Connections, its something that we have found that many of us have a great need for. With the past year and more of stay-at-home orders, reduced social contacts, especially those outsides of the virtual world, the need for human contact has grown even more. So this week, we’re back among people to celebrate a small group within Milton (and beyond) that provided a great many people, myself included, some form of social contact and allowed for the formation of a social group. That group’s name is Connect, and for Week 33, we celebrate that group and its ending.
Eight years ago, a friend of mine, Susan, had an idea. Well, it wasn’t all her idea; it was given to her as a way to bring people together. That mission was a social group designed for singles and couples to meet outside of the ‘bar scene’, which is a bit rural to put a term to it in Milton. Remember, Milton, despite being a fairly large urban community, retains many close ties to our rural background and the bars that we have are usually focused in the downtown and are pubs and focal points to the ‘old people’ scene; that said, I love a good pub for a quiet drink or dinner but not to meet people. Another goal was to allow these meetings to happen without needing an intermediary such as a child or children, which automatically gives you a social circle when other parents are around. A small group Bible Study that Susan leads (and still leads today) became the main volunteer force behind Connect’s new mission. Connect would be the medium where singles and couples without children could form friendships. Ironically my dad indicated, ‘oh, maybe you’ll meet a wife.’ As a joke mainly, but partly serious. One of the first events was a bbq in a local park in the newer parts of Milton. Sadly, I cannot remember why, but I missed one of those early bbq events. Probably a recording or photography related thing. But later that Sunday at the aforementioned Bible Study, there were two new arrivals, one being Heather, who after a few years I did marry. Another couple formed from that Bible study who got married a bit before Heather and I did. But it wasn’t only BBQs that were amazing events run by Connect; there were pub nights, games nights, murder mysteries, outings, and even a day out at Paintball. And while I am saddened to see it go, despite having not attending many events in the past couple of years, it remains a part of my story and the story of Heather and me.
The number one thing that I worked hard and focused on were people, and the event to send off the connect group had all the old and new faces present. I tried to take a photo of each person present either with the FM or my D750; oddly enough, I equipped both with a 105mm lens. Ultimately my selections were based on how well I enjoyed the photo and how the person looked. The featured image is the only one that had multiple people and showed that it was indeed a BBQ event. And honestly, there were only two images that I wanted to include and were happy they worked out, and those were of Susan’s reaction to the thank you video that got produced for the event. And yes, there is one photo of someone interacting with a phone. Still, he’s on a video call with another member of the group who sadly has moved across the country but wanted to participate through technology.
Whenever I know I will be photographing people, there is one lens that I will reach for: my iconic 105mm f/2.5, giving enough reach to get that candid ‘street’ style that I look for when shooting events. Less posed, more emotion. Although with this group of friends,s if I’m around, they mostly know that I’m taking pictures, and many of them pose. Thankfully I was able to capture that candid look. I probably could have gotten away with over-exposing the film by a stop, but with mixed lighting and open shade, I wanted to give myself a bit more speed to get that minimum 1/125″ shutter speed, so I went with Fomapan 100’s box-speed, ASA-100. For developing the film, I stuck with a tried and true method this week, Ilford Ilfortec HC at 1+63, to help knock back the contrast a little with the high-noon sun and potential for shooting out from under the tents.
Next week we’re back on the road with a trip to the city of Brantford to explore a bit of the city’s darker past.