When one is being paid to photograph an event, all the attention is on the subject of the contract. It is not the time to creatively wander around trying out different concepts. One primarily employs best practices to get the best shots, or stock shots. So, when one gets time, between events, to just enjoy some creativity, things can take on a lot more adventurous turns. In other words, a lot more fun.
It is those moments of experimenting that brings untold gems and untold fun to the work of photography, which in and of itself can be quite fun and rewarding.
Some time ago, as in many years ago, I had the luxury of having my camera on hand between two events I was involved in. One was a music gig, I was the pianist, the other was a speaking gig, I was the MC.
After the food was served and people were satisfied, there presented itself a few moments to just socialize and network. Being I knew most of the people at the event, I opted to train my lens on something quite different. I wanted to play with my new zoom lens.
So, with permission from all parties involved, I set out to tell a most unusual story. Below, you’ll see just how my mind can wander while looking for an angle.
With the initial idea still floating in mind as if it was last week, finally getting around to sharing these on the blog today. Enjoy the mini-stories, all two of them. If you don’t mind, do share as well as click like… if you do like the post. Now, on to the stories.
The cellular crunch
Many have lamented the rise of cellphone use in public settings. So much so that even in church, announcements have to be made on the regular to tone down the use of phones. Sure, the folks who have loud ringers and let it ring out to the very end before taking the call… create much annoyance. But, we’re past the point of no return. Phones are here to stay in all places ranging from the game to the theater to the halls of class and pews of church.
Funny thing though. In my experience of speaking, if my content is very engaging, people actually use their phones to fact check and also find questions to ask. Makes the whole experience that much more engaging.
Sure, having to compete with the phone is highly annoying, but having the phone help validate your points to the audience is a bonus too. And in church, many who don’t even bring bibles anymore can now participate by looking up the text and corresponding support documents right on their phone.
not advocating the use of the phone at church or encouraging folks to use the phone over their bible, just acknowledging the pros and cons
During the wait to the second event, it was pleasantly surprising to see several people deeply focused on their phones instead of chatting with others. After the few snaps of creative photos, I did ask what they were so focused on. One person told me they were blogging a summary of what they had just heard. Another was researching the topic that was about to get discussed so they could participate. Another was chatting with a friend who was across town at a similar event and they were comparing notes.
As great as the tool is, it is up to the owner to make the best of their tech. While it is good to engage, just keep in mind, that shiny screen can lead anywhere if one is not careful. From my perspective, I got a few good photos out of the deal
On the other side of the spectrum, the zoom lens caught a few sights worth exploring. The glitz and glamour of the attendees needed some documenting. The nail game was solid and tight.
While the point of nail art is easily lost on me, I was aware that several ladies were totally caught up in who had the best nail art that day. So, training my eye on the buzz, I captured a few that seemed to have won the approval of the others.
Turns out, it was more than just a bit of art. It was a telling masterpiece of the skills of the nail artist as well as the person wearing such art. Not sure how typing works with such nails, but I’m told it’s a learned skill.
So, art it is. The captured photos turned out to be a good learning opportunity to understand lighting. The most valuable lesson was not in the nails though. It was in understanding how to approach a lady to request a photo of her nails. It is not a typical request and if approached wrong, will result in a door slammed shut with a solid “no” rejection.
Thankfully, all it took was getting a yes from the most popular of the ladies there and the rest is history. Does not hurt to have a DSLR with a view screen for the gals to see how their nails look and the photos do the talking.
Today, with everyone having their own super selfie photo machine built into their phone, getting such art captured without first knowing the lady is a bit more of an art mixed with great skills. I’ve not perfected said art, so won’t comment much on it.
The events of the day was fun and amazing. The photo break in-between was just as inspiring. The photos shared today was just a sampling of the photos taken that day. Because it was for fun, there aren’t that many to speak of. However, after writing this piece, I may have to resume doing such fun photos. I miss that part of photographic exploration.
There is beauty everywhere. One just has to focus their lens on it. Until next time, make the best of every event and memorialize it in the best focused light possible.
Editorial Note: This post was originally shared on the project section of the site on December 19, 2017. It was moved to the blog as part of the 2018 site audit. But posted in 2019