Kindred Arts Festival, May 2017

This is my May assignment for Exploring the Frontier’s “WE35” year-long exploration of the 35mm focal length in photography. If you are into photography and are interested in joining a passionate and welcoming community united by the goal of learning and honing your craft, I highly suggest you check it out. Armando and Justin are great leaders and teachers.

The assignment consists of finding a local gathering and telling a story with three photos:

  1. One shot to identify the event
  2. One portrait. This is a bit scary, normally the only portraits I do are my own family.
  3. A shot to capture the “essence” of the event or gathering

May happens to be an excellent month to do this kind of thing; all the snow’s melting or melted, everyone is coming out and it’s also the end of the school year, meaning lots of field trips, shows, performances, and the start of the busy summer festival season. Truly, summers are absolutely gorgeous here, and I intend to capture as much of it as I can. Actually, when I got around to listening to their podcast, at least one major dance show already happened, but I decided to use the Kindred Arts Festival where my daughter was dancing for the assignment. It is a small gathering of local artists, singers, and dancers.

The Kindred Arts Banner


I love this banner, fluttering in the wind – it is so colorful and clearly a ton of work went into it. I believe the hearts were made by kids who sewed onto the sign.

The Portrait - Gold Miner

Gold Miner Portrait

This is a local artist dressed up as a gold miner who has appeared at various local fairs. He builds bird houses and other wooden creations out of recycled wood, and always has awesome exhibits for kids to play with, one where they can build things with recycled parts.

At first I wasn’t sure how to approach finding someone to take portraits of, but Justin and Armando made an excellent tip - find someone who is dressed up. Thanks guys - that definitely helped here!

The Dance Show

I’m probably biased, being a proud parent of dancers at Truckee Dance Factory, but I believe this was the heart and soul of the festival :)


Performance arts, and especially dance, has a wonderful and unique quality of bringing to life stories, ideas, music, and the crowds too. If you have danced for any length of time, you have probably experienced that unique sense of joy that comes with dancing. For the 35mm perspective, I chose to use the crowds to frame the dancing, telling the story of the performance being at the center of the festival.

Other Interesting Pics

Two other ones that I really like, but are either not 35mm or don’t quite tell the same story:


I just love the facial expressions of this particular piece.


The dancers are just kids too - and it’s wonderful to see them relaxing on the nearby swing set, enjoying the spring.

Feel free to browse other pics from the festival at my Flickr album.

Written on May 30, 2017