Swing

About a year and a half ago in one of the plazas in my neighbourhood, a swing dancing school decided to put on some music and let their students dance. Since then, more and more people would join in, and look what it’s turned into now.

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You have to admit it’s very cool!

Within all this I have a small personal photography story. Soon after I first became interested in photography, one afternoon I was with my camera on the beach. Bear in mind that I live in Barcelona, where the beach is on the east, so the sun sets behind the mountains in the west. Anyway, there I was at a beach, which also coincidentally had some mountains beside the beach. I was trying to photograph the sunset. In other words, I was pointing my camera upwards over the mountains, up towards the sky. Absolutely nothing or nobody on the ground was within my scope.

All of a sudden a man appeared out of nowhere and demanded that I put away my camera because I was breaching his privacy. I kindly explained that I was photographing the sunset and that he was nowhere within my view. Even so he insisted that if not he would punch me and destroy the camera… Aha, ok. So I put it away. I must admit that since then I’ve been quite cautious when people are in full view when I’m trying making photos. The other day when I was walking around my neighbourhood, camera in hand (or dangling down my neck to be more precise), and there was another swing session going on, I thought: this is my chance, now I must overcome my fear of photographing people. So I did. And it was fun.

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Look, another photographer!

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Are there any events like this in your neighbourhood? And most importantly, which of your fears have you conqered?

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Thank you for visiting!

26 Comments

  1. Guillermina Stover 2015-05-12 at 23:29

    Ah, the exuberance of the beautiful couples dancing! I conquered the fear of baking bread about 5 years ago…of course, I do make the “5 Minute Artisan Bread” which does NOT require kneading. So I haven’t really conquered my fear of kneading…but I do turn out fabulous bread!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-12 at 23:31

      What? A bread that does not require kneading?? Hmmm…. I still have not conquered my fear of making bread. But that’s because I am surrounded my some of the best artisanal bakeries in the city. The day I move out I’ll have to ask you for your recipe! xx

      Reply
  2. Amanda | What's Cooking 2015-05-13 at 03:22

    These photos are gorgeous, Sofia! Don’t let one crazy person stop you from capturing joy like this. Lincoln Center in nyc has an event called summer swing where a swing band will play and anyone around can come dance. The joys of nice weather.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-13 at 13:18

      Hey Amanda, you’re right. A big swing dance going on in Lincoln Center with a band must be awesome! xx

      Reply
  3. Bunny Eats Design 2015-05-13 at 05:29

    This is cool! Everyone looks like they are having a great time, no matter what the experience/skill.

    I’m always mindful of taking people’s photo so I usually ask if it’s OK to take their picture. I’ve never had anyone approach me asking me not to take their picture, especially I wasn’t even taking their picture. I guess the man was a little paranoid. He must have thought you were a real perv! I imagine there are far more men secretly taking photos of women than the other way around.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-13 at 13:20

      I guess he was paranoid, yeah. Haha you’re right, actually once in the underground I’m pretty certain a guy took a photo of me in a bit of a perv way. It was quite obvious 🙁 …

      Reply
  4. laurasmess 2015-05-13 at 07:55

    I’ve always been the same when it comes to photographing people, I find it SO difficult to pick up the nerve! I think it’s partly because I hate people taking photos of me so I transfer my own feelings on to other people. Love this photo series though Sofia, how fun! I am terrible at dancing but I reckon I’d even have a go with all of the energy around me! xx

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-13 at 13:21

      Hhhmm I don’t like posing in front of a camera but being captured naturally is ok for me. I think that my fear comes not just from that guy that wanted to punch me, but also from having worked in an environment where everything is so secret, so peoples privacy is something I alsways have in mind. I reckon you would have a go at the dancing too! 🙂

      Reply
      1. laurasmess 2015-05-15 at 05:09

        Haha, makes sense 🙂 Thanks lovely x

        Reply
  5. pianolearner 2015-05-13 at 09:54

    Lovely photos. I haven’t ever done any street photography, but I do follow a few street photo blogs. If I lived in a city I perhaps might do, (trying to avoid angry men). Have you ever joined in on the dancing?

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-13 at 13:22

      I haven’t joined in the dancing…

      Reply
  6. maamej 2015-05-13 at 10:04

    Great pics, I like the black & white, and it looks like so much fun. I rarely photograph people in public for two reasons – one is they don’t always turn out that well and the other reason is I work in a sector where privacy is paramount so I’m hyper-aware of consent issues, even when I probably don’t need to be. AlSD o I’m very conscious of someone’s feeling like a voyeur, especially in 3rd world contexts. I’m glad others don’t share my inhibitions tho. Anyway, I love photographing non human things 🙂

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-13 at 13:23

      Like you I’ve also worked in sectors where privacy is paramount so I think part of my cautiousness stems from there too. Maybe you should try it next time in a party with friends 😉

      Reply
      1. maamej 2015-05-14 at 00:38

        I hardly ever think of taking pics at parties! But i do with family 🙂 thanks for the encouragement.

        Reply
  7. Mabel Kwong 2015-05-13 at 11:57

    These are wonderful photographs, Sofia. You really know how to work your camera 🙂 And everyone looks like they are having so much fun swing dancing! So many happy moments.

    I used to be very wary of taking photos of people. Then again, when we’re out and about in public and not behind a door like a changeroom door, we sort of consent the world to see us as we are. But I’m probably going to show a few in my next few blog posts 🙂 That man at the beach sounded scary!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-13 at 13:24

      I can’t wait to see the photos you come up with in your next posts then!

      Reply
  8. Sunny 2015-05-13 at 14:35

    Hey Sofia, whoa that was a RUDE man you had to deal with! It’s really dumb, too. You’re on the beach. There could be a gazillion people photographing you with their smart phones and you wouldn’t even know about it! Tssst.

    Anyways, I’m loving these photos! There is so much energy and happiness in them. Great job!

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-13 at 15:27

      Rude and also cowardly because you made a point there. 5 minutes later on that beach there was a big family with kids and babies the father was making LOADS of photos with his smartphone. I’m sure this man accidentally appeared in the background of more than one photo. He dared be rude to me because I was on my own, but he did not dare go and say the same thing to the men amongst the family, Tssst!
      Thanks, I’m pretty happy with the photos too so it means a lot xx

      Reply
  9. Kiss & Make-up 2015-05-13 at 16:49

    You can tell everyone’s having an absolute blast, you captured that beautifully.

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-14 at 09:06

      Aww thanks! 🙂

      Reply
  10. Dalo 2013 2015-05-14 at 04:42

    There is nothing quite like dancing outside among a group of people ~ not that I do it, but I see this often in China and it is so cool to see (usually older folks reliving their youth). I’ve always thought about photographing them but have yet to do so, but your post is a bit inspirational 🙂

    The guy who was so rude to you shooting is sad, such a wrong attitude and I can see how that could scar anyone from shooting people or street shots… Some folks simply like to bring their misery onto others, so it is good to hear that you have brushed those worries aside with such a post as this. Cheers Sofia ~

    Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-14 at 09:08

      I am doing a double take here because with photography and also photographing people, YOU are inspirational to me.
      Why don’t you do that in China then? 🙂

      Reply
    2. Sofia 2015-05-28 at 10:01

      Hey Randy I was thinking of you the other day because I saw on the news this thing that lots of people go dancing in the street in China now. I guess it must be what you were saying!

      Reply
    1. Sofia 2015-05-15 at 09:06

      Come to Barcelona then and join in! 🙂

      Reply
  11. faridaalihussain96 2015-05-22 at 08:37

    Pictures are beautiful.. 🙂 Its stands as a different inspiration to do something out of the box.

    Reply

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