Leda Petit’s travels in the lands of Internet

First of all, this blog entry is not a whinge about Internet’s bad manners, how my work has been exploited etc.

If you load one of your photos on Internet you must be prepared to see it used and abused, chopped, written on, have filters applied on it etc.

It can be, at times, really annoying, particularly when other ‘artists’ are using my photograph without credit, but most of the time I am fine with this. Most people will use the picture on Pinterest and Tumblr or for their profile on Facebook [Hello Carol Duncan, I do not know you but you have good tastes in photography, if you do not mind me saying so]. They are just naughty.
It also appears in online magazines of the “high-quality occasional magazine that’s completely FREE!” type.

Most of the time there is nothing that can be done, except, perhaps, when a self important multi-billionaire star steals your work, in which case money must be earned. For yourself, and, eventually, your favorite lawyer.

Before we check on what adventures that particular picture went, let me tell you where it is coming from etc.

I have always been interested and attracted by shows. Not just the shows themselves, but also the rehearsal, the backstage areas etc. I love to photograph the hard work, the dark green rooms, the sweat and the creative processes which are leading to the show. 
In fact, I am almost more interested by this than by the shows themselves. Almost.

It started when I was a student in Art school. I ended up working for dance and theater companies, back in the 1980s. I used to sell tickets, put billboards up, do any dirty job. I once even was a projectionist for ‘Holiday on Ice’.
I also did a lot of concert photography of the ‘dirty punk bands in illegal squats’ type, when it was fun and when film was used. And when I was able to survive backstage antics…

After spending some years in New Zealand I tried to go back to that special place I was missing a lot: backstage.
I approached ‘The Burlesque’ girls and after a very good contact with Lilly Loca I was able to start photographing shows, being free to roam wherever I wanted.
I obviously was under scrutiny from the “headbosslady”,making sure I was not too dodgy…
And believe me, it takes a bit of work.
First I had to explain why a ‘Middle aged Frenchman taking pictures in a green room full of naked bodies” is not dodgy.
Then I had to demonstrate my work was both of quality and respectful.
We managed to do this (‘We’, because without Lilly I would have been kicked in the street by two big men in dark suits) and had a nice article published in the New Zealand Geographic (2012). 

So, as you can see, it takes time, not to mention a bit of photography technique, but I will not bore you with this.
After a number of years, I can say some of the ‘Burlesque girls and boys’ are good friends and I am lucky to be able to photograph them with relative freedom. As you can see on my ongoing project.

This leads us to THAT world famous Facebook profile picture above.

It was taken at the Whisper 150 Speakeasy Club, produced by Va-va-Voom productions, here in Auckland, New Zealand.
Pictured is Leda Petit, one our Burlesque Queens, and members of the public. The look of the lady on the left is, for me, as important as Leda in the picture.

Now off to travels and fun. 

First I need to apologize to the members of the public: you have been cut out of the picture. I guess there were a need to go to the ‘essential’. The picture had also a good dose of sharpening, because sharper is better. 
This also gives me the opportunity to place the mandatory Henri Cartier-Bresson quote: “Sharpness is a bourgeois concept”.
There you go. Done.

With Leda, we unwillingly endorsed a couple of products.

We did:
- Prosecco from Australia. We aim for quality…
- Perfume, or, dare I say, Parfum (French sound classier, I am well placed to know this).

We also did a cover for OG Layla Johnson a famous band on youtube and other such internet places. To quote Layla in one of her video #ALWAYSCHOOSEQUALITY.

We also did a big event in Amsterdam. Confetti fetichists. 

We are big on confetti. 
And glitter. Especially glitter.

And then, there is the annoying person on Ebay.

$9.99 for a shitty print of my picture?
Not even 10 bux!
Years of practice in our respective trades and Arts for Leda and I and not even 10 dollars?

This is so insulting. I had to report you dude, sorry.

Now if you really really really like my picture with the radiant Leda Petit in all her glory, plus real members of the public kept in the picture. Do buy a proper print, made by one of the best artisan printers in NZ. 
We ship worldwide. 
And then, if we sell enough before Christmas, I will buy some Champagne for Leda for the next show, or even give her some money and then she can buy the clothes she needs dearly.
And shoes.