't really care about most of that stuff, and statistically I wouldn't have a real chance at winning any of it anyhow. But, there was one thing that swayed my opinion: a photo pass.
I was gonna buy the album anyway, so I figured I may as well do it now with a chance to win something of real, substantial value to me.
When I placed my order, there was a little box to send a message to the band. I didn't think anything of it at the time, as most of the messages probably wouldn't make it to the band to begin with. So, I left it blank.
A few days later, it started eating at me. I should have said I'm a photographer by trade. It didn't make any sense. It was a random draw. It's not like they would choose a name out of a hat, then decide which prize to dole out based on the message they left.
Still, it stayed in the back of my mind, creeping forward periodically.
I finally loosened my grip on logic and rationality.
What if...? It couldn't hurt to ask, right? No, it's dumb. These guys are bombarded with this shit all the time. But..? No way, everyone's a professional photographer these days. They don't need another person harassing them.
Then I let my grip go completely.
Screw it! What've I got to lose?
I spent the next several hours asking Google questions it didn't know the answers to, in an effort to try and find an email address for the appropriate person to talk to about my situation.
Needless to say, I finally found it. I spent the next several hours composing an email trying not to sound desperate, or like I was looking for some hand-out.
The gist of my email was that I was a photographer, a big fan of 311, that I'd like to photograph a concert, and if he even read the whole email I'd be a happy camper.
I received a reply the next day saying he'd be more than happy to get me into the photo pit for whatever show I'm attending.
Holy shit! Was this just that easy?
So, I'm shooting a 311 show in May. I still can't quite believe it. It's surreal.
It reminds of a particular song:
I'm on a new high
With a pen and a pad,
And for fun I attend
A jam that's super bad.
At the same time
I give it all that I have
Whether you're a square
Or the coolest lad.
So what are you waiting for? Ask, and ye shall receive. It is just that easy sometimes.