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Capturing the Carnival

In Events, People by ShepLeave a Comment

I’ve always loved looking at old stock photos of how life was decades ago. From flicking through old newspaper cuttings in the library to browsing through online archives and the occasional local pub that has old photos of the neighbourhood framed on the walls. Call me nostalgic but these photos are a valuable reminder of how things were. And as I like to think that I’m still reasonably youthful I find that photos from before I was born absolutely fascinating and unlike our memories they rarely fade.

This is why I was so delighted when I was offered the task of photographing a local event for Richmond council. To think that my photos may be used in print or web and eventually archived. And that one day when I’m a lot older there’ll be generations who may stumble upon these photos and they will provide them with an insight into how things used to be.

My day started at 11.30am. I waited patiently outside York House keeping my eyes peeled for one of the organisers so I could introduce myself. All around me were people preparing to take part in the procession; Samba bands, steel drummers, dancers and proud parents looking pleased with their child’s paper-mâché creations. The weather was looking promising which is a rarity these past summers.

12 noon saw the procession begin. A mass sound of steel drums and samba beats erupted. It was ‘go’ time. The teams of children led the way closely followed by their respective parents. Holding their banners, giant origami structures and paper-mâché figurines all representing a selection of countries including France, Brazil and New Zealand. Two lorries gently plodded along carrying the steel band blasting out a fabulously funky track by Cindy Lauper.

The procession made its way down Church Lane and along the Riverside before finishing at Orlean House Gallery and gardens. A perfect setting for a summer fete where food stalls from around the world were waiting along with face painting, jewellery stalls and the compulsory beer tent. The main focus was the stage where various acts including the samba and steel bands were to play and also cultural acts such as Indian, Latin and Mauri Dancing and not forgetting the finale involving the fantastic Ghanaian group. All were happily watched by a mass of people all too happy to join in with the dancing as much as possible.

The whole event provided ample opportunity for some great photography and so I set about creating a collection that brought across the fun and enjoyment that carnival is all about. I’m hoping they’ll provide fond memories to those that were there – and for those that weren’t, I hope the photos make them feel as if they were.

See the portfolio… Twickenham Carnival 2012