Last night, I attended the Kevin Hart “What Now” Red Carpet After Party held at Suite Food Lounge in Downtown Atlanta. I thought long and hard before writing this post… mainly because it’s a little humiliating for me. But this is blog about MY life as a photographer… so here we go!
Disclaimer: This has nothing to do with Kevin Hart & his camp.
Rant of the Day: By now… I’ve covered over 100 red carpet events and THIS was the worst Atlanta PR experience of my career. And why..?? Because I waited 4 hours “outside” for Kevin Hart and ended up with NOTHING. He made an appearance “INSIDE” the venue and media had NO access. Now don’t get me wrong… I spent 19 hours in Selma for the President but I got the PRIZE… Obama! THIS was a major sting because it was WAY past my bed time & time was wasted. I don’t do the club scene well at all.
Boy have I learned a HUGE lesson & the best way to share my experience is to attach an email I sent to the particular PR team (will not name) 🙂
I hope this helps aspiring photographers, media outlets and anyone with a business. The key word is… RESPECT
Please note this email is written with good intentions. I couldn’t let the day go by without expressing my deepest disappoint with how media was treated last night by your team. In Maya Angelou’s words… “People remember how you made them feel”. My red carpet experience (and I’m pretty sure I speak for most of the media in attendance) was the worst in my history of red carpet photography. Not because it was unorganized or unforeseen issues that normally occur at events… but I feel we were used a fillers/pawns for the filming of your PR show.
I’m not familiar with of 90% of the media you invited… but myself and a few other outlets do this for a living. I am a professional photographer with a family at home & I feel my time was totally disrespected. We spent 4 wasted hours wasted outside of the venue… only to come up empty handed. We had no access inside or pictures of Kevin Hart which was promoted in your invitation/confirmation. I even had to beg security to go inside and use the restroom. How humiliating…
Don’t get me wrong… I’m MAINLY upset with myself because there were SO many red flags the minute I arrived. But my friends convinced me to stay so I struggled for as long as I could (1:45 AM). My issue with you & your team is the horrible treatment and misleading information. There were plenty of opportunities for you to be considerate of our situation but you chose to “let the chips fall where they may” with us. Ex. Your confirmation email stated we MUST check in before 9:45… but Kevin did not arrive until 1:30 AM. We basically waited for 4 hours (through your filming) with nothing to show for it. Why did you let this happen?
We are all trying to make a difference with our businesses & deserve respect. You made a mockery of us and I’m totally outdone. All I can think about is my 6 year old’s “sad eyes” last night as he begged me not to leave and to stay for popcorn & a movie. As I mentioned… I’m a professional photographer & blogger which keeps me out of the house a lot. This is my career & how I make my living… but last night I lost valuable time with my son.
Yes, it’s a decision that I made for the evening but I do keep a balance. #familyFirst. But I’m partially grateful & have learned from this experience. THIS will NOT happen again. Everything happens for a reason & I have been shown to have boundaries, choose events more wisely and LISTEN to the RED FLAGS.
Again, this is not written in hate… but as a major concern for how ATL media was treated. I do wish you the best with your new PR reality show & other endeavors.