A gentle reminder to guys shooting Chinese Opera and Other Cultural Festivals


ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
11,014
38
48
56
Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#1
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 :bsmilie:)

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 !!
 

Last edited:

Dream Merchant

Moderator
Staff member
Jan 11, 2007
9,659
6
38
#2
Ed, this is a FANTASTIC Reminder and 'Guide' of sorts! Kudos! :)

We should always be aware of the situation around us, and help foster healthy relations/PR between the cultural troops and artistes!

A little genuine CONSIDERATION and courtesy goes a truly LONG WAY! And yes, TALK WITH THEM!!! They are not mere inanimate subjects for photographers!!! :cool:

Thanks for sharing this Ed!
 

Mar 8, 2009
46
0
6
#3
Yah thks for writing this. Nvr take any chinese wayang before but I believe it will be a great experience.

Hope I will be able to film one.
 

Last edited:
May 5, 2005
458
0
16
#4
Tks for the reminder. I'm planning to go shoot them, and this sure comes in handy :)
 

allenleonhart

Deregistered
Sep 17, 2008
3,656
0
0
#5
just realised this thread existed.

Anyways, I've once organised such a shoot before. Perhaps another point to note is the number of photographers allowed backstage is limited, due to space restrictions, especially those makeshift wooden theatres.

I had a few gatecrashers before in my last round (abt 2 years ago), which resulted in some minor scuffle on the admin side. The very least, would be to inform the person who hired the performers and ask for permission, before shooting backstage. Shooting from the front during performance is fine. Gatecrashing is simply utter disrespect and can be very disruptive to the organiser/host. While many performers would not mind the extra photographs, remember that ultimately is the host that is paying for the performers to perform.
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,660
68
48
lil red dot
#6
just realised this thread existed.

Anyways, I've once organised such a shoot before. Perhaps another point to note is the number of photographers allowed backstage is limited, due to space restrictions, especially those makeshift wooden theatres.

I had a few gatecrashers before in my last round (abt 2 years ago), which resulted in some minor scuffle on the admin side. The very least, would be to inform the person who hired the performers and ask for permission, before shooting backstage. Shooting from the front during performance is fine. Gatecrashing is simply utter disrespect and can be very disruptive to the organiser/host. While many performers would not mind the extra photographs, remember that ultimately is the host that is paying for the performers to perform.
The opera is open to all... so what is there to gatecrash?

The more important thing is to respect the performers. And before taking photos, try talking to them and get to know them. Do not talk to them when they are still applying the inital makeup. Do not walk around them when they are drawing their face... because the backstage is mostly made of wood, and the vibrations can cause the brush to run. Never take photos of the performers smoking, and never sit in their seats unless invited to do so.

And it is best not to organize outing there. Just go in 2s or 3s.
 

Last edited:

allenleonhart

Deregistered
Sep 17, 2008
3,656
0
0
#7
The opera is open to all... so what is there to gatecrash?

The more important thing is to respect the performers. And before taking photos, try talking to them and get to know them. Do not talk to them when they are still applying the inital makeup. Do not walk around them when they are drawing their face... because the backstage is mostly made of wood, and the vibrations can cause the brush to run. Never take photos of the performers smoking, and never sit in their seats unless invited to do so.

And it is best not to organize outing there. Just go in 2s or 3s.
albert read again. i'm talking specifically about backstage access. mine was access granted by the host who hired the performing troupe.

i'm not talking about shooting the performance from the front where the audience is sitting. that one we don't have problems.

the problems come when too many ppl crowd at the backstage, blocking photographers, stage hands, actors/actresses from performing/getting stuff done.

and 2nd, the performers are hired. just because some of the hosts don't say a thing, doesn't mean they are happy with it. performers are seldom unhappy with the extra "media coverage". at the end of the day, you piss the host off, no one hires any troupes etc, want shoot also no more chance.

harmony breeds prosperity. keep it that way.
 

Last edited:

ed9119

Moderator
Staff member
Mar 11, 2002
11,014
38
48
56
Singapore
www.walkeast.com
#8
i believe BOTH of you are in agreement on the same point

anyway even IN FRONT of the stage, try not to block Auntys, Ah Mahs and Uncles sitting and enjoying the show
 

daredevil123

Moderator
Staff member
Oct 25, 2005
21,660
68
48
lil red dot
#9
albert read again. i'm talking specifically about backstage access. mine was access granted by the host who hired the performing troupe.

i'm not talking about shooting the performance from the front where the audience is sitting. that one we don't have problems.

the problems come when too many ppl crowd at the backstage, blocking photographers, stage hands, actors/actresses from performing/getting stuff done.

and 2nd, the performers are hired. just because some of the hosts don't say a thing, doesn't mean they are happy with it. performers are seldom unhappy with the extra "media coverage". at the end of the day, you piss the host off, no one hires any troupes etc, want shoot also no more chance.

harmony breeds prosperity. keep it that way.
So far from the ones I visited, the host grants access to anyone... some are not happy, but I have not come across one that says no in definite terms. so if the host grants access to different people is it still gate crashing?

I have seen people who orgainze outings to opera backstage... letting 8 shooters in to the backstage at one time. Then another group comes and another 5-7 went in. How many did you let in when you were orgainzing your outing?

I believe the best is still not to organize any outings to opera. Want to shoot there, just get 2 close friends and go shoot at one time. Unless you are able to control your entire group backstage... which, so far, I have not seen any group capable of doing...
 

Last edited:

Mihir

New Member
Mar 11, 2012
23
0
0
#10
Thanks a lot! This is especially very good advice for new comers. I appreciate your time and suggestions.
 

Top Bottom