I would like to express my sincere gratitude to Jennifer Morgan for letting me take the photos of IVFDF 2016. To be perfectly honest, when assigned the task, I was tremendously nervous, as I didn’t have a zoom lens or a wide angle lens. The majority of the dance venues lacked sufficient lighting. And the fact that everyone was constantly walking, turning, swinging, hopping, and galloping made it more challenging for an amateur to capture these movements.
To my astonishment, some of the photos were terrific. In fact, while retouching them, my eyes were filled with tears. But I couldn’t take credit for the entire success. The camera cannot lie. We did have enormous fun, did we not? From all different walks of life, we came together and danced. No experience was required. Mistakes were forgiven in the blink of an eye. There were no boundaries; everyone, regardless of gender, age, race and personality, was welcome with open arms. Dancing for three hours and a half straight on Saturday night, I had so much pleasant memories to cherish. Hopefully, through the lens, I was able to express my feelings of relaxation, contentment, enthusiasm and excitement, as well as my warmest thanks to each organizer, each steward, and each participant, who made the festival not only possible but also memorable. They were the ones who brought out the genuine smiles I happened to record.
While practicing my photography skills, I didn’t expect that my photos could help promote folk dancing, or connect me with new friends. It is such a nice surprise. Among all the compliments I have received, I love these two the most. Thank you for taking the time to acknowledge my talent and contribution. I greatly appreciate it.
“In many of your photos, the eyes and the smiles are right in the middle of the picture. You are drawn to the emotion of the dancer, not just the moves. It is hard to get good photos of folk dancing, I’ve been trying for several years using the Sidmouth photographers. Too many photos of big halls full of people. Keep taking photos.”
“I think that QuynhNhu Phan photos are the best that I have ever seen of IVFDF. They capture the joy and spirit like none I have ever seen before. A series of individual moments amongst a sea of smiling people. She has captured the sly looks and shared enjoyment. They bring tears to my eyes.”
P/S: When I decided to attend the Jane Austen Dance exactly a month ago (on February 5th, 2016), I didn’t think that I could dance, or that I would be interested in participating in Exeter University Folk Society (FolkSoc) or IVFDF 2016. Likewise, I didn’t think that the new hobby would allow me to establish new beautiful friendships, let alone find my significant other (who is smart, kind, supportive, and considerate). So… if you haven’t tried folk dancing , but already decided that it’s not something for you, please consider stepping out of your comfort zone. You will probably be amazed.