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Dance 4 Dunkirk

On March 9, I attended the charity event club night ‘Beat It On The Bush’ held at infamous London location, Dalston Superstore, put on by the charity ‘Dance 4 Dunkirk’ to raise money for the Dunkirk women’s shelter for refugees that burned down a few months ago. This was a very special night for me, as not only did I design and create some of the promotional aspects of the night such as the flyers, the Snapchat filter as well as a GIF, but this charity was co-founded by my sister Beth. It meant so much to me to go and support her and this cause as it is such a potent issue in today’s society and I fully commend her on her further efforts to effect change, as she also went over to volunteer in Dunkirk at a refugee camp which is what sparked her to get more involved. As I have showcased in previous briefs, club nights are not a foreign thing for my sister as she also co-runs a monthly club night in London, ‘FREAK’ that made its debut at Queen of Hoxton where it ran for three nights before switching to its current location, Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, which I am also a part of with regards to the promotional elements. It was so much fun to capture people in this environment because it was very much free, loving, and liberating, and also very diverse, with an overwhelming number of people turning up to show their support to give the charity an amazing end figure to give to the women’s centre. Analogue photography offers an interesting on perspective that I always love to use when going to events like this because you never know how the photographs are going to turn out, but there is always, without fail, an undeniable realness to each and every shot being that they’re mostly candid shots.

 

 

This first shot is definitely one of my favourites from the whole shoot. Radiating fun, love, and friendship this photograph of two friends enjoying the night together is just so genuine and I love how using the flash has put those two elements in focus and very much the focal point of the image, bringing them very much to the forefront of the shot. This provides the viewer great clarity, making the background something almost monochromatic, thus presenting such an interesting juxtaposition that is so captivating to the audience. This next photograph displays the phenomenal host of the night, who came in drag, collecting raffle tickets from everyone donated extra money to the cause to be entered into a raffle to win some truly amazing prizes such as a Patagonia backpack and a free Airbnb stay for somewhere in the UK. He was absolutely incredible and he appears in quite a few of my photos as I found her so interesting to shoot because he didn’t need to know that he was being photographed to connect with the camera – the camera just loved him – and his facial features are absolutely stunning!

 

 

One my jobs on the night, along with working on the door and collecting the money for raffle tickets, was to make sure that all the DJs that were performing had everything they needed and that they were happy. It is when I was checking on one the DJs playing downstairs that I snapped a shot of her doing her set and her stuff was very high energy and lively getting people in such an amazing move to just dance and be carefree. So, when I look at this shot it takes me back to that particular part of that night and how I was feeling a great sense of pride for what my sister had created here and how everyone involved came together to make an unforgettable event for a great cause. The composition of this image is very strong as it head-on showcases the DJ in her element, where she feels most comfortable which is communicated in the best way as it’s not over the top, but subtle, thus bringing a relaxing element to the shot when what lied in the unseen shoot when I turned the camera around can be seen displayed in this second shot. I love the perspective of this shots as it was taken completely blindly with the camera held above my head angled down into the crowd, creating this great kind of aerial shot that captured everyone just having the best time. This image evokes the pure joy that comes with dance and the amazingly light yet powerful energy that accompanied this night.

 

 

These two final shots have to be the best at capturing the true essence of the night. Everyone who showed up just acme with the best attitude and was 100% ready to have the best time. Nothing feels better than when you’re having fun and helping people in the process – this is why I think this night was so successful. This first shot works effortlessly to capture the personality of two high energy live wires and I love everything about this image from the gun shot sign aimed straight at the lens in the very centre of the shot to the truly amazing outfit that guy is wearing to the left of them – working that double denim!  This last photograph exudes pure power and realness as the subject just has that ‘boss bitch’ air about her. I adored that it was hosted by a drag queen. By her bringing that persona to event elevated the energy even more with her amazing sass and charisma – and she didn’t always appear this poised, as two hours later she was dancing on the bar making everyone, including me, live for her. The combination of colours present works perfectly in mirroring the, obviously strong, main party element being served in this shoot and I love how even though there are so many colours here, that bright pink overcoat steals your attention instantly, thus drawing all your attention to her again! I love how she just commanded the cameras attention, thus demanding the attention of the audience without hesitation – there’s no choice it’s simply fact. Even though she doesn’t sit at the centre of the shot like most hero-ine shots, she definitely owns it!

 

Natasha Perkin

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