Equality in Love
I was very fortunate to hear about Champaign-Urbana’s first Gay Pride Parade this past weekend. I immediately knew this would make a great photo essay. I could grab shots of set-up, when they would be blocking off the street for a great beginning shot. I got stills of people in attendance and pictures during the parade for my middle shots. My ending shot was my favorite by far. As the parade had finished, and everyone was clearing out, I noticed a couple walking away hand in hand. I ran up to them, asked them if I can take their photo and it turned out perfect. I got a variety of shots from wide, medium and tight. I tried to really play around with angles, capturing a low angle angle shot. Not only was there a lot of good elements within the parade to shoot, but the people there were so interesting. The subjects I shot were full of emotion, colorful, outgoing, and opinionated. Their demeanor in the stills I took is enough to tell their story.
What was most surprising to me was how different this parade was from the Chicago Pride Parade that is more provocative and not family-friendly. To my surprise, I found many families, bringing their children, and educating them, and this struck me. I shot a young girl named Aubrey, who is in a stroller carrying a pride flag. I love that. I loved that her parents were educating her at such a young age. They were instilling in their daughter that life is not in black and white. This is why I chose to focus on a range of colors in my title page. I chose a couple of colors that are seen in the gay pride flag to represent this theme. I also got a shot of individual colorful flags being carried in the parade. When I was selecting my stills to choose, I saw this picture and it provoked me to think about equality and love. Different people from all race, color, and backgrounds are represented with each individual flag. However, they are all flowing in one wavelength. They may be flowing up or down, but they are united as one, as they moved together in unison. I saw this idea directly translate to equality in love between both gay and heterosexual couples.
Although I took many shots I fell in love with, there were definitely bumps along the way. Before the parade started, there were booths set up from different organizations supporting gay love to educate those there. I went to a booth with the sign “Standing on the side of Love.” I asked the woman at the booth if I could take a picture of her sign and she allowed me to do so. However, when I went to take the picture, I noticed that she was standing on the side but close enough where her shadow was in the picture. I felt rude asking her to move away from her booth so I could take the shot so I just got the still and left. Later, I realized her shadow can actually speak to the sign itself. She is standing on the side of the poster, and maybe she is speaking to this idea that she is standing on the side of love and equality.
The major problem I encountered involved poor preparation on my part. Before I left for the parade I thought I had charged my battery, but I don’t think I plugged it in fully. My battery ended up dying on me ten minutes before the parade was about to begin. I had been there two hours prior, walking around taking stills of people and booths here and there. Right when the main event was about to start, my battery died. I couldn’t believe it. I ran to the new Hyatt which was along the street that the parade was running on and asked if I could use an outlet. I’m so grateful I both had my battery pack and they were kind enough to allow me to use their outlet. I was able to charge my camera enough and get out there in time for the parade. Stressful? Yes. However, this taught me to prepare in advance and check my battery life before starting the shooting. I also thought this was extremely relevant to a newsroom environment. You are always on your toes. There is always news that is going to break, and you have to be ready at all times.
When it came to editing, I thankfully didn’t run into problems. I played with dissolves and added unique ones where I felt appropriate and flowed the photo essay along. I also chose to showcase the colors of the gay pride flag in my title page.
Take a look at my completed assignment 2 here.
Now, for assignment 3, I thought I could have done a better job capturing more audio at the event. I got a lot of great natural sound from the parade. However, I wish I would’ve interviewed the couples I took stills of. I had amazing conversations with these couples, but I was too preoccupied with the stills that I disregarded the audio.
When it was time to edit, I knew I just had to work with the audio that I had. It wasn’t about what I didn’t have, but what I did have and how I made use of the audio. I remember Professor Collins making it a point to note that we are in control as the producers. I used this mentality to take the audio I had and complement the stills. I think I made it work very well with the resources I had.
Take a look at my completed assignment 3 here