So you wanna' be a Sinulog (or any other festival) photographer eh?.. Here's how to make the best of it!
A Guide (an opinionated guide actually) on how to be the best photographer you can be during festivities like this.
So the Massive Party that is Sinulog is coming in just a wee bit and over the some years I have been taking photos during the festival, I have noticed that photographers are gaining quite harsh treatment as each year comes. Why is that? What did we do wrong? Well maybe it’s because some “photographers” (as what they call themselves) just take the photos wrong.. No I don’t mean technically, but what I mean here is the intangible, mushy, inside.. the behavior so to speak of the Sinulog (or any other festival) photographer…
1. Be clear: I mean here is make sure you’re cleared to enter within the restricted areas or photographer’s only spots, make sure you have a permit or an official event ID, and make sure they are visible to marshals to avoid being pushed outside or to miss a scuffle.
2. Be clean: No, it’s okay you’re not physically clean (though it’ll help a lot if you took a bath). What I mean here is that make sure your SD card is clean. Make sure to maximize the space you have in your SD card by clearing as much space as you can.
3. Man cannot live on 2GB alone: Seriously you go to an epic event like this and only bring 2gb of SD card space…. this one hits me honestly. Gonna’ buy an 8GB this week for Sinulog.
4. He who blocks shall be hated: C'mon, common courtesy here people… be aware of your surroundings and specially to people around you. Just because you paid for the pass/ID to get in the parade premises doesn’t mean you can deprive other people of enjoying the sight of the show.
5. Don’t linger, you’d look stupid, and tourist-like: Based on the years of being in the Sinulog parade up-close, this behavior has been increasing and has been very annoying. So here’s the situation, an important subject (like a festival queen) comes along, a photographer takes a picture, but instead of moving out of the way after taking the shot, he stays there, either reviewing the photos he just took or he’s just standing there (trust me I saw this a lot last year, and over the other years too), like what what what? are you too awestruck to move out of the way after seeing the festival queen? are you too tourist-like and got mesmerized by the bigger camera gears other photographers have? Must you really need to review your photos right there, blocking everyone else? Did your butt get cramps and couldn’t move after bending over and taking the shot? Please, be aware of your fellow photographers, it’ll earn you respect.
6. Just because you paid P1,000 (or whatever amount) doesn’t mean you’re a VIP, it just makes you like the rest of us 1,999 other photographers who did the same thing: Pardon but I just have to put this out, this is based on what happened last year. So here’s the situation, A festival queen comes along the corner, we rush to take a photo. Then this one, rich-looking, slow, arrogant dude comes in last and goes up front and blocks A LOT of us (I didn’t know how he did it) and we told him to step aside cuz’ it was unfair and he had to be courteous too, but then he blasted at us by saying “Unsa ba, nagbayad ko ani, unya inyo ko pahawaun (What the… I paid for this and you expect me to move over?)” and we just stared at the douche-bag. Until one of the photographers shouted that WE ALL PAID TOO. That must have hit him in the head and then he decided to move away. We didn’t see him around the area where we were taking photos for the rest of the day… hmmm.. must have moved to a spot where he can bully some other people.
7. Smile… ALOT: The sun is gonna’ be hot, or you’re gonna’ be drenched in rain but don’t forget to smile, specially when asking permission to take a photo of someone, it’s more appealing… obviously.
8. Enjoy: It’s a festival, a super epic-massive-uber-party, in order to capture the happiness, the liveliness, the pure joy if the moment, it’s essential to emulate those emotions yourself. Win or lose, enjoy the photo-contest/festival… the primary purpose of being there is creating art, capturing, freezing the moment that will never happen again. That in itself is a priceless gift a photographer can receive.
Follow these steps and I guarantee you’ll have a unique way of partying with the folks in Sinulog (or any other festival).
OH YEAH AND DON’t FORGET TO CHARGE ALL YOUR BATTERIES. IT’S GONNA’ BE A WAR OUT THERE!! :)