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Thread: Banning photography at your kid's end of year show! Your view?

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    Banning photography at your kid's end of year show! Your view?

    A couple of weeks ago my little 4yo girl had her very first ballet dance recital. The organisers said no photography allowed, however they would have so called "professional" photographers and videographers there to record the event. The wife told me it started at 5pm... but while on the way there she messaged me and told me she was wrong and it started at 4.30pm. So by the time I had got there at about 4.55 I had missed my girl dancing. No worries though, the pros were there with their D3S and 70-200 F2.8 VRII and 2x video cameras so I thought I would have a record of the event.

    ...but no, not a single still of my girl, not even in a group shot and about 0.5 of second of her visible in a wide shot of the stage in the video. Not impressed!

    I am so tempted to turn up next year with my gear and tell them to PO!
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    I can understand your frustration

    From my side I'll give you an alternative view - often I get asked by event photographers to come to their event and usually it's to shoot "on spec", ie they will not pay you to be there - in fact they often require you to pay them either a fee or a royalty on sales. So, you hope to make some reasonable sales off the parents - not to get rich, but to just cover something reasonable. In return the organisers get $$$ from the photography, coverage for various reasons (local news, their website etc), parents should get great photos etc, and they can also prevent possible disruption to the performance with everyone with their pop-up flashes etc and perhaps some think it's a way that they think they can protect children againts the perils of photographers, maybe

    In return I insist on NO other SLR based or if I can ANY photographers - why - obvious - if MWC or DWC are there I have a fat chance of making any sales as I just know they will within a day have free CD's out to everyone. If the organisers will not do this I just will not attend.

    I can totally understand your frustration though - and I have shared the same thing myself several times
    Last edited by kiwi; 17-12-2011 at 10:18am.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    Hmm! This would be so disappointing. First the time mix-up, and then the complete lack of pictures.

    Did the pro togs actually attend? If they did, express your less-than-pleasure to the organisers, then turn up with your gear next time.
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    To the OP. I've shot such events (dance recitals) for many many years but have not done so for the last 5 or 6. It's almost impossible to make a decent return for the time and effort involved and particularly now when people are taking their own pictures too as almost everyone has a point and shoot camera capable of a vaguely decent image even in such low light. You might see the photographer during the performance but there is much more work than just shooting the event itself and if the return is negligible then why would any one do it?

    It is very difficult to have an attractive picture of every dancer/child whilst on stage, actually performing. Almost impossible in fact. This is why some dance schools have those terrible (IMHO) posed group shots in front of some silly background. They are nice images and they do at least show every member, as long as they attend the shoot. I certainly understand and appreciate the reason for such group shots, even if I don't like them. On the other hand to try to get vaguely decent images of every child in a performance is extremely difficult particularly when there may be 20 or 30 of them on the stage at the same time. Sure you should be dissapointed and sure, maybe you should be allowed to take your own pictures too. However, if photography was allowed then don't expect any 'pro' pictures (or video) which frankly many people would NOT be capable of taking themselves.

    If you don't have any pro photos/videos then I'm sure some one will complain about that too.

    JJ

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    Im with JJ on this one. I have also shot a dance concert and it is near impossible to get decent shots of everyone. Depending on stage size anything over 15 dancers and the tog will really struggle, especiallyif they haven't seen the dance before (preparation is key).

    Also consider that it is unlikely that the tog was in an optimum position, generally you cant shoot infront of the parents which leaves either the sides or the back of the auditorium. And another thing to consider, the 'pro tog' could also have just been a hobbyist with minimal experience at such events.

    Have you emailed the tog incase there are some that didnt make it onto their site?
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    I regularly shoot these events and there is no videography allowed for exactly the reasons Kiwi states. However we get good sales because we consistenly make sure that we closeups of every child in it balanced with the look the dance choreographer wants to portray. I also have to liase with the lighting crew and give advice on lighting placement, colours and brightness. I attend more than 1 show to get this right- so would it be fair that having spent my time, expertise and knowledge to make the show look right for filming (which incidentally are my wages) that dad turns up with his video knocks off a poor copy, has zero editing skills-gets in the way of the audience and then says to all parents - I'll give you a free copy.
    What does that accomplish apart from putting me out of work and reducing the shows feasibility as they take a large cut from my sales.
    I appreciate that not every videographer is producing a product like ours but if that is the case i would speak to the dance company and ask for a better product that maybe features more of your children.

    Photography is allowed but strictly no flashes and the offical photographer already has posed shots of all cast at the event for sale which are of a far higher quality than anyone would get at the show.

    I would say from sales that parents are happy with this arrangement and appreciate the work that has gone into it.
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    I believe it is in fact against the law now to photograph children even by other parents. I recently photographed a children's football series and had to get permission from the parents and the team management before doing the shoots.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but I am sure this is the case in Queensland. I think the law stinks by the way and is political correctness gone over the top.

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    It's a tough question.

    On the one hand, you have the dance company making money from your daughter by way of professional photogs taking her photo and trying to sell it back to you, which I am not not real keen on. I mean, you pay for her dance lessons etc anyway and then they want to make more money out of you by trying to sell you photos of your own daughter and they do this by banning you from taking photos. Hmmm.

    I understand the child protection angle, ie taking photos of other people kids. However, if A celebrity turned up at the event they'd be all too pleased to have their kid's photo next to the celebrity plastered all over the newspapers etc for every pervert to see and get their jollies off! A tad bit hypocritical. Again, Hmmm.

    As Jez states above, I think a fair way to do it would be to allow you to take photos, but no flash and to not get in the way of the other patrons and not get in the way of the pro photog.

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    Quote Originally Posted by County Lodge View Post
    I believe it is in fact against the law now to photograph children even by other parents. I recently photographed a children's football series and had to get permission from the parents and the team management before doing the shoots.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but I am sure this is the case in Queensland. I think the law stinks by the way and is political correctness gone over the top.
    rubbish

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    Who let the rabble in? Lance B's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by County Lodge View Post
    I believe it is in fact against the law now to photograph children even by other parents. I recently photographed a children's football series and had to get permission from the parents and the team management before doing the shoots.
    Not sure about that, but you could be correct as it wouldn't surprise me the way that things are going. As I stated in my other post, it's a little hypocritical in a way:

    "If A celebrity turned up at the event they'd be all too pleased to have their kid's photo next to the celebrity plastered all over the news/newspapers etc for every pervert to see and get their jollies off!" Not only that, the news/newspapers will also give the childs name who is standing next to the celebrity!!

    I was asked by a mate to photograph his daughter whilst playing in her soccer Grand Final. Like you, I said I would only do it once I had permission from the management and the parents as I didn't want to be accused of anything! I must admit, they did turn out great and he was pleased with the results.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but I am sure this is the case in Queensland. I think the law stinks by the way and is political correctness gone over the top.
    Agreed. My example above shows how silly this sort of thing is.

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    In general children are afforded no more protection than adults, there are odd and rare exceptions regarding children under protective orders

    It is not illegal to photograph anyone in a public place

    If there are terms and conditions of entry that preclude photography the event manager may ask you to leave and if you don't you could be prosecuted for trespass, not for taking photos

    Any request by say a football club for you to get permission from parents or managers is just their guidelines and that's all it is, not enforceable by law

    This advice is not applicable to commercial use, that's another issue again and will usually also, at least in Queensland, require a blue card

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    Administrator ricktas's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by County Lodge View Post
    I believe it is in fact against the law now to photograph children even by other parents. I recently photographed a children's football series and had to get permission from the parents and the team management before doing the shoots.

    Please correct me if I am wrong but I am sure this is the case in Queensland. I think the law stinks by the way and is political correctness gone over the top.
    Not true. There are no laws related to photography that specifically mention children at all! There are laws related to invasion of privacy, trespass etc, which are those that are often used against photographers, but there is ZERO related to photographing children. All these rules are put in place by event organisers, not actual law!
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    Quote Originally Posted by Keith Young View Post
    Banning photography at your kid's end of year show! Your view? A couple of weeks ago my little 4yo girl . . . etc
    In my opinion your ONLY gripe is with the Dance School and the owners thereof.

    And their “prohibition” or not of the use of your camera to photograph your child and her friends is the topic of discussion – you pay dance tuition fees, no?
    And that appears to me, to be a leverage.

    WW

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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    It is not illegal to photograph anyone in a public place

    If there are terms and conditions of entry that preclude photography the event manager may ask you to leave and if you don't you could be prosecuted for trespass, not for taking photos

    d
    While you are correct Kiwi in certain points I should correct you on two issues here.

    I began my photographic career, shooting performing arts - specifically dance, and that spread to every genre of performing arts, including rock concerts etc.

    Terms and Conditions - most theatre or performing arts venues restrict photography for many reasons, and one very important one is not necessarily the issue of the event organisers, but sometimes the person/area to "blame" is in fact the copyright holder of the production itself. Let me give you an example, you cant shoot any production of Cats or Andrew Lloyd Webber productions without the specifi written permission from the Really Useful Theatre Company - and that applies even with amateur productions.

    And they're not going to charge you with trespass if you have paid or have been given a ticket for entry into a venue (very different to a sports ground), they will simply point to their Terms and Conditions and point out that you agreed to the T&C's when you accepted or bought the ticket.

    Most event organisers put restrictions in not because they have political correctness virus, but because of parents complaints. So the real issue is ridiculous over-sensitivity about the issue of still capture, which amazingly is treated quite differently if you're videoing an event - and for the life of me I have no idea why that is so !!
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    Thanks, yes, I know if but had not considered the issue of copyright re the work being performed, would that though apply if images were being captured by a parent for private and domestic use only ?

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    I think you'll find the copyright provisions apply regardess of the end use of the product (eg personal use). It would be up to the copyright holder to grant an exception.
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    Quote Originally Posted by kiwi View Post
    Thanks, yes, I know if but had not considered the issue of copyright re the work being performed, would that though apply if images were being captured by a parent for private and domestic use only ?
    Yes - these organisations are very very restrictive, and enforce their T&Cs regardless of who is shooting I'm afraid.

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    Re the original post - This is common.
    My daughter's dance recital recently a local 'glamour' photography business took the usual posed group shots. Nice enough pics. But despite having offers from two fathers who are also local photographers who take excellent low light event & sports shots ( one publishes a local sport & lifestyle mag) , they used the same glamour tog to take the performance shots. Very poor photos. She just didn't have the skills. Similar to you, no shots of anyone from my daughter's dance. When questioned, their answer was "if the light wasn't right, we didn't print it." So I think they stuffed up more shots than they got right. Even the ones they printed were poor quality.
    And they don't even do a video at all.
    I laughed out loud though when the venue annouced that cameras and video recording was prohibited 'by law'..... they used to announce that it was 'venue policy" which I accept, but 'by law' was stretching it a bit.

    In defence of your photographers though, if it was like our dance recital, with many kids moving around to different spots on the stage, and short performances, you almost need 3 photographers spread around the venue to get good shots every kid.
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    Arch-Σigmoid Ausphotography Regular ameerat42's Avatar
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    As an ex professional dancer myself, what many of the parents wanting their loved ones individually shot, or the photographers, themselves in a quest to capture every individual performing as a group; miss as an important point, which is if the little ones are in a group piece, as "corps de ballet" dancers, then the intention by the choreographer is to produce an ensemble piece where the group's "look" outweighs the interest of the individual.

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