Capturing the Community Spirit at Brookline Day 2023
My colleague, Jean Hangarter and I are always in search of opportunities to capture the moments that define the beauty and spirit of a community gathering through photography.
On Sunday, September 10th, we had the privilege of photographing Brookline Day, a large outdoor event that embodies the very essence of community.
Stretching from Harvard Street in Coolidge Corner to Stedman Street at the Florida Ruffin Ridley School; there was a lot going on and we jumped right in.
Our photographic strategy
Being a large community outdoor event, with lots of people coming and going and activities happening all along the celebratory route, we developed a strategy during our pre-event team meeting so this Brookline Day would be captured in its best light.
Our photography strategy was to start at opposite ends of the celebration and then meet in the middle, making images along the way, visually recording and telling the stories of the Brookline Day participants.
This proved to be a successful approach as there were a multitude of events happening simultaneously.
All along this stretch of Harvard Street were vendor booths set up by businesses, non-profits, and others. At the school field, a Kidz Zone was set up with colorful giant inflatables that the kids could run, bounce and slide through, as well as games and extraordinary face painting by The Boston Face Painters. Their creations of lions and tigers on the smiling children’s faces were a joy to shoot.
An intermittent drizzle definitely did not dampen anyone’s spirits – participants just kept coming! There was also a Touch the Trucks section coordinated by the Brookline Town DPW that was a perfect photo op for parents, grandparents, and us too!
Brookline embraces diversity
Fun for all ages, Brookline Day is a multicultural celebration of spirit, diversity and inclusivity. This was evident in the numerous groups and organizations represented at the event. It was also a day of giving back. The event was a testament to the town’s commitment to social responsibility.
Jean and I stopped by the booths of local nonprofits and charities, who work tirelessly to improve the lives of their fellow residents. From planting trees to fighting domestic violence, we captured the dedication of these volunteers and the hope they instill in the community.
As we walked up and down Harvard Street people-watching, the delicious aromas wafting from the food stalls hit our noses and vibrant music filled the air.
Live performances on the main stage included the Boston-based Afro pop group Kolibra who offered high-spirited dance music, along with many other performers and presenters.
The beautiful crafts and wares of the nearly 100 vendors and local businesses who were a part of this celebration were evident everywhere!
Jean and I felt honored to have been a part of Brookline Day and to have had the opportunity to document the moments that truly showcased the heart and soul of Brookline, Massachusetts.