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  • spectators taking pictures

    Around here, spectators that come to powwows, both contest and non, like to take pictures of dancers, even though they often do not know any of us dancers. The MC is good as he tells the people exactally when it is appropriate to take pictures and this is enforced.
    Still, I don't particuarly like the idea of strangers taking pictures of me as I dance. I am a teen age fancy shawl dancer, BTW. What are other opinions on this topic?

  • #2
    teenager or not, you are allowed and should be encouraged to speak and have your own boundaries.

    go up to that person or send your parents to them and ask that they not take pictures of you. an emcee would also usually be willing to make an announcement out of respect for your request to the general public to ask the dancer for permission.

    some will have the courtesy to make this request without being told to do so by the emcee of which you can say no. you need to practice saying no for many things in your life...this is only one of them

    when others have made requests of me and mine, I will usually say okay but I also request that a copy be sent to me and that I be the one to decide if any pictures are published and will deny a request if I want to.

    I have seen others that have went to the photographer and taken their film...


    • #3
      Well when it comes to pictures it can be tricky, I guess. I have been taught that its ok to take pics of people as long as it is with a group of dancers. But you should alwasy ask to take individual pictures. I go all over and I take lots of pictures for my own personal collection. I like to take pitures during contest. But I feel if you do not want your picture taken if hide behind big dancers so you are not seen. Ha Ha Ha. Just teasing.
      If I do not know the answer someone else will!!!!
      Also forgive me, this system does not have a spell check so forgive the bad spelling


      • #4
        Around here, it's generally accepted that dancers in the circle are fair game for photographers (now, that was an interesting metaphor, wasn't it???), but that before taking photos of people who are not dancing, one needs to request the dancer's permission.

        That's what you find printed in most of the programs and what most emcees will announce (if they say anything at all about it).

        I felt very angry at an indoor powwow where the committee gave a press photographer permission to walk into the circle to shoot dancers. The fellow proceeded to put his camera a foot from a woman dancer's face and fire his flash at least 4 times.

        My sister-friend's young daughter's photograph while she was dancing was published in the major metro daily without her name. Just another Indian, after all?

        I think her mom might have complained to the newspaper, because now it seems to name everybody it can in photos. Anyway.

        Thinking on this, I would like to see committees announce only certain times that people can take photos in the circle, and to continue to require the dancer's permission outside it.

        Of course, then how could Grandma take photos of the little fellahs taking their first dance steps, or collecting their first tiny-tot money? Questions, questions.

        With respect,

        p.s. miigwan, I like the idea of asking for a copy of the photos! But then, don't you wind up giving a stranger your home address so he can send it to you? W/respect, Lee
        "As long as dancing is cultivated, civilization progresses; but no sooner is the interdict set forth against it, than the people who were once refined by its inspiration, relapse into barbarism."
        - Thomas Hilgrove, 1856


        • #5
          I give them a post office box and an e-mail address if they have access to a scanner.


          • #6
            miigwan mentioned something that I have seen done at a pow wow put on by a committe that I was a member of.

            Taking film.

            Now, at this particular pow wow, the emcee has just announced that this was Grand Entry and that the Honor Guard was posting the colors so please, no pictures. Emphasis on the "please, no pictures". A few minutes in to the dance, 3 flashbulbs go off. There was a young man with the committee that was around the Circle all weekend. He was not "Security", he was not Keeper of the Circle, he was just there to help with whatever needed to be done. He helped several local TV camera crews set up outside the Circle and kept them informed as to when they could film and when they could not. Anyway, when these flashbulbs went off he stepped over to the first gentleman that happened to be a reporter from a local small town newspaper. The young man asked for the film. The reporter fussed about it for a few minutes but finally took his film out and handed it to the young man who promptly walked away while he was pulling the film out, exposing it. He stepped over to a lady (Native) who immediately hung her head and handed him the film she already had out of her camera. No words, she knew. He walked away, pulling the film out as he went. Now, the third flashbulb person had seen what was going on and headed for the door. The young man followed the photographer out to the parking area and asked for the film. There was an short, heated discussion but the photographer gave up his film also and returned to enjoy the remainder of the pow wow. This young man came to the me and I handed him $60, $20 for each roll of film. These people were compensated for their lose on the film. At first, the Native woman did not want the money, but he convinced her that he would feel better about the whole situation if she would take it. She did. Now, my point here is this: his actions were not done disrespectully. Several of the committe members got bent out of shape saying "We are here to teach, not punish". Well, okay, I understand that. None of the photographers were punished. They may have been taught a lesson in respecting the wishes of all present. The Honor Guard, from the Qualla Boundary, congratulated this young man on his actions. Several of the dancers did also.

            Here's the big question: What do you think about this particular situation?


            • #7
              I was at a pow wow at the Grand Casino, Hinckley, MN and when you registered to dance you signed a release for them to use your pic in their advertisments or whatever I guess. Along those same lines, Boy Ladd, who you may know if you pow wow in the northern plains and canada. Boy is producing 13 hrs of shows for Canadian Public Television. They are going to 13 pow wows around the country, they were at CAnnonball, ND, Red Bottom, MT, Hinckley, MN, Standoff, AB, Taos, NM (i think he said) and the rest I don't remember but they have a state of the art equipment and I assume took lots of movies of people at these pow wows. I guess the point it is that it doesn't seem to be such a big deal up here.


              "There is nothing more dangerous than ignorance in action."


              • #8

                Since the MC announced that no pictures were allowed at that time I applaud the warrior who secured the film. Some will always try to sneek pictures of "The Indian" but it is people like this warrior who took the film that I respect,for he knew in his heart it was wrong to take something that is not yours for the taking.


                • #9
                  I think giving the people $20 for their film (and loss of face?) was very classy.

                  "As long as dancing is cultivated, civilization progresses; but no sooner is the interdict set forth against it, than the people who were once refined by its inspiration, relapse into barbarism."
                  - Thomas Hilgrove, 1856


                  • #10

                    Can all you guys tell me something. What is the problem with taking pictures during grand entry. Do all you Indians think your soul will be stolen. I just want to know. You hear all the hooplaa about not taking pictures so is there a reason or is this just somebodys way of making things difficult.



                    • #11
                      Well since the M.C. said no pictures, then the vetrian did the right thing and asked for the film. But during grand entry at all the big Indian pow-wows I have been pictures are no problems. The only thing I really hear the M.C. say about pictures is no flash during contest and no picturs during specials events like Memorial songs and etc etc...... I also agree that was a classy thing to give the people $20 each.
                      If I do not know the answer someone else will!!!!
                      Also forgive me, this system does not have a spell check so forgive the bad spelling


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by DungHill:

                        Can all you guys tell me something. What is the problem with taking pictures during grand entry. Do all you Indians think your soul will be stolen. I just want to know. You hear all the hooplaa about not taking pictures so is there a reason or is this just somebodys way of making things difficult.

                        IMO- this has nothing to do with being Indian. I am 100% white and do not like for total strangers to take my picture, even at public events. It is an invasion of privacy. You never know what someone is going to do with that photo. Besides, if you are going to take a photo of someone, asking permission first is the only polite thing to do. I see taking a picture during the Grand Entry after being ask not to, is equal to running around taking pictures at someone's wedding and distracting the proceedings. It is just plain tacky.



                        • #13
                          Outstanding NHW. Simply outstanding way to handle it. My hat is off madam.


                          • #14
                            YAH TAH HEY!

                            $20 bucks! I'm a photographer. I'll make it a point to have my film taken away and get $20! Film generally runs around $4 a roll. SLide film is a little more. Also, most photographers won't be using larger film than 35mm. If they are, they are most likely to ask you to pose. That type of film is very expensive and they do not want to waste it on a blurred action picture of someone singing or dancing.

                            On a serious note, I have to agree with asking an individual for a photo. When it is grand entry, anything goes. BUT, don't get in the way! Absolutely NO FLASH during contest songs or dances. It distracts the participants: briefly blinds them in some instances.

                            Specials are off limits. BUT, all this can change at the descretion of the family. Such as a "Going Away Special" for the out-going princess. They like the attention.

                            I try very hard to not piss off anyone. That mainly goes for the participants and viewers. "Get out of the way!" "Down in front!" A photographer just has to be respectful of whom he/she is photographying. Who knows. That person may put a whammy on you! LOL!!!

                            As far that comment from Roswell, I would like to think you are trying to rile up steam here for your own amusement, but I believe you need to sit down with these participants and just try to understand. Some are superstitious. But, most people just don't like to have pictures taken of themselves. It is not an Indian thing. Besides, when photography first came out, it was considered evil by everybody throughout the world. Grow up...

                            Speaking for myself as a singer and photographer, I thank you for reading what I had to say. I may have photoed some people that did not want to photoed, and I am sorry I did. Most of the photos I take are for my personal scrap book. Some, I have put in my powwow club: Groovin Native Beats. I don't sell them.

                            Photographers: get some photography etiquette. Until the next time, take care and peace out!


                            Mark H. Deschinny
                            Founder of Groovin Native Beats <A HREF=" " TARGET=_blank> </A>


                            • #15
                              Interesting topic, around my way, no-one seems to mind if a pic is taken of them or not, I do know that most Non-NDNs do ask a particular dancer if it ok for a pic, and most times than not, the request is granted.
                              I've had alot of people come up and ask me for my pic, and I usually let them, after the same lame response I give, which is, 'For 50 bucks?', usually gets a startled look, until they see me smile. But on a few occasions, it seems that some Non-NDNs think they have a right to snap a pic, for instance, at a Tradish pow-wow in Mille Lacs, a white guy was trying to get my attention, not snapping his pic just yet, as someone else was taking my pic, after this other person got done taking his snap, the white guy grabbed my shoulder and said "I need to take your picture." Imagine his humiliation, (as this happened in front of some NDNs) when all I did was look at him, and without a word, turned around and walked away....
                              As a photographer myself, I find that alot of dancers let me take shots while they are dancing, most people know who I am, and it's usually the same people I take shots of, it's for my own personal photo box, and I usually give the dancers a copy of my 'work', if it was outside the Circle, then I usually ask for a dancers pic.
                              As far as not wanting to have your pic taken, unless you have a big entourage with you, I think it's next to impossible to not go without a snap taken of you, whether it was intentional or not, I have to agree that unless the MC asks that no photos please, a dancer is fair game inside that Circle, whether it's Grand Entry, Intertribal or Exibition, and I have been to contest powwows where a photographer can take shots during the contest dance, and myself using high speed film, am choosy about what I shoot, because yes, film is expensive, and unless you develop and print your own stuff, doing it commercially is quite expensive as well....
                              Life is short, so Powwow Hard!


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