Tag Archives: festival

2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival

Today was the occasion of the 2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival.  This was a totally free event and people wandered in and out throughout the afternoon.  I was lucky enough to be invited by the mastermind, who shall be referred to as “JJ” throughout this post to protect his anonymity…. though in retrospect I don’t know how much anonymity he actually wants.

The festival was held at the Irving Theatre on the near east side of Indianapolis.  My attention was first drawn to the Irving because of the monthly screening of the Rocky Horror Picture Show.  Since that time I’ve realized that they are the epicenter of an incredibly diverse cultural community that includes music, poetry and movie screenings.  It’s the closest thing you’ll get to Austin, Texas in the Indy area.  It’s obvious that they really work at this stuff.

Alright, to the photos!!!!  In no particular order….

Gordon Bonham made an appearance.  This was one of the few acts that I realized I had heard of before. He gives you a whole new perspective on the concept of don’t judge someone by their appearance. He looks pretty minimal but he can totally rock the house all by himself.

2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival

Since the last time I wrote, I have come to know that this gentleman as the right Reverend Charlie F. Edmonds. I stand by my word that this guy is profoundly awesome. His deep, resonating voice commands immediate respect. I’d listen to him read the phone book.

2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival

This is…. well, sad to say that I didn’t apparently quite catch their names. They were  voted one of the top Blues bands in the city. Have I mentioned how terrible I am with names? Images I remember forever but names escape me. Typical photographer.

2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival

OK, so this photo…. well, it’s the Martinez family and all that needs to be said is that it embodies everything that I care to capture in the world. For the record I am a photographer and I have been paid for photos in the past but frankly I give no shits about photos beyond wonderful stuff like this. This is the real reason to take pictures. The interaction that was not captured between audience and performer was amazing….

2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival

So the dude with the guitar in the background is our mysterious JJ. I always love his expressions of support. I hope that his partner knows just how much he obviously adores her work. It’s written all over his face.

2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival Seriously. Look at that face. If that’s not love then what is? 2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival

So these two…. They’re in the middle of everything and they’re one of the very few people who have requested that I take their photo. I feel rather bad that their photo has a bus in the background. One of the primary directives of good photography is to “clear the background” and in my haste to take their picture I totally did NOT clear the anything. I’ve approached them about a real photo shoot which is something I could never have done a year ago. Kinda excited. Can’t deny.

2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival Didn’t catch this artist’s name either but like everyone else he was solid. 2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival

2016 Irvington Acoustic Blues Festival

So that’s more or less the evening. I do, however, want to take a moment to talk about an issue that is near and dear to my heart and it is addressed to my fellow photographers.

You are there to OBSERVE. You are NOT there to PARTICIPATE. If there is a photo that you can’t get unless you use your flash or stand in the way of other people… go away. Do not take the photo. Let the moment evaporate into the ether of the universe.

Today at this event there were half a dozen photographers. Some of them were really good. I saw them but I don’t think anyone else did. They were like wind over the hillsides. I kinda want to meet them and buy them a beer and get to know them. Others were loud and made themselves known and spoke loudly so that everyone couldn’t help but see them. I kinda don’t care about them.

Here’s the deal. If you’re a photographer then your job is to go in there and document and to make as little impact as possible. If you’re shooting with a flash in a dark room then you’ve failed. If you walk in front of another person then you’ve failed. My philosophy is to make as little impact as possible and to you who were flashing all over the place….. well, you did the wrong thing.  Sit down, figure out how to work your camera in low light and decide how you can “lay low”.  You’re here to capture the world, not contaminate it.

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Lafayette Indiana’s Mosey down Main Street – 2016 (so far)

As is often my habit this time of year, I’m about to say that I should do this much more often! I’m fairly in the habit of snapping photos and spending hours processing them but then don’t bother to tell the story. That’s a shame, really, because I far too easily forget the story. Any rate, let’s go!


“The Mosey” is a monthly street festival held in Lafayette Indiana during the summer months. You can visit it on Facebook in a couple of different places: The Page The Group.  I’m not honestly sure why there is both a page and a group but whatever the case, data abounds.

The festival has all the usual features of a street festival: vendors (which I pay no attention to), musicians and lots and lots of highly varied people (to whom I pay a lot of attention).  You can see (and buy) photos of all this shenaniganery on my zenfolio page for the Mosey but the tip of the iceberg of the highlights I’ll enumerate below.


Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; May Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

This gentleman is a true fixture of the community. He’s at every possible outdoor event playing and singing for the crowd. Sadly I don’t know his name or his story but he is a true icon of the area.


Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

Speaking of fixtures, State Representative Sheila Klinker fits that designation as well. I love the expression of sincere concern on her face as she talks to a constituent.


Moving on from the celebrities who make regular appearances, I’d be remiss if I didn’t mention the music acts. Seeing them in these extremely close quarters you can feel their sincerity and nearly touch their souls.

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; May Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

And some of them just exude cool….

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

And the collision of cultures is always apparent


For those more in tune with the Terpsichorean Muse, every Mosey also seems to have belly dancing exhibition from Oasis Bellydance.

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; July Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; July Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; July Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana


Last and certainly not least, the people-watching is second to none. Kids love the idea of dancing in the middle of the street for one night only…

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

Interacting with the Bellydancers…

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

or just listening to some music…

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; June Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

I love the expression of parental pride on this dad’s face. That’s true love if ever i saw it.

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; July Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana

And sometimes the perfect portrait is just waiting for you to capture it. The negative space and color contrast in this one make it my favorite of the season so far.

Rob Slaven: 2016 Mosey Down Main Street Highlights 2016 &emdash; July Mosey Down Main Street in Lafayette Indiana


So there you have it, the Mosey so far. There are two more in August and September if you have a mind to come see for yourself. As always you can find more of my random babblings on my Facebook page or robslaven.com

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