Swing Sanctuary 2018

A couple of weeks ago I had the opportunity to attend Swing Sanctuary 2018 as their photographer for the weekend.

Cambridge is always a place that carries mixed feelings for me for many reasons – but the Cambridge Lindy Hoppers will always be responsible for making me fall in love with dancing, and keeping me sane through some of the most difficult times of my life. When I made the decision to move back North, it was only Cambridge Lindy that added a little bit of struggle into that decision. The drive down to that neck of the woods always brings up old feelings of sadness and anxiety, but knowing that my old dance family is at the other end makes it worth it.

It’s always the best to see some of my favourite humans at the other end of the drive. (Including those from my current home!)

And how cute are these gifts on arrival?!

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I always love it when event lighting is on point for spotlights and performances – and Friday night was definitely on point – seeing the teacher demos definitely introduced me to some new dancers to look for when seeking inspiration.

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Thankfully, Saturday night was much the same in terms of lighting for performances and competitions – that makes me so happy. The competition at this event was such a positive and encouraging atmosphere, it was a really great one to get to shoot.

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I’ve also wanted to take photos of Natty Congeroo and the Flames of Rhythm for ages. They’re a photographer’s dream when it comes to bands, as they’re so dynamic and engaging for the audience. They really give you the opportunity to translate atmosphere of an event into image.

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I also took the chance to photograph some classes, and I actually learnt quite a lot from the sidelines. I always thought it’d be totally doable for me to photograph an event and take photos- but this camp definitely taught me ‘no’. I love to get a good handle on how my images are going during the festival, so I need the daytimes to edit, gather my thoughts, and plan if there’s anything I need to change about my approach – it also gives me insight into who I’m photographing the most, and who I need to find to make sure there’s an image of them.

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On the Sunday morning I took the opportunity to go into Cambridge too. It always struck me that there are just so many doors that I never knew if I could go through, and had no idea what was behind them – so I took a couple of hours to walk confidently through them and discovered some amazing places. I mean, it’s pretty much the most Instagrammable city ever.

I’m not going to lie. By Sunday I was absolutely beat and ready to go home, but I’m still super-pleased with the results from the whole weekend – and it was definitely an event worth the 300 mile round trip.

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Until next time, Cambridge…

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