By Jim Zuckerman
When I decided to be a professional photographer, I quickly realized that clients don’t care why or how I didn’t get the shots they need. It doesn’t matter – they just find the images elsewhere. Therefore, I had to push myself to get the best, the most dynamic, and the most compelling images I could. In many instances, this requires getting permission to gain access to well known places that otherwise would be off-limits to the public.
The pictures you see here were taken the inside of the famous opera house in Vienna, Austria. Most stock photographers wouldn’t take the time to arrange this kind of access, so I asked a security guard where the administrative office was for the opera. It was only two blocks away, and I went there and spoke to the person in charge. I asked if I could photograph the beautiful three-story marble entrance as well as the performance area, and for a modest fee was granted permission to do so. All the lights were turned on and I was free to use a tripod. It was exciting to have such a beautiful theater all to myself for as long as it took to get the pictures.
Even if you have no interest in selling your work, making the extra effort to gain access to great subjects will dramatic improve your ratio of good to bad pictures. You'll get images that few others have taken the trouble to capture.