Yesterday I made my first visit to Redding’s Community Centre to meet the St Andrew’s Pipe Band. I managed to bike most of the way there before realising that I had forgotten my memory card. It was too late to turn back and so I I used my phone camera to take some basic shots of the room and the people and what goes on. I also wrote down a list of potential photo ideas and general notes. When I arrived the band members were all warming up, spread out in different corners of the room, whereas when they practised as a group they stood in a circle and so if I was to photograph them head on I would need to stand in the middle of the circle which might be a bit off putting to begin with.
The person I had been speaking with about coming to the meeting organised the group and also serves the tea. He was really friendly and also very happy to talk to me about what he does and all the technical details about the bagpipes and I think that he would make an interesting portrait. There are also two female members of the group who I think will be good to photograph because it is unusual for women to play the bagpipes. After an hour of practice everyone stops for a tea and biscuit break when they just stand around and chat. I think that this shows the sense of community within the group and provides me with a good opportunity to get some candid shots. The lighting in the hall was not as bad as I thought it would be and is more white than yellow. I’m planning on shooting there on Saturday mornings as well as Wednesday evenings because on Saturday’s the ‘chanters’ get together to practice the music on the pipes alone, without the bag. That means that I will be taking photos wit window light rather than relying entirely on the artificial lights in the hall. The man in the green jumper leads the practise and also goes around the circle checking that everyone is playing in time/ in tune.I would like to photograph the setting up of the pipes and so I think next time I attend on a Wednesday I’ll arrive early. Overall, despite forgetting my memory card I think my first visit was successful. Not having my camera meant that I was able to chat more to the people and so now the are familiar with me I think that I’ll be slightly less intimidating with my camera.