The 2022 Kamloops Pride Parade took place on Aug. 28. (John Enman photo)

The 2022 Kamloops Pride Parade took place on Aug. 28. (John Enman photo)

I love a parade, photographing Kamloops Pride

Taking pictures with John Enman

In 1931 there was a song by Harry Richman, “I Love a Parade.” It was used in the movie Manhattan Parade, starring Winnie Lightner, Charles Butterworth and a comedy team called Smith & Dale. I have no recollection of any of those people or the movie but when I Googled the song from that movie I remembered it from one of the Loony Tune cartoons watched on Saturday mornings.

I do like watching a parade.

I’ve gotten up early and sat on cold cement on more than one January morning to get a good view of the Pasadena Rose Bowl Parade. I dressed in a cowboy costume when I was very young to walk in front of big scary horses in the Salt Lake City Pioneer Day parade and I even sold snow cones to large curbside crowds at more than one 4th of July parade. I have been fortunate to attended parades in New York, Washington DC, Seattle and for many years Christmas Parades in Kamloops, although in those days I never bothered to carry a camera.

This past week I attended the Aug. 28, Pride Parade in Kamloops. I was expecting colourful floats, people wearing fun costumes and lots of music. I’m pleased to say I got all that I expected.

Now when I attend the parades in Kamloops I always have my camera. The crowded city streets usually make it hard to get pictures but at this parade I chose a position near the starting location and I was easily able move out in the street to get photos. Parades are perfect photo opportunities.

The participants and many of the spectators chose this parade to dress up, and in my opinion, they were there to be seen. It was a grand event and an excellent place for photographers.

I wanted to get as many group type photos as I could. I saw photographer friends moving in close to different “merry makers” to create portraits. There were so many people in costumes that after the parade it was hard to tell who was, and who was not actually in the parade. One could point a camera in any direction.

I carried my little Fuji with it’s 55-200mm lens. That camera has replaced my Nikon V1 when I want a small compact kit. I still have that tiny Nikon (I’m not ready to give it up yet).

With that 55-200mm I could stay back and easily get shots that included lots of people. When I saw a float I liked I would sit my coffee on the curb, quickly move out in the street, compose and make the shot and move back before some safety official waved me off the street. I could never have done that at the Christmas Parade. It’s a struggle to get good shots at the Christmas Parade. It is always after dark and I never want to get in front of excited children. The street was packed at the Pride Parade with spectators, and there was lots of happy cheering, but my location at the beginning of the parade was perfect.

The parade finished and everyone moved to Riverside Park. People were dancing to the music on the bandstand and it was an easy place to continue photographing. As I said, one could point their camera in any direction.

Take my advice and don’t be lazy the next time there is a parade. Get your camera, push through the crowd, be creative and start releasing the shutter.

Stay safe and be creative. These are my thoughts for this week.

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