For the third year in a row I have photographed Madison's Red Ribbon Affair at the Monona Terrace. Some of Madison's best show up to support and help raise money for the support of those living with HIV / AIDS. The Monona Terrace holds the event along with one of the largest silent auctions I have ever seen.
I've been very blessed to photograph this event for Our Lives Magazine, who for the last 3 years have stayed above the curve providing Madison and expanding markets with great journalistic life stories and resources for the LGBT community. I thoroughly enjoy attending and photographing events for Our Lives Magazine. I feel like I learn something new every time, meet the most interesting and engaging people who genuinely add more to society than normal. All while I get to take their photograph! How cool is that. I love my job.
Images to me tell so much more than who, where and when. Photographs are able to tell a multi-level story that relates to a 3rd party in a way no other medium can. The three parties involved are the subject, the photographer, and the viewer of the image.
While most may not think much of this connection, I always feel a sense of connection when I photograph people. The connection comes full circle when the image is viewed by the 3rd party and the subject. The message that the image creates can span many reactions and emotions. However what drives me to want to photograph people is to capture the essence of who that person is, which is why the best photo will always be captured when a person doesn't know their photo is being taken (unless you are a trained model).
While much more challenging that posing people, the power of the image completely relies on your ability to be unseen. A lot of crowd reading and anticipation helps build an image around technique and knowing your camera. Learning non verbal cues really helps identify who is engaged and "prime" to photograph. Eye contact, hand gestures and voice pitch are just a few cues I look for. This interaction is often driven out those who are inspiring, respectful, funny or just genuinely interested.
The interaction people have with one another, I find extremely interesting and provocative. This is when my heart pounds, my focus increases, I hear next to nothing and I point my camera and shoot all I can. Those moments information is flying to and from the 2nd party (the subject) translate volumes of information to the 3rd party in mere nanoseconds is why I love to capture people.
While not all photos of people pull that description. They happen every day, and you won't capture them unless you get out and look for them.
Look for those moments at the Red Ribbon Affair, become a friend of Our Lives Magazine and see them here to see what you learn.
Purchase one of those hard copies, called photos here at my online website gallery - www.ebaillies.com