Photographs at the Festival
It is often said that if you show up with a camera at an event like a festival or convention, you will never be lonely. Such was the case at a local festival Studio 3P was privileged to photograph recently. Strolling amidst the booths of homemade wares, knit items, canned and bottled treats, painted canvases, tempting foods of all kinds; we met many wonderful people.
Wearing carrying high-end photographic equipment, we stood out in the crowd and naturally struck up several conversations about photography. As unusual as it sounds, two separate people with whom we stuck up conversations actually brought out personal portraits to show us as we talked. One was a rather scruffy looking fellow selling tee-shirts at an open tent. The wallet-sized portrait he took from his pocket was of himself, resplendent in a red velvet coat and white-trimmed cap, his own snow-white hair and beard groomed to fit the persona of that Jolly Old Elf we all know and love. It was with great pride that he showed us this photo of transformation, and I understood his excitement. This is the transformative power of portrait photography (and good hair, makeup and wardrobe!)
The other person who shared a personal portrait with us was a candy vendor. Standing with his wife in their gleaming food truck, behind an embankment of candy apples and cotton candy bags, he spoke to us with great love of his father’s work at the same festival during its early days. The tradition continues to the present, the son taking over for the father as he cut back due to the passing of years. At one point, the man gestured to a framed print hanging on the back wall of the compartment. Taking it down he proudly boasted, “This is my father.” Holding the photograph, he showed us a man also standing in a food-vending booth at the same festival, many years prior. From his framed position of pride, he looks down over his son each time he rolls out to an event. The son’s joy in walking in his father’s footsteps was unashamed. The connection was complete and inescapable. The scene was familial love.
These responses to actual photographs, images one can hold in the hand and pass around, is what we cherish. Allowing the viewer to see a subject in a different light is magical; connecting the generations is real: through a photograph the scruffy vendor can portray a beloved personality; through a photograph a man’s father is with him everyday as he works to carry on the family business.
Portraits are powerful. They last. Through them, a story is told, and that story can go on. Please contact us when you are ready to tell your story.