Cassidy's Blog: Do It For Sarnia Block Party

July 19, 2018

Happy Thursday, everyone! This week’s blog is all about the DIFS Block Party. Every summer, Dan Edwards, Do It For Sarnia, and the Foundation all team up to put on a killer party, with music, food, and drink, all in the name of charity.

This year, the Block Party had Refined Fool serving drinks, and Bluewater’s Best Fries providing the eats. Some of Sarnia’s best musicians, including DJ Phat Fingers, Rob Sharp and Litl Chicago, and Rob Jenkins and The Room showed up to rock the Suncor Agora stage all night. The awesome crew from Mental Health and Addiction Services at Bluewater Health ran the bar and ticket booth.

Robb Sharp & Lit'l Chicago

We arrived at 4 p.m. to help set up at the Agora. It was really hot. Like the kind of heat where you just stand there and feel like your skin is actively burning off. So we’d zip-tie a sign to the fence, then run and hide under the shade. Luckily, it got much, much cooler as the sun went down, and somehow I didn’t even get burnt.

After setup was done, my job shifted into “event photographer”. Event photography is probably one of my favourite kinds, because for the most part, it’s all candid. I like to use my longest lens (A 55-250mm) and sneak around the edges of the room (or in this case, the Agora), looking around for a good picture. A lot of people are camera shy, and the moment they notice a camera pointed at them, they freeze up. Okay, sure, it seems creepy, but this is the best way to get genuine, candid photos. Trust me, I’m a learnt photographer!

Around 8:30 p.m.-ish, the stage lit up, and my job changed again from event photographer... to concert photographer! Before the Block Party, I’d never taken a concert photo in my life, even during school. But it always seemed like a lot of fun, so I was really excited to give it a try. And it was actually pretty difficult!

Dan Edwards

There’s a lot of things to consider when photographing a musician on stage: their pose, the background, what equipment is in the way, how close they are to the other musicians, how much light is on them, where the shadows fall on their face. Now consider all of this while managing your camera settings to get a sharply focused, well-exposed photo of a moment that probably won’t last a whole second. It’s really tricky, and it’s something I want to spend a lot more time practicing!

The party started to wind down at 11:30 p.m.-ish, and we spent about an hour packing up chairs and tables, and tearing down signs. Big thanks to everyone who stayed late to help clean up, you definitely made it go by a lot quicker!

I had a ton of fun working this event. It was awesome to get some working photography experience, as well as try out concert photography. All my photos from the Block Party are up on our Facebook page for you to see, and I’ll be posting some of the best on our Instagram. See you next week!

Cassidy is a second-year Digital Photography student at Lambton College chronicling her experience in the Foundation office over the course of the summer.