Let’s Get Real About Cell Phone Pictures

This week I went to a dance event in New York, and I cringed as I watched a man two rows ahead of me taking pictures of the dancers during the curtain calls. I wasn’t cringing at the fact that he was taking the pictures, rather, I was cringing watching the two ushers that were standing at the end of the row waving wildly at him to stop and then standing there looking like they were going to arrest him as the curtain finally came down.

It made him, his date, and everyone around us uncomfortable. I didn’t wait around to watch the aftermath. Did they ask him to actually delete those photos? And if so, to what end?

Rather than telling audience members when to turn off their phones, why don’t we do it in reverse? Why not announce something like this: “Owing to union rules, and so as not to interrupt the performers or distract your fellow audience members, taking pictures during the performance isn’t allowed. But as soon as the clapping starts, we encourage you to take as many pictures as you can and share them with us, and with everyone else you know, using hashtag #showname.” That way everyone is clear about what to do and there’s some logic to what’s going on. And if there’s a union rule that prohibits photos during the curtain calls, that’s a rule that’s worth trying to change.You cannot police your entire audience, and your

You cannot police your entire audience, and your ushers should be there to usher, not to be the photo police. Let’s get real about how the world is changing and adapt to it, not against it.

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3 responses to “Let’s Get Real About Cell Phone Pictures

  1. Most amateurs have no idea when to use flash and when not to. The flash is highly disturbing to performers. The lighted monitors are highly disturbing to the patrons who have spent good $$ to get tickets. Anyone shooting photos is highly disturbing to the photographer who was HIRED to shoot them. Destroys the value of his or her photographs. A little consideration, please.

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