Of Reddish Carpets and Groovy Awards
I feel like I have to prepare you for this, the longest blog post I have ever done, ever. I even prepared a lot in advance, which is something architecture never taught me to do :).
The more perceptive of you know that Groove Awards were happening in Nairobi City last weekend and I was there to shoot. It being my first time to be at the Groove’s, I expected nothing short of excitement. And yes I enjoyed the show and enjoyed shooting but more on that later.
My greatest ‘bleurgh’ though, was the Red Carpet though, how? You may ask. If I may, rant a little here. It’s not like people were poorly dressed, quite the contrary, it’s not like there was no glamour. Actually a just a few issues that caused a big difference. Biggest of them, light. The red carpet is for display of splendor, if I am not mistaken to have thought it otherwise. This display is to be captured graciously by us, the photographers, so that you guys, yes you, get to see amazing pictures, no? For this we need light, so if you could kindly position the nice background so that we have the natural light from outside bathing the red carpet with light. Maybe next year.
Now to the walkers of the said red carpet, the celebrities, here are 5 ways NOT to rock the red carpet
1. In a hurry. We are photographers, creative image makers; we hate being reduced to puppies chasing after good photos just so we can show you to the world. Slow down, be easy, allow us to make good pictures of you and we promise, you shall like the outcome.
2. Angry. Smile people, smile. You are celebs, which is why, I presume, you are on the red carpet, if not, you got complimentary tickets from a friend of a friend in which case you are excused, but I digress. See a camera pointed at you, stop, turn, smile and take a good picture.
3. Late. Be there on time, then you shall not need to be all up like #1. Your seat has been reserved, relax.
4. While air walking. Stay on the ground, don’t place yourself on a pedestal. We already celebrate you so you don’t need to look down on anyone. Remember a huge part of your publicity comes through photos so don’t look down on those that take them.
5. Looking like a lollipop. This is the red carpet, dress well. Don’t compromise your style but look decent enough to make a good splash. Pictures people, pictures, these never get erased so look good so that you don’t have to dodge the fashion police from Pulse magazine or whatever other publication.
I realize I can’t write to save my life so let me just put it this way. You, artists and celebs of any kind, are in the limelight, there is no escaping this so while there, you may as well enjoy the experience. The red carpet is for us to enjoy taking your photos and for you to learn to tolerate people. Learn how to enjoy this, walk slow, when you see a camera raised however small, stop turn smile and make a good shot.
For the photographers, where to start. A few lessons we could apply;
1. Courtesy. Maybe if we say ‘Please may I take your photo’ people may enjoy having their photo taken by us. A thank you afterward wouldn’t hurt either. Of course, I am hoping that they shall have applied all that is above too, to make it easier for us.
2. Be considerate. You really do not have to step on my toes to get the picture. Neither do you have to sucker punch the other photographer to get the shot, it really is never that serious. Excuse me please goes a longer way than you think.
3. Be quick. Part of the trade is to learn and apply shots quickly, someone behind you needs you to shoot and move aside so they shoot too. Make it quick, if you are not fast enough, practice, practice hard and get better. Those are not the moments to start going through you pictures and even doing some post work as we wait to get the same shot.
I truly hope that the next time I shoot at a red carpet thingy, we shall maybe see a change. I am working on my downsides too.
All in all, I really had a good time shooting groove and I shall be doing it again, definitely. Now that you have endured my hideous writing, on to the pics.
A lot more happened at the Grooves but I wanted to highlight just the performances today. I hope you enjoyed going through the photos. Enjoy your Friday and see you tonight at Sara Mitaru’s concert at the Kenya Museums.