I always feel a little bit guilty after the Ojai Storytelling Festival, because I photograph the performers, but I do not photograph the festival.
You see, even though I am the “official” photographer of the event, it’s a very informal situation. I’ve been attending the festivals since the first one, and I happen to carry my camera. Festival organizer Brian Bemel is a friend and I am happy to give him photos for festival promotion. But two factors limit the scope of my photography: 1) I am there to hear the stories, so the performers get my full attention. 2) I’m pretty shy about photographing strangers. Every now and then I snap a shot of audience participation, or one of the art or commerce booths on the lawn area, but, as I said above, I don’t really photograph the festival.
Ansel Adams said there’s nothing worse than a sharp picture of a fuzzy idea. I love the Ojai Storytelling Festival, but my self-assigned responsibilities are fuzzy. Perhaps next year I’ll redefine the assignment and try to capture the overall festival – I think that would be far more useful to Brian and more challenging for me.