James Marcus Haney is Almost Famous

The first time I heard of James Marcus Haney was when he ventured onto Reddit to do this AMA (ask me anything) and got trashed by the redditors. But I doubt there will be any lasting backlash from that experience when his documentary, “http://www.spas.rs/,” premieres on MTV on Aug. 29.

The doc, which Haney describes as a coming of age film, follows his mostly successful attempts to sneak into music festivals and concerts, often ending up in the photography pit with his camera.

It’s a sure bet that some concert photographers aren’t too happy with his antics — since many already gripe about the number of bloggers and non professionals who are able to get official credentials to shoot in the pit, not to mention actual interlopers. There’s also the conspiracy theorists who think the documentary is a sham — scripted, sponsored and abetted by the folks at MTV and the music industry.

I don’t know about all that but I do plan on setting the DVR for the premiere. How can you hate on a guy that made it happen?

Documentary street photographers can take a lesson from his creativity and persistence. You don’t have to be “on assignment” to shoot an event, whether it’s breaking news, a parade or a concert. Just go out, shoot and work it like you’re getting paid. Here’s what Haney said in an interview published on the Huffington Post:

Shoot a shit ton even if you don’t have a press pass. A Jay Z photo that changed my life was taken from in the crowd. Get your work out. The more you do, the more people will start asking. You’ll start small and grow.


Image of James Marcus Haney by the Montclair Film Festival. It is used here under a Creative Commons license.

Joe Newman

I'm Joe Newman, multi-media story teller, non-profit do-gooder, international street photographer, serious poker player, intrepid traveler. Bourbon drinker.

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