Last week I returned home from six days in Barcelona covering OFFF festival, a massive creative celebration held at the Museo Del Disseny under the aqua blue skies of Catalonia. It is a haven for design innovation, playful creativity and brings together fascinating speakers from studios all over the world. I would like to offer a small insight into what was running through my head over the three days from a work perspective.

Sometimes when you are doing your professional work, the human side of life can go unnoticed. With photography, as I imagine in many lines of work, it can be quite prevalent. People are often shy, or somewhat wary of a camera being pointed in their direction or an individual lurking in a position away from the masses. Mostly plain curiosity but it can certainly affect what I do.

This is a general observation and there is a reason that I bring it up from my three days of photographing for OFFF festival in Barcelona. Partially because I want to draw insight into my work and not just describe a journal of the three days which is well covered here by Fluoro Studio.

It is relevant because in most situations I have plenty of experience and enough confidence for it to go unnoticed. Covering the photography for OFFF festival was a big opportunity for me, coming from a visit to the festival the previous year funded by the last of my savings – a risk at the time, maybe, but justified now! There is also human nature, although it is quite trivial, I really don’t enjoy the idea of making someone uncomfortable by taking their photo especially when they are just trying to enjoy themselves. A disarming smile or silly joke sometimes helps and occasionally, letting a good opportunity to pass in the nature of morals is sometimes the nicest response. It can be difficult, as an artist – you will see a moment and you will feel driven to capture it, but, sometimes it is nice not to let work always overrule your human side.

Also, working in Barcelona was slightly more unfamiliar territory, plus a new team of people to make an impression upon and most importantly a big opportunity not to mess up. It can be a difficult balance because you don’t want to not have the confidence to find the right photo opportunities but you also don’t want to be overconfident and tread on anyone’s toes.

Especially on the first days where you are still forming connections it can be difficult to read every situation and I often aired on the side of caution, growing in confidence over the weekend. In essence, I feel like I traded off some small opportunities in favour of the long run. So, I was delighted when they asked if I want to cover for next year. Not that I will go into next year over confident but because I’ve had the feel for how it works, what opportunities are available and now with the aid of planning I have thirteen months to think of ideas and decide on the best methods to execute them.

For me, this year was about putting the effort in and doing the job well but more importantly making a good connection with the people in the team. I think that the connections you make with the people is almost as important as the job you do because people want to trust you and you should want to trust them aswell.

In the end, it was an amazing three days with beautiful sunshine, an abundance of inspiring speakers and the opportunity to make some lovely new connections and catch up with old friends. I wanted to offer a unique perspective, which is why this blog isn’t just six hundred words of OFFF & BARCELONA ARE GREAT. Which is of course true but we all know that anyway!

I want to thank Nathalie and Héctor for giving me such an amazing opportunity. The rest of the team too for all their help, warmth and jokes about me having to put sun cream on and to all the rest of the production team and various speakers and attendees I spoke to. Also, to Lewis and the Campfire team, who introduced me to the festival last year and who it was great to catch up with again in the sun.

Now just thirteen months to go!

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