“You don’t take a photograph, you make it.” — Ansel Adams
You will probably notice when you pick up your spring leisure guide and turn to page 2, you will see the statement explaining how on occasion, we take photographs of a special event or program, which might be used for showing others how much fun you are having. We have been putting this statement or some variation thereof in our leisure guides for as long as I remember as a bit of a heads up that a staff photographer might be floating around capturing those special moments.
Simple, eh? No, it actually isn’t because in today’s day and age you have to be really careful of a) whom you point the camera at and b) where you might use that photograph. It is a common theme throughout our service industry and various facilities handle it differently; some have great photos of local people doing local things at their facility all the way to some of the places in the larger centres just purchasing stock photos (usually staged) of a model in a pool or fitness centre. Certainly the ultimate driver is respecting people’s privacy and I would guess 99 per cent of the population has no issue with a photo of them having fun in a great setting. However there are also valid reasons one might not want their photo taken and we are constantly working to streamline the process that respects that segment of the population. There are various formats, which range from verbal permissions to written model release statements but please don’t be afraid to approach us if it appears we are taking a photo you don’t want to be part of.
That being said, I grew up in and around photography, with a dad who had a darkroom where we developed film and printed photos. I also have a bit of a passion for history and feel it is important to document people and places in time for future generations. For instance, I was able to obtain a half dozen photos from Tammy at the museum that she had in the archives which showed the community complex being built, and you know someone out there probably has a lot more somewhere in a dusty album on a bookshelf. Conversely, we took photos of everything as this project happened the past four or so years and have a resource for future generations. It also has provided valuable information as situations have come up where you need to know what is behind a wall or which way a pipe is running in the concrete — hey, we happened to snap 47 different shots of that feature.
The same could be said of programs and events that have run in the past; we have a few photos of kids who are now bringing their kids to swim lessons or summer camps (insert song, Circle of Life) and if you have ever been in the curling lounge, there is a wall with lots of black and white photos of people who made this place and the community what it is today. This is important stuff; it provides that continuity and visual record of where we came from and where we are going. We are a visual people; who knows what importance a photo taken today might play in someone’s world many years from now?
Neil Ostafichuk is the recreation supervisor at the Creston and District Community Complex.