17/9/15

Blog: Being a Freedom Festival Photographer

View Neil’s photography from Freedom Festival 2015 here.

He says: “Being an amateur photographer in Hull is pretty exciting in current times. Not that we need excitement to take great pictures but there’s definitely a buzz about the place with lots going on.. In the long dark days of January I try to earmark a few local events as ‘must do’ in a photography aspect throughout the year. Freedom Festival practically jumps off the page for someone who likes to be amongst the action taking pictures up close and personal. There’s so much happening over the three days and it certainly offers some of the best photographic opportunities locally for festival genre photography. It’s always a great, fun atmosphere and people tend to be more relaxed, enjoying the events and are happy to have their picture taken.

A dilemma I sometimes face is that having a young family, we like to attend these events together and enjoy them as a family with me documenting the fun times and Freedom is no different. This year Freedom Festival was held the final weekend of the summer school holidays which means the last big family fun time before the back to school blues kick in. So how did I manage to capture Freedom and enjoy some quality time with the wife and children? Well like anything it’s all about balance and luckily for me I found the right counter weight with a little help from friends and family.

The kids were always going to be interested in the main event; ‘Tangle’, in Queen’s Gardens so I headed over there and managed to grab some stock images and the kids enjoyed getting in a rather colourful, stringy tangle. This was a fantastic family oriented activity and one the kids thoroughly enjoyed. The Humber Calling telephone boxes were also a great laugh and the children found the mirror ladies at the invisible voices quite hilarious.

Queens Gardens was a hive of activity but the ‘real bees’ (installation) was over at the Little Village in the Humber Street area. After making our way to Humber St. and enlisting the Grandparents to watch over the crafty kids activities I went and took in local band, ‘The Coaves’. I managed to grab some nice crowd shots as well as the band in action before heading back over to the children who were enjoying the stilt walkers, Bees the Colony and L’Hotel a brilliantly funny piece showcased in the smallest hotel in the world. The area around the Big Top was full of smiling parents, excitable kids and people just generally getting in the swing of things which provided a great foundation for me as a photographer to pick off those candid moments in a variety of ways..

We took in the Yellow Bus stage area and enjoyed some live music whilst the kids thought the deck chairs were a rather funny addition to the area I really enjoyed the joyful mood they infused and again it provided me with some great subject matter. A walk on the pier was a relaxing break from the ever popular Yellow Bus stage and again I used the time wisely to pick of a few more willing subjects like a military trained sniper.

I said my goodbyes and off the kids went home with the grandparents, sucking on their freshly made slush drinks from the world market on the marina front. This left me with a few more hours of action before I called it a day myself. I went home happy, happy in the knowledge the family had enjoyed Freedom 2015, happy with the photographs I had captured and happy with the sounds of Black Delta Movement bouncing around my ears on the drive home.”

Blog and Photography by: Neil Nicklin

You can see more of Neil’s brilliant photos via his website here.

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