Swing Revolution

Last year when I was photographing Swing Rev, I was doing my thing and saw someone nudge their mate, point and me, then I overheard her say: “Look at her, she’s not going to get anything in this light. She has no idea what she’s doing.”

This person was one of the first people I saw when I walked into the event this year. There’s no motivation quite like the drive to proving someone entirely wrong two years on the trot. I did a good job last year, but this year — I think I’ve done the best set of images that I’ve ever done (a real achievement as I have no idea what I’m doing).

Although my work and style has changed so much over the past 12 months, some of my work looks very similar to last year…

Swing Rev is one of my favourites to photograph. Leeds is my hometown (#yorkshire4lyf), so I always want to do a really good set when I’m showcasing the events in a city, and for a scene, that means so much to me. It’s also always an electric atmosphere during the socials and full of A+ humans.

Jam circles are one of the best bits for the photographer — they give a real opportunity for the ‘money shots’. When I’m photographing a jam, I’m looking for strong silhouette poses and good reactions from the crowd. It’s always hard to pick whether to face the crowd or the band, and predicting which direction the dancers will be facing. Luckily, there were so many jam circles I was in heaven getting to shoot them.

Katie’s reaction is everything in this. Katie is bae.

Adam and Rebecca’s matching shoes are everything in this one. They are also bae.

There were a lot of competitions on Saturday night, which is a double edged sword for me. I love to photograph 30 second showcases, but mix and matches not so much. Showcases take it for me for a number of reasons, I love the poses and shapes that are choreographed into the routines and the absolute excitement of the dancers. Showcases are such a great translation of loads of people’s hard work and I love the look of achievement on everyone’s faces at the end. I love to photograph people who have a genuine connection and the interpersonal connections that you see in a showcase are way more genuine than those in a mix and match — you can always see the bond between the dancers and the buzz they get from performing something that they’ve spent hours perfecting.

Pete Long also always puts on an amazing show. He knows how to rally a crowd and never fails to disappoint when it comes to crowd interaction at the end. Their performances always create such a good party atmosphere, and I know I’ll always end up with some great images thanks to that band.

There really were too many incredible moments from me to choose from, so please check out the Swing Rev Facebook page for all the images. However for now, here’s a (non-exhaustive) collection of excellent humans that were at the weekend.

2 thoughts on “Swing Revolution

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