Birmingham Swing Festival

Birmingham is my swing dance spiritual home. I started dancing there in September 2016 so it was amazing to go back to photograph a festival – and boy was this a good one to go back and do. It was a crazy weekend of so much car drama, but it turned out to be so worth it.

The organiser told me that he’d spotted an image from Bristol Shag Fiesta with some crazy lens flare and that’s what he wanted… so that’s what he got.

That jam circle was the most insane thing I’ve ever photographed. The light was perfect and Pete Long absolutely killed it when he got into the audience.

If I hadn’t been photographing, I would have been yelling like mad when my friend Kate got in it and threw down some awesome solo jazz.

The atmosphere of that last song was absolutely electric and I was on such a high after the event.

It’s so great working at an event when the organiser is into photography too. As well as having some great chats about geeky photography stuff, it’s so good to see good lighting in every venue at all times.

I learn quite a lot when I shoot bits of classes. Every teacher I saw was delivering a first-class technique-filled class and I definitely learnt bits from all of them, but I was enchanted by Trisha’s class. She was telling stories about the people behind all the names of moves, and about the history of the dance. Without those stories, the dance is meaningless, and we should all learn this at some stage in our dance career. I wish I could have stopped and listened for a little longer.

I also got the chance to meet Valerie. Many moons ago, I met my best friend, Jordan, while working together in Maine, USA. She takes Lindy classes in Cleveland with Valerie, so I was super-excited to meet here. It was such a lovely collision of worlds.

This delivery of images was absolutely my favourite I’ve ever done so far. I do this for the love of it, and I this day shooting was absolutely love. Thank you all for being amazing.

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