FRANCIS AUGUSTO

A Wembley Affair

As I begin to write to this, it’s a Saturday evening, and my plans have successfully gone down the drain, like the kale smoothie I tried to make. I’m left doing life admin and have some ironing still left to do. What does my Saturday night life admin have to do with this particular post? Nothing too relevant, I wanted a break and writing this has been on my agenda, since Thursday (11th May).

Reading my previous blog posts, I realised how mechanic they were. Always at least one paragraph, sometimes two, a third would be an incredible stretch – leaving me with painful memories of my uni days. Exaggeration? Yes. Enough of the digression, to the event we move onto.

In March, an interesting sequence of events happened. It resulted in the wonderful team at the Young Brent Foundation (YBF), more specifically Claire, choosing to employ me as their photographer. The YBF is one of many foundations, set up by  the John Lyon’s Charity to respond to the “the current pressures on the Children and Young People sector and specifically the issues faced by the voluntary sector in outer London.” It’s quite the interesting concept and the goal of these foundations are brilliant  - “to ensure that the organisations and groups that serve children and young people are strong, sustainable and fit for purpose.” Simply, they’re good people.

The venue? WEMBLEY STADIUM! As a lover of football, though my days of playing are gone, I could only transmit my excitement through capitalising each letter. I have visited Wembley before, however, it is always a gratifying experience to be inside.

(Four paragraphs on, I’m doing well.) The launch - it was certainly a successful event for YBF. They had a packed house, full of members, young people and various supporters of the foundation. Acknowledging the grand, and certainly unusual charity venue, someone noted, “Having a launch at Wembley? They must have a pretty good budget then. In all seriousness, this is great!.” They weren’t the first to confess their thoughts to the floaty picture taker, who always happened to be eating something. The food was better than many, many events.

We had inspirational speeches about the origins of the foundation, a presentation by clued-up young people who have been directly affected by the YBF, and even a 5-minute selfie-fest. It was great to shoot. #YBFSelfieLaunch was the hashtag used in the 5-minute of selfie mania, where the host challenged people to go outside, get in groups and take as many selfies with the stadium as the backdrop. As the designated photographer, I also had to get in on the action! The event was far from a ‘typical’ one to photograph. Of course, there were moments at the events which happen at every function that I photograph, but there was a sense of freedom that I felt when photographing.

(Last paragraph, I promise you.) I approached this particular job a little more excited than previous events, fundamentally because of the venue. Additionally, knowing that I would be the photographer for Young Brent Foundation’s launch event certainly gave me an incentive to capture some great moments. For me, when I am working on an event, I want to leave having taken at least one photo that is completely unique to that event. A photo – or if I’m lucky a selection of photos – which allows those who did not attend to feel the energy of the event. Yes, it’s a little optimistic or ‘airy-fairy,’ but this is what I want my photography to be about. And it is more than achievable. Yes, taking a technically adept photo is great, but taking one that is a little blurry or ill-composed, yet it makes you feel SOMETHING, is so much more fulfilling. I hope the photos below do the event justice. I urge readers to find out more about the YBF, as they are a great organisation, doing brilliant work in Brent.

Below is a visual story of the event.

Using Format