LRP: Maybe I did it right.

So the first Empire event came and went. I went, I took photos, I got exceedingly cold and I managed to avoid most of the mud (four season leather boots – if you don’t have them you’re nucking futs). Things were learnt, mistakes were made.

Before the event I was apprehensive. Most of the photos available on the net from LRP events are from compact cameras that people have shot mid event. They’re a record of their memories and rarely intended to be anything more. It’s hard to get an idea from this kind of imagery what you should expect as someone with a more ‘serious’ interest in photography. I’ll be honest, I was expecting to shoot nothing that rated much better than ‘mediocre’ as the conditions are far from ideal. Wintery, scrubby woodland. Dull winter light. No ability to coordinate anyone. Basically, a photographers nightmare.

However I decided to embrace the challenge and I’m glad I did! The main photo sets are available on my Facebook page:

Saturday – http://on.fb.me/10OTfRR
Sunday – http://on.fb.me/11d7FuJ
Monday – http://on.fb.me/14dLA4f

But I’d like to include in this post some of my selects, which I’ll add at the bottom. I even got out at shot right into the evening which was challenging, but a couple of my favourite shots have come from that time of day! I just love all the atmospheric grain, I know that lots of people try to avoid it… but…

Anyway, what I really wanted to talk about was the feedback I’ve had from the people at the event. I never expected to be embraced so completely by so many people at an event and hobby I know nothing about! I think in less than a week I’ve had over 500 comments and ‘likes’ on my pictures. Put it this way, I had so many that I had to turn off the alerts on my Facebook Pages app because it drained my iPhone battery. It’s totally overwhelming!

I’ve been invited for dinner at several camps at the next event too, which is just heartwarming in so many ways. I’m going to try and arrange something, but if you’ve invited me and I don’t make it I’m truly sorry. Next event is promising to be busier than the last one for me so I might not make it around to see you (although I will happily accept deliveries of vegetarian yummies to my seat in GOD, and of course, flat white coffees from Applebys are a fantastic token of appreciation). I jest about the gifts of course, the PD team kept me well fed last time.

But it’s the messages that I’ve got that are the most wonderful. I’m up to at least a dozen strangers that have messaged me to thank me. Saying things that vary from ‘I’ve never had a good photograph taken of me before’ to ‘these are the best LRP photos I’ve seen’. I even got reblogged here! And truly, this is the reason that I do photography.

You see I love taking pictures. And I love photography. But more than anything I just want there there to be more great pictures in the world. We live in a sea of image mediocrity, and while that has a certain intellectual value to the history of art, everyone deserves to have great pictures of themselves on a social level.

So here we are, some of my favourite moments from the weekend. (There’s quite a few, I promise they’re all worth it.)

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I know this is the totally shitty bit of the post. You see, I do this LRP photography for fun. But being a freelance photographer, journalist and student I’m pretty bloody skint most of the time. If you liked my pictures (perhaps you used them as your Facebook profile picture, or you sent them to your Nan in New Zealand) then I’d really appreciate it if you would consider contributing a couple of Barbarian Notes to the kit maintenance and petrol fund. Unfortunately every photograph I take of you guys adds wear and tear to my cameras and lenses and over time it does add up. But every little helps, and if by some miracle I make millions from this little appeal I’ll donate it to help endangered LRPers in dire need or something. <3