I have been doing a bit of work lately for The University of North Florida covering different events they have been having. I got to shoot their annual employee appreciation breakfast and the Fall Convocation. Both were very cool events to be able to photograph, and were totally different in their tone and focus. I love doing this kind of work because it keeps the photojournalism skills up and ready. You go in with some idea of what you're going to do, but you have to adapt quickly to the situations that present themselves.
The other night I got to do another one of these events that gave me some new challenges, successes and failures. The UNF Distinguished Voices Lecture Series and the UNF Interfaith Center presented the Jacksonville area screening of Enemy of The Reich: The Noor Inayat Khan Story. The movie documents the true story of a young Indian woman who grew up in an interfaith household in Britain and joined the country's covert operation to defy the Nazis in Paris in World War II. It was a very interesting story of a woman who learned to live by certain religious principles that guided her actions and convictions, and ultimately lead to her death.
While the movie was all about Khan's life, the producer, Alex Kronemer introduced the movie and he made some interesting points about our own perceptions about those wars and who was involved. We tend to think that most of the battles were fought by what we've seen in the movies.....heroic white, mostly Christian men. But people of every color and every faith were really involved in the effort to defeat the Nazis. And in a much bigger way than we would think. This is what led him to make the film, to tell the story of a different kind of hero. The panel discussion that followed the movie focused a good bit on the religious convictions of the heroine and those of other faiths that tend to be taken for granted or misinterpreted. All in all, I think it was a very thought provoking event.
In doing this, I provided photos of the participants, the audience, the theatre and the film. I have more of those on the website, photoguyofai.com. One of the challenges in doing this was making photos of the movie in a way that captured some of its essence. This was a first for me and took a bit to get it right. But I'm satisfied with the results. The other thing that was more of a problem was capturing the faces of some of the audience in the darkened theatre. This I wasn't so happy with, but it gave me something to prepare for the next time.
In the end, I had learned some things, my views and my skills had been challenged, and I delivered images that the client was very happy with. So, I'd say it was definitely a win.