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Burlesque Photography at Events or Shows

Burlesque Photography at Events or Shows

So often I see people posting about how they like or dont like photography taken of them performing at events or shows in burlesque. I mean aside from the obvious point that capturing an object in movement is hard to capture. Secondly its about where the photographer is positioned. I mean seriously…sticking them right at the foot of the stage means up nose shots, curves looking bigger etc and no amount of tweaking will make them all pretty photos.

What I am actually talking about is when people think they have or dont have the right to object to images. If you are performing you need to ask about the photography policy. If the venue dont allow anyone other than professional/authorised photographers, be mindful that unless it is enforced by signs, spoken about and even on the ticket submission there is little you can object to. Anyone who snaps a photos OWNS that image. They literally own the image. You cant demand they delete. Not even the police can at times. Yes there are special circumstances but generally speaking you cant.  You cant edit it, crop it or add a filter with out permission. That sounds quite scary right!?

Well here are some tips. Build good relationships with good photographers. People giving shit away for free arent always good photographers. It takes time to edit. Time = money. If there is photo you dont like, approach that photographer and ask them to untag you/remove it. But dont get shitty if they decline to delete. Just move on. I know that is tough to hear but seriously leave it. Not one single photo can damage a reputation unless its you with coke up your nose or something. None of us are that famous so learn to move along. One thing I will say however that I am aware that it can really rock out confidence to see a self perceived ‘bad’ photo of us. BUT remember my previously made points:

  1. bad angles because of bad positioning of the photographer by his/her choice or venue constriction will make you look warped/odd.
  2. lack of experience with live event photography may mean the photos arent executed well.
  3. bad lighting is a bloody nightmare. End of.
  4. capturing movement is tough.

I have lost count of the many images I deem ‘bad’. Yeah they sting but I know I keep getting booked and people write to me about how much they like my work so its not a reflection of me as a performer.

Me working as a photographer for a wedding magazine. Me working as a photographer for a wedding magazine.

If a photographer breeches the ‘no photo’ rule at venue, he can be asked to leave but he cant be forced to delete the images. Sadly that would be a breech of his rights. I kid not. Kick them out. Call people out breeching the rules. You cant say no pro shots but allow mobiles. Its a blanket ban if at all. Hence why I believe you need a good relationship built with photographers. I am lead to believe that if that person then tried to use the images captured for profit or similar you are able to challenge them. However it comes down to whether there was an expectation of privacy of the subject. Performing at a show where you can buy tickets as Joe Public…that exception is somewhat diminished. But say it was your personal home then yes.

If you are photographed by someone stood on public ground then you cant object…unless it is of a child.

The world of photography is murky but it helps to keep a clear head.

I have a clause in my contract that asks me to be made aware of any photographers and their images. I am VERY cautious as I have had my fair share of silliness with self proclaimed photographers doing lewd things. Anyone remember that photographer who only took photos of crotches!?

Here is a great resource for you in terms of photography:


I hope this helps. The key is make it hard for people to photograph you, work with a reliable team and sometimes just remember one image is not the be all and end all of you. Thats why you should invest in good promo images.


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