This was another commission from a family member, my grandad who is involved in the charity ‘Homestart’ providing funding and homes for families that have hit hard times.
I was there for two reasons – one to take photos, but mainly to help with waitressing, clearing tables and generally helping around. I flitted around to begin with, documenting the set up and the people that were there. I didn’t know anyone, so in comparison to the Lantern Community commission perhaps it was actually slightly easier to work with. I could take photos wihtout being emotionally connected, simply just documenting the day unfolding.
I enjoyed the experience, with a few ‘fellow photographers’ (read, ‘old men’) coming up to me asking about my camera, what kind of work I want to go into and similar questions. There was one particular man that was so interested in my future but of course I blanked when he asked what I wanted to do, which photographer’s I idolise and anything to do with my practice. His wife was the complete opposite, not wanting anything to do with me, shielding her body and face completely whenever I faced my camera anywhere near her. I felt like I needed to go and tell her I wouldn’t photograph her as she looked SO uncomfortable and I really didn’t want to ruin her day!
This was the only obstacle I really faced, feeling quite comfortable elsewhere, but having to be mindful that the people attending didn’t know there was going to be a photographer, and how they were going to react to me documenting the day. I think this is something very relevant to photographing in any public space and being mindful of the people around, becoming too intrusive in settings like these can sour the original message of the day.