Hi. I have alot of info for those of you interested. The organizers of the event – which goes Monday 7/10 to Saturday 7/15 – are all very happy to have however many from our group shooting at which ever activities we choose. I did not promise any images – just use whatever hash tags you can find if you'd like to share. If you have an LAPC shirt/hat – this would be a good time to wear it.
Highlights: Thurs 7/13 – night juggling with lighted props. Sat 7/15 – Busking at the CR downtown farmers market – “unusual, colorful characters, so in addition to all the varied action to photograph, you'll likely get some verydistinct-looking folks” Also Joggling and extreme juggling. TBD: Water Skuggling.
Details from my contact (Emory):
Here are my recommendations for photography opportunities at the IJA Festival:
1.) Glow Out To Dinner – This is scheduled for downtown at 7:30 pm on Thursday the 13th. I believe this will be an informal gathering of jugglers who use glow props, though it might include a more organized demonstration or performance. Glow props are typically balls, clubs, hoops, and diabolos that have LED lights built into them. The illuminated props will offer some interesting photographic possibilities, such as long-exposure shots with the props tracing arcs and patterns through the air. I'm puzzled, though, why this is scheduled to begin at 7:30 – Those glow props definitely need near to full darkness to give their best effect. So, I recommend this event for photographers if it's dark enough.
There is almost always a night-time fire-juggling gathering at IJA Festivals, but I don't see one on the schedule this year. These are really spectacular for photography, with fire, faces illuminated by the glow from flaming props, and opportunities for long-exposure shots. If a fire event is announced at the festival I'll e-mail you with details (LAPC – if I get this alert – I'll post an update on the website & facebook).
2.) 5k Joggling Road Race – 7:30 am Saturday in Lisbon, IA. Since this is being run on the streets as a road race, it might be a little more photogenic than the joggling events being run at the Coe College Track later that morning (see below). The runners might start later than 7:30 – that might be the get-organized time rather than the starter-pistol time. I'll try to nail the time down better if any of your photographers are interested. The drawback to this event would be limited variety of shots – Photographers would likely need to get set up in one spot, or two nearby spots, and get somewhat similar photographs of passing runners.
3.) Joggling Championships – 9:00 am to 1:00 pm Saturday at the Coe College Track. These are all the juggling track events other than the 5k – all the usual running events – 100-meter, 400-meter, relays, etc. – but done while juggling. The good news is there is plenty of light, and numerous events to photograph, so you'll have plenty of time and freedom to move around, experiment, and photograph from different locations around the track. The bad news is there will be dead time between events, standing around without much to do, waiting for the next race to start. Also, variety will be somewhat limited – I've taken some very good joggling photos, but it's also the sort of event where you can wind up with 1,000 photos that all share three or four similar looks. So, I'll give this one a conditional recommendation – it might appeal to someone particularly interested in sports photography and running.
4.) Busking – 9:00 to Noon Saturday at the Downtown Farmers Market. This should offer a lot of photographic possibilities. This event is both a performance and a competition for top-quality street performers who have been invited to participate. Street performers tend to be rather unusual, colorful characters, so in addition to all the varied action to photograph, you'll likely get some very distinct-looking folks to shoot. Street performers also tend to use audience participation, so you can also expect to get photos of them interacting with spectators, plus opportunities to include crowd reactions in the photos. Outdoors, so plenty of light. And, everyone can enjoy the shows while photographing them. I'd expect good variety, with opportunities to capture a real street-entertainment flavor. So, recommended for all photographers for both fun and photos.
Unfortunately, the Busking and the Joggling overlap. It might be possible to sample both, but more practically most people would probably want to pick one. For most photographers – other than the most enthusiastic sports photographers – busking will be a much better choice than joggling. I'll be photographing the busking, so if anyone from your group does photograph the joggling, please let me know since they'll get shots that I won't.
Go to the following link and scroll down the page to the BUSKING INVITATIONAL section – You'll see a little more information, plus two photos that I took of previous busking events, and one from a flash-mob event:
6.) X-Juggling / Open Juggling / Games of the IJA / Individual Prop Competition – Saturday Afternoon. There are several options Saturday afternoon after the busking event. The X-Juggling(extreme juggling) event is a somewhat informal competition where jugglers line up and take two tries to hit the single hardest / most spectacular trick that they're barely able to do. It's a tough challenge to photograph this one well, but it can be rewarding. No costumes and no artistic stage lighting, so the event isn't inherently photogenic like a theatrical performance or stage competition would be.
Much of the festival is just unstructured Open Juggling in the main event hall – hundreds of jugglers filling up a huge room just doing whatever they want to do – practicing solo tricks or passing clubs in small and large groups. Total chaos – don't expect clean backgrounds and isolated subjects – but the open juggling is a fine opportunity for photographers to wander around, meet people, and experiment. Some photographers will find the all of the varied options and diverse people to be particularly appealing. You definitely wouldn't have everybody all getting the same shots. While the open juggling is continuing Saturday afternoon, there will also be Games of the IJA in the same venue – this is a very informal competition, will all sorts of short games, some quite silly. As an example, there's usually a juggling obstacle course to run.
Saturday afternoon ends with the Individual Prop Competition at 5:00. This used to be a popular event, but participation dropped and it died out. It's coming back this year after an absence of several years. If they get a decent number of participants of reasonable skill, it could offer some photographic possibilities – I always found it to be more photogenic than the X-Juggling because you'd get at least some performers in costume rather than in T-shirts, and they'd be performing extended and varied routines rather than one-shot tricks.
So, one possibility certainly worth considering would be to have the group come at a time Saturday afternoon when they could spend part of their visit photographing either the X-Juggling or Individual Prop competition, and the other part of their visit just following their noses and following their instincts in the general chaos of the open juggling and the Games of the IJA. Similarly, photographers could shoot the Busking Competition Saturday morning and then come over to the event center immediately afterwards to photograph some open juggling. I'd definitely recommend this just for the variety. The only issue here is that you'd need to make arrangements for the events at the convention center. Events 1-5 above, including the busking, are all free and open to the public, so anyone should be able to just show up with a camera and start shooting. But the events listed here in #6 are inside the festival venue, so I'd recommend (email Amy – if there is enough interest in a group of us meeting up – I'll contact the GM and see about getting us a discounted group pass for shooting). We're a friendly bunch, and part of our mission is to let the rest of the world experience and learn about juggling.
Also, inexpensive day passes for Iowa-local non-jugglers should be available throughout the festival, in case anyone wants to come out at almost any time or date during the festival to photograph the open juggling, other than when the big evening shows and competitions are running.
Let me know if you have any further questions. Also, let me know what event(s) you and your group chose – I might be able to meet with your group for a few minutes before an event to make some suggestions.
I also hope your group will consider attending some of the evening shows, particularly the Cascade of Stars show on Saturday night. This won't be a photo opportunity (no flash photography, and it wouldn't be appropriate to have twenty or thirty clicking shutters through the show), but I'm certain everyone would really enjoy watching the best of the performances.