Last night I had the opportunity to photograph the Smashing pumpkins in concert at UCSDs’ RIMAC Arena. I was asked by the venue to photograph the band for use in promotional material by the venue and as a print for the venue offices. 

The photo pass request was approved by the Smashing Pumpkins and I was sent a photo release from the bands management. All pretty standard up till now, but when I read the photo release form, I was shocked to see the following line:

Note: You also hereby agree to allow management FREE usage of any and all photographs for merchandise, publicity or any other purpose.

(Ok, I am the one who underlined, bolded and made the word free red, but thats how it stood out to me.) So according to this, the Smashing Pumpkins can use any of my images for anything they want, and I get nothing in return. So lets look at the rest of the photo release and see what it is that I get out of it.


This letter serves to confirm that you, (Photographer)                                                  , may photograph (no flash) SMASHING PUMPKINS on the condition that any material arising from the photographic session to be held on (Date)                                  at (Venue) ______________________________, is used for editorial use, in the following publication(s) only:


 So the images can only be used in the magazine or publication stated on the form. I can’t sell the images to a wire service or as prints from my own website.

The license hereby granted to you to photograph the artist is limited to the above grant only and NO right to sell, license or reproduce the material for advertising or commercial purposes (e.g., for use as posters, calendars, T-shirts, biographies, etc.) either to be sold, to be distributed free or to be otherwise exploited in any manner whatsoever.  Nor may any material arising from the said session be reproduced in any publication devoted exclusively or predominantly to the artist unless prior permission has been obtained from SMASHING PUMPKINS and their management.

According to this, I can’t do anything with the images.

Note: You also hereby agree to allow management free usage of any and all photographs for merchandise, publicity or any other purpose.

Looks like the Smashing pumpkins can do what they want with my images (if they ever see them, that is)

You hereby agree to indemnify SMASHING PUMPKINS, their management and agents against any claims, losses or damage suffered by SMASHING PUMPKINS and their management and agents as a result of any breach by you of the above.  Please indicate your acceptance of the foregoing conditions by signing this letter and hand-delivering it to the box office.

 I did sign the release and hand it back to the representative from the promoter, but with one small change. I erased the word free. They accepted the release and I shot the show. Three songs, no flash.

The photo pit at RIMAC was really big and not that crowded. Eight security guys and four photographers, but it seemed that the other three photographers were all trying to get the same shot at the same time. This made me want to look for different angles and shooting opportunities. 

The lead singer of the Smashing Pumpkins, a bald Billy Corgan, dressed in a black shirt with a spider design on the front and a skirt?? that looked as if it was made from leather roofing tiles was a real challenge to shoot. The lights were changing at a frantic pace and metering was out of the question.

This show was another great opportunity to use the 10.5mm Fisheye lens on the D2X.

The full gallery of this will be posted if allowed.