Buddhafield, 2012 ‘Doorways to Freedom’ – festival photography

Wow, this year’s Buddhafield Festival was electric.  In fact, I was a little disturbed by the effect it had on me.  I was in a field, with mud, a tent and a toddler; it rained pretty much incessantly from the Wednesday to Saturday (yay for the sunny Sunday – but sun, a bit late, non?); and I was working the whole time, as festie photographer, in a team of two, so I felt a bit stressed (internal monologue: ‘must catch every moment of beauty and significance’.  ‘must catch every moment of beauty and significance’. ‘must catch every moment of beauty and significance.’).  And yet, as I was leaving, I dragged my feet with a familiar reluctance to rejoin the outside world of central heating, TV and service stations; I was grinning from ear to ear at everyone around me, and from the heart each time; and I had the feeling I had been lying on a hot beach listening to the waves for a week – I felt rested.  At this point, it’s worth mentioning that this is a dry festival – not the weather, evidently, but it is a drink- and drug-free space.  So nope, it wasn’t that.  And I have managed to function more or less as before since my return (possibly with a few more smiles and a bit more lurve), so it is not that something snapped, cracked or popped.

The team behind Buddhafield Festival know what they are doing.  For five days each year, they create an event that stimulates minds, opens hearts and tickles the occasional bare backside – it’s magical, and this year, rain and all, was to be no different.  They simply wouldn’t allow it – no-one there would.  So, sandwiched between two wonderful ceremonies (think: lots of dress-up; flight attendants; stilt walkers; brass band; drums; gratitude and snippets of profound Buddhist teaching over loud speakers) was a deliciously tasty treat.  Key ingredients: workshops; ecstatic dance; juggling; Small World hot choc with cream; music; fires; saunas, hot tubs and solar showers in the woods; fresh pancakes, pizzas, curries, waffles; falafel; brilliant kids’ area; two slightly lost looking ponies; the fabulous and amazing ear gong; drums; massages; yoga; permaculture; and lots of very lovely people.  Thanks to all for joining me on the ride, and thank you to all that make it happen, especially to those behind the ceremonies – they get me every time.  And remember dudes, freedom is not elsewhere.

I have thousands of images to work through, but I’ve whacked 60 unedited favourites in a gallery (you can also find links to last year’s Buddhafield and Green Gathering galleries there too), and below are a few of my favourites.

Right, back to editing la France…

My favourite
Juggling workshop

Experimenting with how to photograph a juggling workshop – and that’s mud on my hand – do I remove it and remove the authenticity?

Wet Buddha

Stunning face paint by Susu Mama


View from the loo

The Bee and her bunches

The best kind of security

Beautiful face in the rain

mmm! freshly baked in a clay oven
There were some of these about

festival photographer

B l o g
F a c e b o o k
T w i t t e r
G a l l e r i e s