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I don’t exist when you don’t see me

I don’t exist when you don’t see me

As some people have noticed and remarked apon, you don’t tend to find many photos of me in online galleries for events. This is actually an active (and sometimes annoyingly difficult to maintain) choice. Why? Well the bottom line is when I’m out at a festival/club/event I’m there to enjoy myself: to watch bands, chat with friends, dance… I have no desire to be followed round by a camera or stand and pose for hours – takes up valuable drinking and merriment time! Besides which I’d much rather be concentrating on watching a band, catching up with friends or getting lost on the dancefloor, than having to constantly check my makeup to ensure I’m photo-ready and stop every few minutes to be lured into a mini-photoshoot.

While I’m generally more than happy to let a fellow event goer snap a picture of me if they ask and will generally take the time if the official event photographer or photo journalist introduces themselves and lets me know what the photo may be used for, I tend to avoid most other cameras. The ones who prowl outside the festivals are the ones that irritate me the most. The ones who are obviously not of the scene nor care enough to buy a ticket and support the event. They just want their gallery of goths, why? Well that’s anyone’s guess. The fact that they own the copyright to that image – your image – and you have no knowledge or say in what they do with it is something I do wonder if all of those people who pose for them realise? I hardly want to end up as stock photography for their profit and public use, sold as prints, entered into photography competitions, perved over, become a source of amusement for their friends and family… you just don’t know.

And while they may see taking my picture as a compliment – why can’t they just give me the compliment verbally without having to take anything from me in return? I love to dress up and do it for myself and my fellow alternatives, it’s just such a shame that this means I’m doomed to be treated like a circus exhibit. And unfortunately there are enough alternatives who court and allow this paparazzi and a growing number of people who now simply come to events for exactly that reason – so there’s no chance that it will stop. But luckily these people keep the photographers occupied while I dash past hidden beneath a parasol… I think running the gauntlet of soul-stealing GWCs should be taught as a martial art – I’ve become a ninja lens-evader!

Some other articles on the subject you may want to read:

Whitby Photographers
Photo Copyright law

It’s a shame that most festivals and events are attracting photographers like flies. And it’s a problem that’s not even confined to the goth scene, I’ve heard of this problem at all sorts of events. This year at WGT Viona took steps to help this issue and created a “photographer free zone” which was bliss! But as soon as you step outside, they swarm! (below photo by David Van Nederveen Meerkerk)