This area of performing arts is not typically my area, but I am a bit puzzled about an issue I have recently run into.
My daughter is in a high school play. I wanted to be able to take a few photos of her, for my own personal use, before/during/or after the performance, whichever is most convenient. I called to make sure this would not be an issue, and I was told that absolutely no photography or video is allowed due to copyright reasons. I asked if there was a professional photographer hired and if photos would be offered for sale and was not given that info, only the previous statement which was repeated. I was never asked to sign a consent for my daughter's image to be released either.
Now, my problem with this is that I am certainly not interested in selling any of these photos. I would not be offering my photos to anyone, because they will be of my daughter. They won't be on the internet, or used to promote my business in any manner. I simply wanted a few photos of my child. I'm not interested in any one else.
I am sure they will not be confiscating all of the cell phones, iphones, and flip camcorders that will be used during the performance, so I'm not seeing the problem if I happen to have my 7D with a 50mm/no flash for my 5 or 6 photos before or afterwards. Yes, I could take photos with my phone like everyone else will certainly be doing.. but to me, it's still breaking the rules, so why not take my own camera and get a decent photo?
I understand and respect copyright issues when there is a photographer hired.. but on the same token, I've never stopped anyone from taking photos when I was the hired photographer. Maybe I've just been lucky enough to not run into a problem, but I've never felt threatened by the dozens and dozens of cameras, cell phones, and the occasional dslr clicking away. Not only that, but I've never ever had a problem photographing my children at any of their school functions until now.
Since they would not tell me if they have a professional photographer hired, does anyone happen to know the laws on photographing an amateur play inside of a high school auditorium? I don't want to infringe on anyone's business in any way, but this almost seems absurd since I haven't been given any information.
Maybe I'll just bring my big purse and be discreet. With all of the cell phones in the air, I should blend in nicely, don't you think?