This is a Volunteer Spotlight in which the pictures really do the talking. Kevin Murray is a street photographer by trade who has been cutting his teeth on WaterFire photography for three seasons. One of the biggest perks of the job, he says, is how much it opens your eyes to the full scope of each event. “You kind of see a different side,” he says. “You really get to appreciate all the different things going on.”
Kevin has a unique ability to truly capture emotion in people’s faces, and the crowds at WaterFire Lightings are a goldmine, he says. During a few unique opportunities, Kevin was able to get some incredible shots. Below are some examples of Kevin’s photography and the stories behind them:
“The chance I got to go on the boat was during the Gaspee Days. And just riding with Lafayette – it was the guy that was playing Lafayette – and just the people interacting with him as he was going and he was into character all the way, saluting, waving… I got some really nice shots of him just standing proud. That was pretty cool.”
“Another time I got to go on top of one of the apartment buildings. They have a little deck that’s about fifteen floors up, and I was able to look down over the basin. And I was trying on different lenses, looking at the different views. I was actually looking almost directly over the stage, and they were making shapes on the stage that would have been really tough to see at eye level. But up from the top, you could see that they were making a star pattern.”
Perhaps the most important perk of being a volunteer WaterFire photographer is the chance to catch all of the small, spontaneous spectacles that pop-up during each and every event. With so many types of people coming together in what is rightfully known as the Creative Capital, some amazing moments are bound to happen.
“One of the last events there was a woman that has a harp, and she was letting kids play the harp. She had Christmas lights on the harp to give it a little bit of light, and she was inviting the children over to play the harp. And I caught a couple shots of that. It’s those types of little unplanned, unscripted things that are going on when you have that number of people – as well as the event itself.”
Photographers also get to enjoy monthly group sessions in which volunteers share their work and offer ideas, feedback, and more. “It’s good to see other people’s work and to get a different perspective,” Kevin says, “and to give you inspiration.”
To anyone with some photo chops who is thinking of trying it out, Kevin truly recommends it.
“It’s a great chance to do street photography. You’ll be forced to learn how to do night photography. You’re going to see everything – from the Gargoyles, to BIG NAZO… you see all these things that you may not see as a regular visitor.”