Celebrating (and shooting) Pride

For the love of all things I just can't get my head around how some people can get so worked up about so called "gay issues" around the planet. Seriously - why?! Come on! Two guys walk down the streets in Moscow and get the "alien invasion" looks or plain physical aggressions. Same thing right in the heart of NYC. What's that about?! What is this urge to put people back in their place if we feel like the step out of some sort of norm? On another scale it's a bit like when I ride my bike and cross a sidewalk, some people get so offended they feel they just HAVE to correct me. Do I really need your opinon on my biking? Let it be - ok! Just leave it in peace and stop judging, from whatever perspective you might have.

And NOW with that off my chest - on to the good part :-) Copenhagen Pride Parade here we come! So this is the fifth year I'm doing street portraits at the parade. It's always great, messy, loud and hectic - ah and did I mention beautiful! The previous years have been very fast paced for me, catching moments and unposed expression - and I love the spontaneous and raw looks you get from that style of shooting. This year however, I wanted to do something different. Something more calm and reflected.

I brought out the big lights and brought along good friend and photographer Balder from MadMan Factory. Together we built a simple studio (on the roadside barriers). Here is the setup, in a side-alley next to the staging area for the parade trucks. Simple stuff, right? Simple is good!

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After a few test shots, things heated up fast as the place was crawling with people preparing themselves and their trucks. The challenge in this situation is not finding a subject with character that runs deeper than a funny outfit - but giving them a place to breathe and rest in an inferno of noise and impressions. And THAT challenge is the reason I keep returning - when it becomes something else than a parade of dress-ups or someone having a view of life that might differ from yours (or mine). It becomes about people. Plain and simple - and it becomes about what I do everyday as a professional photographer - documenting peoples life in a respectful way.

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I do my street shooting to push myself and allow others to push me, as many of you know I've been running the Sploosh.dk platform for several years now - entirely focussed on people on the streets and places with character. If you want to see more like this, head over there and have a look. And at last here are a couple of the final portraits from the 2015 Copenhagen Pride Parade:

Thanks for reading. More news soon...

/Kasper