Roughly a month after getting my hands around my DSLR camera, Donge la Mombasa Welfare Group (Donge) put together an event to get Mombasa residents to donate blood.
Requests for blood donations on Donge’s Facebook Group are common. Mostly after an accident or an individual going for surgery, coupled with low levels of blood in Mombasa’s blood bank. The group organized the event in partnership with Bayleaf Hospital.
It was to be my first official event photo shoot. I was excited!
I had been shooting Manual Mode from day one and getting familiar with my camera. My fingers fumbling around the dials and buttons was a lot less. I was becoming swift in positioning subjects in the view finder, focus and shoot. If it were a musical equipment, this would probably be the music making stage.
I had done a number of shoots prior to the event (mainly landscape and portrait) but slow paced compared to the task at hand.
Indeed, today would be different!
I did not have all the time in the world to get things right and need to be versatile. Interaction and movement meant obtaining settings in split seconds. It felt like the first time driving alone in a highway after learning how to drive.
In contrast, I would be in the company of familiar faces, family and friends. No expectations apart from images that would be shared on social media with other members scattered in different parts of the world to see. Social media can be one big bad neighborhood and the pressure was Donge’s Facebook group is over 17,000 members strong. At the very least, all I wanted was the viewers not to think my photos sucked!
I needed to keep it simple and my plan was taking shots depicting facial expressions and emotions that came through. I anticipated a lot of portraits and close ups. Compositions were going to flow from the activities as they unfold.
The day was exorbitantly hot with the sun seeming to be on a shining spree. This was posing a challenge since most of the activities were happening right under the bright light. I avoided hard shadows and embarked on a deliberate hunt for subjects under shade ensuring all shots were well properly exposed. No raccoon eyes and blown out areas,
Meanwhile, entertainment was courtesy of Kijana Cha Juma Bhalo performing live.
The Member of Parliament for Mvita Constituency in Mombasa County, Hon. Abdulswamad Shariff graced the event with his presence…
And, Hon. Abdulswamad figured a bill he was going to propose in the August House’s next sitting…
Charity makes people happy.