This summer, photographer Garry Jones and his team at Hello Content visited Strawberries and Creem, a music and youth culture festival based in Cambridge, UK. They documented the events with some Simple Use Cameras and a bag of Lomography 35mm 400 ISO and Lomography 800 120 films. In this interview, he shares the results with us and gives us some valuable tips on being prepared for shooting with film at live events.
Hi Garry, thanks for coming back again, remind us a bit about yourself?
As always good to be back, might be finally getting accustomed to doing these mini-interviews. I’m a music photographer and part-time lecturer in the UK. Currently, I’ve been shooting a lot of gigs now things have reopened plus shooting loads of portraits on Lomography film. I work with a range of bands, DJs, and solo artists, from press shoots to photos for single artwork. Another main focus of mine is the company I run alongside my business partner Vic Frankowski called Hello Content. We are a creative studio based in London that focuses on Arts, Culture, Events, Food and more while taking steps to be a green company with our ‘Being Better’ policy. Making sure our productions and shoots do not impact the environment which can come in the form of offsetting our carbon from traveling or more simply cutting down plastic waste by ensuring our teams follow simple guidelines. It's been a really exciting time for a lot of the creative industry through the summer and we have loved shooting again.
Tell us about this amazing project with Strawberries and Creem? What made you want to shoot so much of it on film?
It's not every day you get a client like the Strawberries and Creem team. Open to ideas and willing to absorb your enthusiasm around the creative process of bringing a festival to life through still and moving images. I myself have been shooting festivals for over ten years now, and I can say Vic has probably got a couple more years under his belt. It's something we have both done for so long and we have developed a style of doing it that falls under the visual look and style of Hello Content our company.
We have been wanting to shoot a festival on film for a little while it was just finding the right match in how we wanted to approach it mixed with a cool client and line up. Strawberries and Creem mixed such a range of music and cultures together that felt it just made sense to put the idea out there of creating a gallery of images that arched back to when the disposable camera was the festival camera of choice for any punter. That being said we also wanted to work with some of our more traditional shooting methods we explored in our education and brought through into our professional practices using cameras like the Mamiya RB67 or Bronica SQ and a range of SLR’s we all grew up using. I think the main thing why we wanted to partly shoot the festival on film was so it differentiated from other festivals and stood out!
How did you get on with the film and the Simple Use cameras for this event?
The Simple Use Camera was great and this is Lomography at its greatest. Firstly it's reusable and as you can tell Hello Content is all about reusable products! Design-wise it's fantastic, almost a trip down memory lane but with the added bonus of a flash with colored gels then once you’re finished shooting you can take the roll out and put another one in. At the festival, the photo team all took one out each, popped it in our camera bag, and off we went for the day documenting the people, acts, and festival site with this camera.
What are the challenges faced when shooting live events?
With an event on this scale, there can be quite a few challenges, firstly its logistics. Sites can be so big it's simply making sure you know your way around, finding out any cut through to ensure you get to a stage on time, and avoiding all the crowds. Another one that some photographers don’t get to experience all the time is working in a team, balancing out who shoots what, and allowing everyone to get the chance to shoot acts they want to or delve into what they specialize in that being portraits, etc. Security is always a fun one, no matter how many photo passes and wristbands you have always make sure you befriend the security! That’s my top tip if I had to give one. Other than that it’s the usual with events, every changing lighting, reacting to the environment, watching everything that’s going on, and not letting your focus fall on just one thing.
Anything fun coming up soon?
Fingers crossed ill be carrying on working with a few artists that I'm close with, The Staves and Night Flight on photos you might actually be seeing some of the Night Flight images as they were shot on some Lomography 800 expired film so watch out for them. Hello Content have got a few projects that have been ongoing for a little while that I don’t think I’m allowed to speak of until they come out but it's keeping us really busy. On a personal note though I’ve just been enjoying shooting portraits recently and all I want to do is carry that on in the next few months. Just like to also say thanks to Laurence Howe and Paula Abu who joined to photography team and put together the images you see alongside myself and Vic.
You can see more of Garry's great photos via his Instagram page.