The other day I returned to Preston School to photograph their ‘House Day.’ They had just done a ‘Race For Life’ for St Margaret’s Hospice to raise funds, but I was there to capture their reward, which was a few hours of fun on an inflatable obstacle course, inflatable slides and a velcro football target game. There was also music playing, the children were having their faces painted and there were various teachers stealthily chasing after the kids and giving them a thoroughly good soaking with their super soaker water pistols! Not that the pupils didn’t fight back mind. There were a few soggy teachers as well as children running around!
The kids had an absolutely fabulous time, there was plenty of fun to be had with all the different activities. I got lots of photos of the kids being ambushed with water pistols and a great feel for the energy of the afternoon.
So how do I photograph such an event?
When I am photographing this sort of event I often find a spot where there is repeatable action so I have a number of chances to capture the best shots. Once I have a few shots of this I may then try to find an alternative angle, or something rather unusual. I can also get more variety by changing lenses. I can also use objects or people in the foreground to block unsightly background distractions.
It also pays to observe patterns, watch as the action unfolds and keep an eye out for opportunities. Sometimes I might see something really great, but know it is unlikely to happen again and I was too far away to capture it. Often though I am able to get the people to do what they are doing again and maybe build on it. My aim is to give the best variety and make the most of every photographic opportunity I can.
In the case of some of the water pistol shots, I asked one of the teachers to ambush the kids so I knew I would have some predictable action packed photos I could capture. Those are some of the photos that most stand out as you get the great expressions on faces of the people getting soaked.
If you would like photography for your event, send me an email. I’ll unobtrusively capture all the best bits in sharp detail and vibrant colour.