Ok, you’ve ditched the cameraphone and bought a real camera. Maybe one of those SLR thingies with the kit lens and all the buttons. You’ve got the camera strap with the ‘PROFESSIONAL’ logo. You’ve bought one of those stupid jackets with all the pockets that mean you can never find anything in under five minutes. But wait a minute. What’s that little A6 see-through sleeve on the jacket at chest height? What’s meant to go in there?
Something is missing from that jacket.
Something is missing from your life.
You need…a press pass.
Or, as most people who don’t have one call it, a Press Pass.
Time was when these were hard to come by: you had to be a proper journalist, or at least a member of the National Union of Journalists. In recent times the official UK ‘gatekeeper’ scheme has both increased acceptance of the national press card, and made obtaining one easier – for those who qualify.
But what about those unfortunates, who, through no fault of their own, don’t qualify? After all, rule number one for photography is access: f8 and be there and all that. No access and it’s F all. But with a Press Pass life will be different. Doors will open; borders will fall; freebies will fly from all directions. Hell, you won’t have to chase the B-List: it will chase you. Paris will be calling – and we don’t mean the city.
So how to get the damn thing?
Fortunately times have moved on, and today’s technology makes it far easier to acquire that vital document that will transform you from nonentity to Nachtwey. Just search on the internet scamulator and there are an increasing number of press cards on offer. Of course with so many available the problem now is which to choose. No need to fret: the EPUK Towers research team has been hard at work to help you choose the wannabee card that’s right for you.
The newest card on the block is the Flickr Black Press Pass, and if you ask us it looks far too nice to be a real press card. In fact, in the words of the lucky holders it’s…
‘Cute as hell!’
‘Way too kewl!’
You can almost hear them squeak, can’t you?
Pros: Flickrs’s worldwide brand recognition will show you’re the genuine article. Macho black design will get you the respect you deserve from SWAT teams and Special Forces units everywhere. It’s free.
Cons: Flickrs’s worldwide brand recognition means everyone will have one by this evening. Imagine being on your first assignment in downtown Baggers and running into a bunch of other guys wearing the same badge: then noticing that they’re armed and on the other side. Could cost you your life.
Perhaps Sir isn’t kewl enough for Flickr: in that case what about something from the National Organisation Of Independant Journalists? This offering comes from that well known media organisation, Secondary Solutions, in Preston, Lancashire.
Pros: unorthodox spelling will confirm you both as an employee of the Guardian and a bone fide photographer.
Cons: issuer’s URL isn’t great if you find yourself in a tight spot and need a reference.
How about a photographer or press pass from Phatism, or the remarkably similar hologram versions from the apparently unrelated Belvine?
Pros: buy 12 different identities for £30! If your new calling follows the usual photography career trajectory you can instantly convert to actor, pilot, bounty hunter, mercenary, bartender or host of others.
Cons: all those different careers could get confusing. Best not to travel with all the cards at once: you don’t want pull out your Mercenary or Bartender ID while fumbling for your press card at the Saudi border.
Horizons a little wider than a rundown mill town in the north of England? If you’ve got ambitions as a jet-setting international photojournalist type you’ll be interested in the International Press Association, based in the USA. Ok, so they’re based in a lock box in New Jersey, but that’s still international.
Pros: the IPA keeps an eye out for fraudulent IPA passes. Well you wouldn’t want to buy a counterfeit fake press card, would you?
Cons: $200 PA! ROTFLMAO! Are Americans really that dumb? ‘Refuses membership from countries that the US Department of State considers high risk’. If you’re a Brit that probably means you, especially if you really are a journalist.
Of course with all these newcomers to the photography business it’s not surprising that some old hands are considering moving on. So for smudgers thinking of a career upgrade we’re very excited about the launch our new range of EPUK Officious™ identity cards.
Paralegal Response Assault Team. Serve injunctions like a lawyer not seen on video, television or the national press. For extra protection comes supplied with Brief Disappearance™, part of the EPUK Invisiblography™ suite. Card not valid within the precincts of the court.
Rent-A-Plod. Pursue a rewarding career patrolling shopping malls selling clothes you can’t afford while being abused by underage chavs wearing them. Ill-fitting uniform provided.
NEW!!! Rent-A-Plod Gold. Secure ecologically clean areas from crusty infestation and provide P.R.A.T. support. Comes complete with balaclava, military boots and Northern Ireland gloves; optional imitation firearm.
Official Burger Examination Services Executive. Guarantees entry to the kitchen areas of the world’s most popular restaurant chain. Eat For Free™ while reminiscing on your former career as a photographer.
Government Cashier. Levy fees on the deserving wealthy in return for peerages and other titles. Discounted bulk purchase of titles available from our associate company Peerages R Us.
All EPUK Officious™ cards are subject to our Terms & Conditions.
All cards are as worthless as they would appear to any adult with an IQ in double figures. EPUK and its representatives accept no responsibility for any individual’s use of cards, or any user’s lack of the most basic intelligence or common sense. Any use resulting in action, legal or illegal, against the user, or physical harm sustained by the user, is the user’s own damn fault. Note: Sqweegee is not a lawyer, nor does he portray one on television. Always take advice from a professional lawyer or experienced litigant before attempting to serve legal documents. All law enforcement work carries an element of risk: constant exposure to shopping malls may have a permanent psychological effect. The EPUK Officious™ Rent-A-Plod Gold card is only available to qualified applicants. Required qualifications include personal mobility without the dragging of knuckles, and either possession of a Millwall season ticket [minimum 5 year period], or a minimum of 5 years military service [without promotion]. Excessive consumption of hamburgers may result in obesity, ridicule and starring movie roles. The awarding of honorary titles is reserved for officials of Her Majesty’s Government: any attempt to do so by private individuals may lead to embarrassing headlines, legal action and poor election results.