Topic: Raqs Sharqi Rants
Sabah al kher, my friends -- a few word about photos and photographers.
First, my debt of gratitude to all my friends who have photographed me over the years, in performance and in model settings; your talents have helped me to share my life in Middle Eastern dance. This includes practical ways, such as flyers, business cards and Web site promotions.
Photography is a great art form, and a way to chronicle events -- it's journalism, in my book, as a professional journalist's POV. And I love to take photos too, for fun, and for my work as a journalist.
But as technology has made photography and videography more accessible, many who want to become more proficient with these tools often try them out at performance events, including dance events. Which is fine, as long as the performer has given consent, and the events producer has given consent.
Why does this matter so much? Because the photo that looks great to the photographer might not always reflect well on the dancer -- especially a dancer in performance, which is quite challenging to photograph. Sharing these photos could hurt the dancer's reptutation and even her ability to secure future gigs.
Also, what if someone just took your photos and started posting them everywhere without your consent? Think about it as a concern from one artist to another.
If you are in a public space, there aren't any legal prohibitions on taking photos. That said, if you extend professional courtesy to a performer, any performer, by asking his or her permission ahead of time -- and offering to share your work with them -- you are more likely to build a rapport in which both parties can help one another.
And events producers and emcees, do your part -- make announcements about any policy regarding photos or videos before the event starts. Never assume the person in the audience knows, because there is no unversal policy that applies to all events.
The photos on my Web site were all taken with my consent and for that I remain grateful to the photographer for professionalism and courtesy, as well as enriching my site with their work and talent.
Let us support one another as artists with mutual respect and communication, which will also help educate everyone about our work and our journey to get there and share it as something truly beautiful and inspiring.