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Them as don’t ask, don’t get
Bill McCarthy of Augustines, Kendal Calling 2014
Bill McCarthy of Augustines, Kendal Calling 2014

My mum used to say “those that don’t ask, don’t get.” Her dad, who was a bit more East Lancs in speech than my mum, used to say “them as dun’t ask, dun’t get.” However you pronounce it (and I tend towards the East Lancs way because, let’s face it, it’s beautiful) it means the same thing: If you don’t ask for what you want there’s no reason to expect that you’ll ever get it.

This is something of which for something reason I — a rational, adult human being — need to remind myself of rather more than I’d like. Also, I have to remind myself of its corollary: “It doesn’t hurt to ask.”

It’s by being willing to ask that it looks like I’ve managed to secure press access to a festival this year (still trying not to jinx that). Actually, it took a lot of knocking on doors, dealing with an editor who seems to use a black hole as their email server, and being willing to make phone calls and knock on doors. The whole time I was asking I was petrified of being rejected. Told no. Told to go away.

In fact I was so petrified that I thought about setting up my own media agency / magazine and try to get press passes that way rather than try and go through a gatekeeper. Needless to say that was a crazy idea and I’ve shelved it for now.

So here’s a thing. Putting it out there in the world. I want to photograph Augustines. If I get my press pass, I’ll be photographing them at the festival, sure. But I don’t mean photographing them live (although I’ll love doing that again). I mean shooting a portrait of them. A honest-to-goodness band portrait, of the kind that I love to shoot.

It doesn’t hurt to ask.

Time to go ask, then.