Press ID Card for Photojournalists: Essential or Nonessential?

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As a photojournalist, you may be wondering whether a press ID card for photojournalists is essential or not. After all, you can often get by without one. But there are some definite advantages to having a press ID badge, including being able to access restricted areas and getting discounts at certain events. Here’s everything you need to know about press IDs – from how to get one to the pros and cons of using one.

What Is a Press ID Card and What Do They Do?

A press ID badge is a card given out by press agencies that identify the holder as a professional photographer and/or journalist. It can also be referred to as a press pass, press credential or press card. While this type of press pass is generally easier to obtain than other types of press credentials, such as those issued by the International Federation of Photographic Organization (IFPO), it has limited value since the pass may not be accepted in certain places or situations. Therefore, it’s important for photojournalists to understand the difference between press passes and journalism passes when considering their need for press ID cards.

How to Get a Press ID Badge

Applying for a press ID badge can be a straightforward process. Freelance and professional photographers can apply to belong to an organization like IFPO (International Freelance Photographers Organization) which specializes in offering members an array of different press passes to choose from. They typically sell individual or full memberships and give you the opportunity to apply for press credentials after registration is complete. Depending on the chosen membership, these agencies may also cover additional costs relating to background checks or follow-up press pass applications, making it easier for aspiring photojournalists to apply and receive formal press identification quickly and easily.

What Are the Benefits of a Press ID Card?

Investing in a press ID card does come with some crucial perks that are decidedly beneficial for a freelance photographer or photojournalist—especially for one who is just getting started in the field and could use a boost when it comes to event coverage opportunities. Here are the top benefits of investing in a press ID card.

  • Exclusive coverage access: With press credentials, you will find it even easier to enter events you would have otherwise not had access to, like sports coverage events, political gatherings, and more.
  • Discounts at photography stores or venues: If you order a press ID card through an organization like IFPO, you will likely enjoy local benefits and even benefits abroad, depending on the level of certification.
  • Professionalism: You will be ready to take your next career step by investing in a press pass.
  • Easy associating with peers: With a press pass, you’ll essentially be wearing a name tag all day. Choose how you represent yourself carefully and work hard to make industry connections for optimal benefit.

What Are the Drawbacks of a Press ID Card?

There are some reservations that you might need to dispel before ordering a press ID card, including:

  • Initial cost: To gain a high-level press ID pass, you’ll likely first need to invest in an organization like IFPO—but fortunately for members of this organization, signup only costs a flat fee of about $80 one-time—not monthly. This plus the cost of the badge itself sometimes surprises people.
  • Journalists’ credentials don’t go as far as IFPO’s for photographers: Be sure you know the difference between journalists’ credentials and a freelance photographer press pass like those offered by IFPO—as some have international clearance and others have a local emphasis. If you plan to do any international travel, make sure you opt for the all-inclusive press pass!
  • Applying and waiting for the pass to arrive: Expedite the process by joining a group like IFPO that will also help you build your portfolio for future opportunities both domestic and international!
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Is a Press ID Card Essential for Your Career?

Whether it’s essential or nonessential really comes down to the individual freelancer, but generally, it’s a good idea for photographers and photojournalists to acquire a press ID badge. Doing so opens up far more possibilities; it can give you access to otherwise restricted areas and help your work stand out from the crowd. This can be taken care of easily too–the International Freelance Photographers Organization (IFPO) offers press ID badges to professionals at an affordable price, allowing them to get their credentials in no time. Instead of wondering if it’s essential or not, why wouldn’t you enroll in IFPO and start with your press ID badge today? 

Industry Leading Press ID Card for Photojournalists with IFPO

A press ID badge is a credential that identifies the bearer as a journalist. Press ID cards are issued by press clubs, news organizations, and other groups. They typically contain the photo and name of the cardholder, as well as the expiration date and sometimes the bearer’s signature. Some also have holograms or watermarks to prevent counterfeiting. If you want to get a press ID badge, you can join a professional organization like IFPO. A press ID badge is an essential tool for any photojournalist who wants to be taken seriously in the industry. It provides credentials and legitimacy, which can open doors to new opportunities. Although there are some downsides to having a press ID badge, such as the cost and hassle of renewing it every year, the benefits far outweigh the cons. If you’re serious about becoming a photojournalist, enrolling in IFPO’s program and getting started with one of our modern press ID card models is the best way to kickstart your career.