Thursday, June 07, 2018


TD Halifax Jazz Festival 2015
Julian Priester at The Bus Stop Theatre
I signed up to volunteer for the TD Halifax Jazz Festival again this year. I'm excited to get into the pit again.  I enjoy the work even though it is work.  But as I said, I enjoy it so it's fun too.  I get to listen to a lot of awesome music and challenge myself photographically since the light shows can make it difficult to get decent photos of the act.

I do wish the Jazz Fest people would provide me with better insight into how my work is used since I really don't see much of my photography used by the festival. It would give me a bit of a thrill to not only get to take the photos but also to have them used by the festival.  This will be the fourth year that I've photographed the festival and I have only ever seen them use one of my photos.

I recognize that I am the one who enjoys the photography and maybe that should be enough but I also feel like they should appreciate the work I do and it would be good to get a little recognition for that in the form of having my photos used.

This was especially highlighted this spring when I volunteered for the East Coast Music Awards.  I had volunteered through the website. I had to fill out availability forms at least twice.  One of the forms included a space for me to list my photography gear.  Apparently, that didn't impress the individual who was organizing the volunteer photographers.  After jumping through a bunch of hoops to volunteer I got an email reply which included the the line "I note that your camera and lens probably are not the greatest for really low light situations..."

Metric - Centre Stage 2017 Jazz Fest
I can only surmise that my portfolio of event photography was never reviewed even though it was asked for at least twice.  If my work had been reviewed there should have been no question as to whether or not I could photograph in low light conditions.  It got me to thinking that if I was accepted as a photographer without any of my work having been reviewed then they were just looking for warm bodies to take photos that they had no interest in using.

After a couple of days of thinking about it, because I do enjoy concert photography, I withdrew my offer of time and effort and walked away.  It made me sad to do so as I felt like I let them down but I also felt like I had to send a strong message as too often a simple complaint is ignored.  I hope that my stance doesn't affect my future in volunteering for such events but I was convinced that I had to "say" something.