This past week, the Ann Arbor Film Festival(AAFF), “the oldest avant-garde and experimental film festival in North America”(just to point out), was held at The Michigan Theater. I am currently taking a first year seminar on the Ann Arbor Film Festival, so it was only right if I volunteered. I signed up for normal shifts where I had to hand out audience ballots, check tickets, count how many people attended a competition, etc. In addition, I also signed up to be a photographer not out of having experience, but rather just my enjoyment of taking pictures.
In my film seminar, we just finished up a project on the archives of the festival–held at the Bentley Historical Library on North Campus–where I found numerous film strips of black and white candid pictures. These images reflected the joy and energy of the festivals community and it was my goal to try and capture shots just like them.
On Tuesday, I was nervous, excited, and felt like I was going to vurp(a term I learned from the magical movie Wreck It Ralph! hehe). Just bringing myself and my fujifilm x100f I was scared I was not going to get the right pictures, however my motivation triumphed my fear. Furthermore, the energy of the room was immaculate that there was no way not to capture unique shots. The lobby of the theater was filled with filmmakers, professors, cinema buffs, and AAFF super fans. Everyone was talking to someone and the whole place was filled with laughter and interesting discussions of what was to come.
After putting on my badge(my lanyard that said photographer), I felt invisible to the community, which was PERFECT. I got to dip into the AAFF lifestyle while not actually having to be in it but rather observe it. Behind the lense, I felt pretty powerful and also like I was watching history happen. This experience was extremely special to me and I hope to work further with the festival and maybe eventually be apart of the community in addition to observing it.
Please look at my pictures on my website and like them so I feel accomplished and so this blog can be inspirational 🙂