How to Get a Photography Press Pass

By Qiana Chavaia

Updated September 22, 2017

Freelance photographers can receive press passes to cover events.
i Jupiterimages/ Images

Expanding media platforms such as online magazines, blogs, and photo banks create vast opportunities for freelance photojournalists. Without valid press credentials it is often impossible to gain entry to events and access to persons of interest. Freelance photographers not affiliated with major news associations can obtain valid press credentials. The United Press Association (UPA) offers membership to established and aspiring freelance journalists.

Visit the UPA website at and select the “Join the UPA” option from the left navigation bar.

Choose “Become a Member” at the bottom of the screen and proceed to complete the registration form.

Click “Register” at the bottom of the screen to continue to the next step. Select the membership type for which you are applying and select “PayPal” or "Google Checkout" to purchase. Click "Checkout" after verifying your membership order to proceed.

Check your email for your order confirmation details or further instructions on completing your PayPal purchase. After your information has been verified and payment is received, you will receive your UPA press credentials by mail in 10 to14 days.

Call, write or fax the public relations agency for the event/person for which you would like to gain access. Identify yourself, your press credentials and the company or organization you are with (the UPA can be used as your organization if you are not with a company or organization).