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Harvinder Sunila: Backstage portraits of burlesque dancers (NSFW)

Misty BW

Misty Vie Va Voom and her feathers waiting by the stage door about to go on at Jaks.

Today's guest post "Backstage Portraits Of Burlesque Dancers" by Harvinder Sunila contains some images that are NSFW (Not Safe For Work). In order to see some of the NSFW photographs, you will have to click on the indicated links at the bottom of this post and by doing so agree that you are at least 18 years old.

 A variety show, typically including striptease, that's the dictionary definition of burlesque. To me it's something else. To me it's about the dancers, their art, their passion and how much it means to them beyond the ten minutes you get to see on stage.

I'm a portrait and music photographer based in the UK, I've been working on a series of backstage portraits of burlesque dancers, and here's a small insight into the project.

Most of the burlesque photographs you come across are either pin up style glamour or live stage shots, they serve a purpose but I have no interest in those type of images. For this series I wanted to photograph what you don't see, what you don't get access to, maybe what the dancers don't want you to see. It's been a difficult series to organise, sometimes frustrating, but also enjoyable and rewarding. I've met some wonderful performers who have been so understanding, so accommodating and so helpful, I can't thank them enough for allowing me to photograph them in such an intimate way.

Miss Hells Bells BW

Miss Hell's Belle making final adjustments to her hair band side stage at The Gatsby Club.

This being nikonrumors let's talk about Nikon. My equipment for this has been a Nikon D3, a Nikkor 24mm f/2.8 AF-D, Nikkor AF-S 50mm f/1.8 G and Nikkor AF-S 70-200mm f/2.8G ED VR II. I also use a SB900 on the rare occasions I'm able or allowed to use flash, most of the time it's available light in poorly lit changing rooms. The D3 is an astonishing camera, it may have been replaced by other models and we're now at the D4s, but for stills there isn't a lot between them up to 6400. I've never been one for pixel peeping and I don't care much about 100% side by side comparisons, I'll leave that to others. My D3 has never let me down, produces beautiful files and does everything I ask of it. Lately it's been covered in feathers and glitter thanks to one Lady V having a bit of fun at my expense, it came off easily enough but I do make sure I'm nowhere near glitter when changing lenses backstage. Throughout my photography career I've always used primes and I found it hard to get comfortable with the 70-200mm at first, but now I've worked out how to use it in a way that works for me. Instead of doing what most do, which is looking through the viewfinder and zooming in or out, I decide a focal length before hand and then use it as if it were a fixed prime. I know from experience what a certain focal length will look like as far as compression, field of view etc. is concerned, so I'll set the lens to 105mm and move myself back and forward as if it were a fixed lens. I do the same at 135mm and 200mm which are the lengths my eyes seem to gravitate towards. Some changing rooms are tiny and there's no way I can use a lens as big as the 70-200mm, it's a fantastic lens and the VR comes in useful. Sometimes I'm at 6400 ISO, f/2.8 and 1/15th sec, but at those speeds you will get blur even with VR enabled. I love my 50mm f/1.8 G, if I only had one lens to use the 50mm would be it. I did own the AF-D version and was genuinely shocked by how much better the AF-S was. It's one of those cases where you have to try it, and then you'll see the differences jump out. The 24mm is my oldest lens, it's not quite as sharp or fast to focus as the other two, but it's still a good lens and I get great results with it. Again it's a focal length my eyes seem to like, I enjoy framing within that field of view. If Nikon were to bring out an AF-S 24mm f/1.8 G I'd most likely upgrade to it.

Miss Hells Bells COL

Miss Hell's Belle after she had finished performing, backstage at The Gatsby Club.

The beginning of a burlesque shoot isn't me turning up backstage at an event, the beginning is countless emails, phone calls and meetings with a particular dancer weeks or months beforehand. Even if everything comes together and I have permission from both the dancer and the venue to take images backstage, I then have to get that same permission from all the other performers who will be in the changing rooms that particular night. I talk to them all as a group when I arrive, explaining what I'm doing and what I'm not doing. Only if everyone is happy with me being there do I open my camera bag. It's made very clear that at any stage of the night, if anyone wants me to stop taking images, or delete an image, for any reason at all then I will. Sometimes there's a change of heart, I get there to find out I'm not allowed backstage, you just have to accept it, let it go and think about the next dancer on the list.

Rosie BW

Rosie Whine in the changing rooms, a few minutes before stepping on stage at Jaks.

Once I get the camera to my eye and start to see what's going on I'm happy, then the really hard work begins and I can start chasing the type of images I'm looking for. I will pull the dancer aside for one on one portraits throughout the night and I'll take some more reportage type images too. Often I'll take shots of other people backstage, when you see an interesting image through your viewfinder you've got to take it, you'll regret it if you don't. I'm always aware that the dancers are there to perform, so I have to be careful not to get in their way or to annoy them. Depending on the situation I may only get a few minutes backstage or I may get the whole night. The most difficult thing is getting the dancers to drop their burlesque mask for the me. Many find it difficult to do, for some it's their protection and others just don't want that part of them seen. It's also about trust, I'm not there to make them look bad and often when I've taken an image early on I'll show them on the back of my camera to reassure them. When I do it's as if a penny drops, they understand what I'm trying to get, and from there on it becomes slightly easier.

Cat Aclysmic BW

Cat Aclysmic getting ready in the changing rooms at The Gatsby Club.

My editing and processing is done in a combination of Lightroom, Photoshop, ColorEfex and SilverEfex. I learnt how to process and print from a couple of music/portrait photographers I assisted in London. They worked as master printers before being known for their own images and printed for some of the world's greatest photographers. I use all the skills I learnt from them in my digital darkroom, any retouching beyond traditional darkroom techniques are minimal and is normally just spotting. I'm not taking fashion or beauty shots so I don't smooth out skin, manipulate body shape or anything like that, I may take out a small blemish if it's too obvious.

Link to NSFW photo

Link to NSFW photo

Up until recently all the images I'd taken still felt like a collection of single photographs, but now it's starting to fit together and feel more like an actual series. I can now see the thread that runs through them all. Maybe further down the line I can think about a possible exhibition and book.

My burlesque images can be seen across my blog www.harvindersunila.tumblr.com (just hit the archive button) and my portfolio is on www.harvindersunila.com.

After talking to Peter (admin) regarding nudity the main images are posted behind links to protect those accessing the site from work. Please do not click on the links if you feel burlesque images may offend you.

Thank you for taking the time to read the article, I hope you find my images and the story of the series interesting.

Harv.

All photographs © Harvinder Sunila 2014 all rights reserved, no reproduction without permission.

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  • xjxjxjxjxj

    way cool!

    • Harv.!

      Thanks xjxjxjxjxj

      Glad you found them interesting.

  • S

    Looks like bride getting ready photos to me..I want more grit personally..

    • Greg

      Don’t want to speak for the author, but that may be the point– to capture what it actually is like backstage, not what you imagine it to be.

      • Harv.!

        Hello Greg,
        Thanks for the comments.
        Backstage at most events are never what people on the outside think.

    • Harv.!

      Hello S,
      I’m not sure exactly what you mean by “more grit”, if you’re suggesting they should be more seedy then no. People who know nothing about burlesque have all sorts of preconceptions, I’m there to photograph the dancers as they are not make them look like a sterotype.
      Thanks for looking and commenting.

  • meh

    NSFW? really? Armpits and mild cleavage are NSFW now… ok then.

    • Eric Calabros

      Is that so hard to open a link in a new tab? we should whine under every single post of NR?.. ok then

      • meh

        No, but if you are going to put sensitive stuff in another link, no need for the NSFW in the title.

        NSFW on top of the link would be sufficient and more accurate.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      Yes, exactly – see my other comment on that topic.

  • Kynikos

    NSFW?

    Where are you working? Saudi Arabia?

    Clickbait.

    • Harv.!

      Hello Kynikos
      It’s not about where I’m working, it’s about where nikonrumors readers might be accesing the site. If they read it at work then maybe they don’t want certain images appearing on their monitor. that’s why they’re under links and that’s why the nsfw.
      It’s not clickbait.

      • Kynikos

        I kind of see what you’re saying, but the most risqué photo is likely the one on the front page, not one of the ones buried inside. The note about the further clicks would be sufficient. Headline not required.

        Great images. Getting proper exposure in backstage environments takes skill, and you’ve got it.

        I still think ‘NSFW’ is over the top.

        • Harv.!

          Hello Kynikos,
          Peter (admin) made the decisions about this not me, I fully understand his point. To be honest it’s a no win, either way people would complain.
          At least adding nsfw in the headline warns people straight away and the only image you see before clicking on the article is the feather wings.
          Hope that helps explain it.

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          I had to go with the NSFW link because I have received several complaints in the past from readers who access the blog from work. Do you want your boss to see those images on your computer screen?

          • AM I Am

            Complain because they access the blog from work?
            Shouldn’t they be working anyway?
            Their bosses are the ones who should be complaining.

          • meh

            They should simply work instead of opening links that COULD be nsfw.

            The NSFW warning works ONLY if it’s used for truly NSFW content.

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      I do not know where you live (and actually I do not care), but in the US those images are considered NSFW. Since I am located in the US and the majority of NR readers are also from the US, I will do what I think is right.

      • Aeroengineer

        Admin, you did the right thing. In many large US corporations, you are expected to check your glands into a blind trust.

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          Thank you!

          • ego

            Peter, you are developing a bit of an ego….

      • meh

        You should question the fact that THIS is nsfw in general. When a society closets such little skin showing it says alot…

        Besides, as I said, the warning only works if used carefully. Like the kid who screamed “wolf”…

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          I agree – I think over the past 6 years and 3,500 blog posts I have used NSFW only few times. I agree that some websites use it to attract attention – there was a dude over at TechCrunch that was using it on every single one of his posts to attract attention.

      • neversink

        Yes, i once worked for a major Hollywood film production company.(Actually for quite a few) Everyone had all sorts of movie posters hanging in their offices and above their desks, some not even related to the company’s films. No one really cared. One guy had some x-rated movie posters, and their were complaints from the owner at a meeting, who was about to take his company public. It wasn’t my job, but the boss man owner told me some investors were coming though the office, and to make sure the offending posters were taken down, and he chose me to do this. I was to give the investor-bankers a guided tour of the NY office and then go to LA a day before to make sure the office there was free of possibly offensive artwork and give another tour and answer more questions about the company…. Why me?
        It’s funny that the art work the boss asked me to have removed was right next to a right next to a “Texas Chainsaw Massacre” poster that some may thought was in worse taste than the targeted posters, he didn’t seem to care if the gory movie posters remained. The posters I had the task to have removed showed lots of skin. Oh horrors. But I can understand why the boss man didn’t want to offend potential investors.These posters had been up there since before I was hired. But now it was time to take them down.

        Upon asking the culpable guy to take down the “offending” posters, I was met with anger and a refusal to take the poster down. He went on and on about his first amendment rights to free speech and expression. “This is America,” he screamed at me. “My rights are protected by the constitution.” I did not really care about the posters one way or another, but I had a job to do. I thought they were humorous and silly. So my answer to him, which made him calm down, was, “Yes, I agree, you have freedom of expression here in the America” Then a smile returned to his face

        But I continued. “However, America is out the front doors. And you can take your poster with you, and freely express yourself as much as you wish.”He was silent.

        I told him I’d give him a half hour to think abut it. When I returned two hours later, the posters were down. I guess he liked his pay check more than he like his freedom of expression.

        And as I said, it wasn’t even my job. But the boss-man owner made it my job, so I did it. I didn’t care one way or the other about the poster. This was before Al Gore invented the internet, and there was even NSFW rules back then. And hell, everyone working was going to get shares if the company went public. But I wan’t allowed to divulge the possible “going public” scenario or even use the word “investors” to anyone. No one in the know wanted a few posters to offend the investors. We had a show to put on. And we were Hollywood. But we still had to play by corporate rules. Even in the film business. Which, by the way, is very corporate.

        And so Admin I applaud you for the NSFW link — as much as I hate censorship, and you didn’t censor Harv’s photos, as much as just add a link to the bottom of the post. Why put someone’s job a risk over a photo. Until the corporate culture changes in America you will have to continue to play it safe for your readers. Here in Kenya, corporate culture is much more conservative than in the US, but thankfully, working for myself for the last 26 years, the only corporate culture I answer to is my own value system. And of course, as a freelancer, I try to respect the values of the clients who hire me.

      • egi

        Peter, you are developing a bit of an ego.

  • neversink

    Harv – Take a look at Weeggee’s backstage photos, and also peruse some of Brassai’s photos. Good luck.

    • Harv.!

      I have had a look at Weegee’s backstage images and they’re really interesting. In a world of facebook, twitter and personal branding I’ve had many images I’ve not been allowed to release, it’s part of the deal of getting the access.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • amgr

    flat, borring shots….should be driving a cab….

    • Harv.!

      Hello amgr,
      Thanks for commenting, I’d be doing something wrong if everyone liked my images.
      Thanks for commenting.

  • A Photographer

    NSFW…NOT SUITED FOR WHAT?

    • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

      You must live in Amsterdam :)

      • A Photographer

        Well actually I do, if I’m not in Osaka :-)

        • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

          That explains your question, keep in mind that the rest of the world, or at least the US, is not like Amsterdam.

          • FredBear

            Neither does the RoW understand what NSFW means.
            One day we’ll all be speaking in acronyms if this goes on and not know what the other is talking about.
            Interesting that some have the time at work to browse the internet.

            • http://nikonrumors.com/ Nikon Rumors

              I clearly stated in the post what NSFW means – in the first paragraph.

            • FredBear

              Ah so you did.
              I was looking at the photographs and just followed the links……….

          • http://www.rmjphotography.net/ RMJ

            Actually, the rest of the world isn’t like US.

            No-one in Europe would care about if you’d watch those photos in work.

            • A Photographer

              The simple point is, that he usage of ‘NSFW’ will attract more viewers than less. I don’t think the admin is really worried about that…or I’m mistaking and a large part of the viewers and possible ad clicks are coming from nations like Iran (with no free internet access.)

          • ego

            Peter you’re developing a bit of an ego.

    • Jeff Hunter

      Translation: Not Safe For Work (the office or workplace).

  • ronno

    Grit or no grit, these are dull photos IMO.

    • Harv.!

      Hey ronno,
      That’s cool, nikonrumors is all about opinions.

      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

      • ronno

        Just my opinion, obviously. For reference, here is a guy who does a fine job with backstage type stuff:

        http://nymag.com/fashion/look/2008/spring/documentary/

        • ronno
          • Harv.!

            Thanks ronno,

            Different types of enviroments backstage at
            fashion shows and backstage at burlesque events due to the peole involved and what they do.
            You’ve got models who are used to be
            being photographed and are on the whole clothed, where burlesque dancers are not used to being photographed backstage. They may be semi naked on
            stage for a few seconds but that doesn’t mean they’re not self concience about being photographed that way. Add that I’m a straight male in changing rooms and you have a different set of circumstances.
            Go to my blog, Steve Huff’s site or theimagestory and have a look at the other images I’ve shot, these are only a few of the series.

            • ronno

              I understand that you are backstage, people may be nervous/self conscious, etc.
              Buy hey, that’s the job. You still have to get ‘er done. That’s why they pay you the big bucks, innit?? ;-)

              Wedding photographers, evert shooters, any portrat photographer for that matter, deals with the same issues. Still, they have to bring home something interesting at the end of the day.

              I am not knocking what you have done here, but saying that people are self conscious does not get you very far when you are presenting your work.

              Best,
              ronno

            • Harv.!

              I was comparing the images you posted from a fashion show and burlesque, I’m not using “self conscious” as some sort of sheild, far from it. I’m just pointing out that different shoots have different issues.
              I’ll stand by every picture I take.
              Thanks.
              P.S. “big buck” lol, I think that actually is the wedding photographers.

            • Steve

              In defense of Harv, you can’t compare a high end production like New York Fashion week to something much, much smaller like a burlesque show. I’m sure if the shows Harv went to had the kind of infrastructure and backdrops that a fashion show had, his pictures would be a more along the lines to the ones you linked.

              Secondly, Harv makes a very valid point in differentiating the differences between photographing fashion models vs burlesque dancers. As a fashion photographer myself, I know there are many fashion models who have strong enough looks that they can carry a picture regardless the context (hence, why they are fashion models). Furthermore, people keep forgetting that it takes two to tango. No matter how good a photographer you are, there’s no way you can force a person that isn’t photogenic into someone that’s in love with a camera. That’s why I never hold regular people I take portraits of to the same standards as models; its apples and oranges.

              Anyways keep up the good work Harv!

            • Harv.!

              Thanks for the kind words and your insights.
              It’s a different type of challenge with burlesque dancers. Models get paid to be photographed, it’s their job. Some of the dancers I’ve photographed were still unsure if they were happy to be photographed while I was taking images. On a few ocassions I’ve been asked not to use images weeks after the event.
              There’s a fine line between how far I can push a dancer backstage into getting the image I want, and how much is too much and causes the dancer to say “enough”.
              It’s an interesting environment to be in and a privileged one.

            • Steve

              Might I suggest that if his burlesque backstage shots looked a lot like backstage at Fashion Week, then Harv wouldn’t have done his job? Different events have very different feels behind the scenes– making a small burlesque look like a major, high energy production would be a bit towards the dishonest, IMHO.

              First he’s told that it looks too much like a wedding shot, then he’s told that it doesn’t look enough like a fashion show. Why are people surprised that backstage at a burlesque might have a totally different vibe than they imagine? Maybe it really is “dull” back there on a Tuesday night, or whenever. Maybe that’s why it’s so hard to get permission to photograph backstage– it risks killing the glamour, or grit, or whatever they think is bringing people into the seats.

              For me, I now have another set of images in my mind about what’s behind the curtain: women going to work. I also have a better idea of the logistics involved in building a collection like this.

            • Steve

              Oops. Two Steves…

        • A Photographer

          Thanks Ronno, for an interesting twist.

  • Aaron Shepard

    Great work. Thanks for posting.

    • Harv.!

      Thank you for the kind words Aaron.

  • Maji

    Great work!

    • Harv.!

      Thanks Maji,
      I appreciate your kind words.

  • Spy Black

    Very lovely work. You’re fortunate to find a group of performers willing to let you into their world. I’ve done similar work with belly dancers and flamenco dancers, so I understand how some can feel their backstage space being violated.

    Keep at it, wonderful stuff.

    • Harv.!

      Thank you Spy Black,
      The dancers have been great and without them saying yes there would be no series, just an idea that never made it past a line in my sketchbook.
      I’ve had many meetings with burlesque dancers and they’ve all said that nobody has ever taken images of them backstage in this way. It’s intimidating to have a person taking photographs of them while they’re getting ready and not in character, the fact that I’m a straight male adds another layer of unease. The burlesque world is quite a closed off tight community, and many dancers know each other or know promoters. So I’ve been able to say talk to this dancer or that dancer who I’ve already photographed and they can tell you about me and what I’m doing with regards to the series. Not all the dancers I’ve talked to have agreed to be photographed which is fair enough, I don’t want to photograph dancers who are in the slightest bit uncomfortable about it.
      On a normal shoot the most you have to concern yourself with is photographic problems, blood sweat and tears doesn’t come close. I’ve had all those and more backstage but that’s part of what makes it interesting.

  • lilu

    Really pleasing pictures. Glad to see such blog other than gear rumors.

    • Harv.!

      Hello lilu I’m glad you like the images.
      I think it’s good to see articles about photography that aren’t centred around equipment, it’s one of the reasons I agreed to the guest post. Nikonrumors is obviously an equipment based site, but sometimes people need to take a step back and understand that all those numbers, features, specs etc are there to help you take pictures.
      It’s interesting that there have been so many comments, usually guest posts only get a handful, and it’s interesting none so far have been about equipment.
      Thanks for taking the time to comment.

  • BernhardAS

    I like the series, good work. Some of the stronger pictures are on your tumbler site. I also like your portraits.

    • Harv.!

      Thanks BernhardAS,
      I didn’t want to add too many images to this article, I wanted to give readers a general idea of what the series involved and to do what you did and look at the others on my blog. I was going back and forth as to which pictures to include here and which ones worked together, I also wanted to show images that were not used in other articles (google my name and Steve Huff and imagestory for those).
      Some images I like at first, then a few months later looking through Lightroom I decide another frame is better. I think that’s to do with the fact it’s a series, it seems to take on a life of itself. It’s very much like choosing pictures for an exhibition, you can’t put them all in there so you build a narrative, with every dancer I photograph the narrative changes slightly.

      • BernhardAS

        I personally have the tendencey to overweight recent pictures or “difficult” ones in my selection. I guess that is human nature :-)

  • Z

    Nice work … indeed, getting the subjects’ trust seems to be a key for this shoot … plenty gritty enough for me … :)

    • Harv.!

      Hey Z,
      The trust part goes from the very first email through to after the images are posted on my blog. If a dancer isn’t happy with an image I’ve posted they know they can contact me, explain what they don’t like and I’ll take the image down. That’s happened twice, the dancers didn’t like the way they looked in a particular shot. Sometimes if I’m unsure whether they’ll like a photograph I’ll show it to the dancer before posting.
      Fortunately after you’ve photographed a few of the well known dancers others not only feel better about allowing me to photograph them, but other dancers then want to be part of the series too. It was one of the reasons the first dancer I shot was a well known one, had she said no it would have set me back right at the start, but she didn’t. (thank you Cat.)
      Thanks for commenting and I appreciate your kind words.

  • Ian Dangerzone

    I know a girl who does burlesque and she’s (somewhat paradoxically) the most attention seeking, emotionally insecure adult I know. I won’t say that all burlesque girls are the same, but birds of a feather tend to flock together. Consequently I can totally see how Harv would have problems backstage with comfort levels adjunct to a protein soup of neuroses.

    Interesting set of images and accompanying commentary; thanks for your submission. I’m with you that that 50 1.8g is just a fantastic little lens.

    • Harv.!

      Hi Ian, thanks for commenting and glad you liked the images.

      When I have meetings with the dancers before taking images it’s interesting to find out why they perform and what made them get involved in burlesque. Some are very new to it and others have been performing on stage, in one way or another, since they were young. I’ve been surprised by just how different they all are, maybe that’s a misconception I had before actually meeting them, I thought they would be more similar but they’re not. They all have their stage character, and trying to get past that has been a challenge as they often don’t want that part seen, but that’s the part I want so I push it as far as I can without annoying them. On a few ocassions I’ve stopped taking pictures for the night because I had reached the line.
      The 50mm f/1.8 G is a great lens. As I mentioned I owned the AFD version, wasn’t sure if I needed to change to the newer AFS, but I’m very glad I did. On paper and looking at the tests they don’t look very different, but the raw files you get from the AFS have a quality that’s just not in the AFD ones. Some people have complained about it being too plasticky but it’s not something that’s bothered me, it’s very light which is a bonus as far as I’m concerned. I remember reading an article about the golfer Seve Ballesteros, he said he learnt how to play golf when he was a child using one club. He would do 18 holes but only using one club, it taught him all about club control so when he did start using other clubs he had developed an amazing talent for control on top of all the advantages a differen club would bring. I feel it’s the same for the 50mm in photography, if you can learn how to take images with a 50mm focal length then further down the line it’ll help you greatly when using other lenses. If you’re new to photography forget all the zooms and exotics, learn on a 50mm.

      • Harv.!

        Here’s something very odd and twilight zone like.
        I just mentioned Seve Ballesteros, I went to wikipedia to double check the spelling of his name and today turns out to be his birthday, that’s weird. Sadly he died from a brain tumor in 2011 aged 54. Happy Birthday Seve.

  • Steve

    Thanks for the comments about the complexities and arrangements you make for shooting. Gear talk is great, but I find what’s missing for someone trying to find their way around is the logistics of how you set up a shoot and how you get everyone to be comfortable with it. It’s clearly a lot more than knocking on the stage door and asking to come in.

    • Harv.!

      Hey Steve,

      I think “knocking on the stage door and asking to come in” would result in the police turning up.
      There’s a lot of prep work before I get anywhere near going to a venue There’s one dancer I’ve been wanting to photograph, and who’s agreed to it, but because of her shedule and being out of the country it’s been over a year. Hopefully when she’s back we can arrange something in June. As far as making them comfortable enough to let me photgraph them backstage, that’s difficult. The more images I can show them of previous shoots with dancers they’ve heard of, or may know, the easier it is to get permission. It’s up to me to convince them, some are intrigued that i care enough to want to take images of them, some don’t care and some have a genuine interest in photography.
      More than a few times backstage I’ve heard “Harv, can you not take pictures of me _ _ _ _ _ _ ?” which is totally fine. In meetings I always explain that I never photograph anything backstage that the dancer doesn’t show onstage. Some dancers show very little flesh while performing while others strip completely. If I have taken a shot I’m unsure about I’ll show the dancer and if she wants me to delete it I’ll do it there and then. Just a few days I posted an image on my blog which I wasn’t sure if the dancer would be ok with, so I sent her a copy and got her approval before posting.

      Thanks for taking time to comment.
      Harv.!

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