Its GREAT that there is a revival of sorts shooting Chinese Opera performances and bringing attention to this art form.
And this IS the high season for Chinese Opera performances
Just want to sound out a gentle reminder whether you are there ALONE or (ESPECIALLY) shooting in a group..... if you are given permission to access the backstage to shoot the artistes preparing.changing for their roles etc etc
1. try your best to NOT crowd the backstage .... some backstage areas can take only a couple of photographers at a time while others can accomodate more ..... do not in your eagerness crowd and jam the backstage .... take turns .... the performances last all evening and there will be ample opportunities for all .... be automatic ..... shoot what you need to shoot and make way for other photogs (EVEN if you dont know them )
2. DO talk to the performers instead of only shooting and shooting.... they are humans too and have a life .... and often have a story to tell...
3. GIVE BACK to the performers if you can prints of them in action or backstage preparing.... we should not just take take take ..... remember to give back something too so that everyone benefits. DO NOT promise to give prints or CDs but NEVER do it in the end... you HAVE to maintain their trust and your word
4. BE RESPECTFUL of the performers and the managers..... be polite and humble ..... if they say No Photo ... it means No Photo ...... many artistes are welcoming but there will be other artistes who want privacy or who just want to be plain left alone
5. HAVE GENUINE INTEREST in what you're shooting ... and SMILE and BOW your head alot (for me actually, just as a sign of humility and thanks)
6. STAY out of the way not only of the performers and artistes .... but ALSO other photographers (lolzz nobody wants another photographer in the background of their image lolzzz )
Why am I bringing this up ?
As much as possible, we want the Opera community to have a good rapport and good relationship with the photography community as a whole ...... It'll be very sad if artistes get upset and throw a backstage BAN on ANY shooting activities backstage due to unhappy incidents between artistes and photographers
The worst is when they are not happy BUT SAY NOTHING .... its the next time when you or me or others return again to shoot that worries me. The best way to overcome this imho is to make sure they know that THEY are the Treasures and the Stars of the troupe.... and treated accordingly
Yes its your time ... its your activity .... and your life...... NOBODY can tell you what to do or not do .... so treat this only as a gentle reminder so that we can go back year after year to good friendships at the Opera. Just always remember you're a guest and its a privilege and not a right for you to be shooting them
Thanks...... and enjoy your shooting !!