Photography is popular at the Asylum Steampunk Festival. As a community we are very much aware that photographers find steampunks very photogenic, indeed, camera clubs often organise trips to steampunk events. Whilst the vast majority are respectful and considerate, there always seems to be a few that occasionally fail to follow common courtesy when photographing steampunks.
If you are a photographer coming to the Asylum Steampunk Festival, then we hope you will read this post to get an appreciation of how to approach steampunks when wanting to take a photograph, and we offer a few simple guidelines to get the best out of any photo opportunities.
And then, of course, there are a number of you attending the Asylum who are both steampunks and photographers!
Photography in the Street
If you are on the streets of Lincoln, photographers can take a photograph of you without consent. You have no legal right not to be photographed. A lot of paparazzi style photography is done in this way, using long lenses and often taking photos while the recipient is unaware to try and capture that candid moment.
If you spot a photographer taking candid shots of you on the street, then you can approach them and ask them politely to remove any images you are in – explaining that you don’t want to be photographed. Whether the photographer complies with your request will be up to the individual. We suggest keeping it polite rather than insisting that they delete your image. The photographer doesn’t have to do it if you are on the public highway, but if you are civil then they may be more amenable to removing any images that you deem to be unsuitable.
Photographing children is a completely different matter and I would urge you to look up relevant legislation if you are going to have kids with you. The NSPCC also have some good guidance on this.
Photography in the Castle
If you are in the Castle grounds, it is not on the public highway, so different rules apply, you are well within your rights to ask for photos to be deleted. Photographers should ask prior to taking any photos of you or your party.
If you do not want your photo taken then a simple ‘no thank you’ should suffice.
If they are insistent and continue to take photos, turn your back on them. Don’t give them an opportunity. You can mention the Protection From Harassment Act 1997. If you continue to feel harassed by a photographer, try to find an official from the Castle or an Asylum steward. Photographer’s who are harassing members of the public (steampunks or otherwise) can be asked to leave the area.
Consent when photographing steampunks
We do know that for many steampunks being photographed in their awesome outfits is something they enjoy and they will happily pose for photos. So if you don’t mind your photo being taken, when a photographer approaches you, ask for their business card and also what they are planning on doing with the images afterwards. Remember, that if they are going to be selling the photo, then you are effectively an unpaid model. Once you’ve given your consent, they can pretty much do with it what they like. Always exchange details before any photos are taken.
Professional photographers and press photographers may ask you to sign a consent form and take some details from you – again this is entirely voluntary, and always read any forms before you sign.
Some basic safety precautions.
Don’t be led away from your party alone. If the photographer wants to take photos with a more photogenic backdrop, take someone with you.
The session is over when you say it is. If you become uncomfortable at any time, just tell them that you need to get back to the festival. Remember to always be safe!
A Guide for Photographers
We understand you want to get that one perfect shot, but you won’t achieve that with reluctant models and a hostile community. It’s quite simple – be polite and respect a person’s wishes.
Many steampunks love being photographed – but many do not. Many like the attention; but again, an equal number find it annoying. Most steampunks dress the way they do for fun, because they enjoy it, and not to be photographed. Steampunk is very inclusive and there are members of our steampunk community who find social situations difficult and are not comfortable with too much attention.
As long as you ask politely, those who are inclined to let you photograph them will most likely do so, and those who refuse should not be offended.
Please remember when photographing steampunks, they are not paid models, you do not get to order them around just to get the right angle.
- Do ask politely
- Do explain what the images will be used for and offer contact details
- Respect the individual’s wishes
- Remember steampunks are not paid models
- “No” means no
There are some fantastic photo opportunities offered by the festival, and if you are polite and respectful, that will continue to be the case. Buying a Festival Wristband will allow you into the different venues and you will be supporting the Asylum Steampunk Festival so it continues to be a spectacle worth photographing.
Lastly, it’s a steampunk festival – why not consider becoming part of the community yourself!