TIAA #36: “Groove is on the Waterfront”

Tosin’s Images & Anecdotes (TIAA) is my self-assigned photography challenge of 2022. The immediate objective is to select one image from my inventory (a cityscape, landscape, portrait, oddity, etc.) each week and write something about it. This “something” could be the story behind the photo, a triggered memory in relation to the photo, or simply a reaction or reflection based on the subject matter featured. The long-term objective is to encourage myself to add more content to “La Vue Atypique”, which celebrates its first decade in publication this year.

"Groove is on the Waterfront" / Downtown Summer Sounds / Pier 62 / Seattle (July 31, 2021)
“Groove is on the Waterfront” / Downtown Summer Sounds / Pier 62 / Seattle (July 31, 2021)

What can I say about the photograph above?

I have several words to say, but I’m going to try something different for this week’s entry. As it turns out, instead of sharing the whole story behind this photograph, I thought I would attempt more of a photo essay, using additional photographs to narrate.

In the summer of 2021, I was fortunate to be hired — during the coronavirus pandemic — by the Friends of Waterfront Seattle, an organization largely responsible for revitalizing the waterfront of the Emerald City by drawing visitors and residents alike to multiple activities and attractions. Since 2013, the waterfront has undergone a long-term, multi-year facelift that has literally changed the appearance of downtown Seattle alongside Elliott Bay — a major renovation that is expected to continue for the next four to five years.

My client essentially tasked me with one principal objective — capture as many moments of people interacting and enjoying the activities provided at Pier 62 of the waterfront. Since this request fell under my event photography services, I was very happy to oblige.

For this entry, the photographs feature a recurring event at the pier called “Downtown Summer Sounds”. During this event, different local bands and singers would perform on a small stage constructed at the edge of the pier right in front of the bay. The music, as I observed, always drew a crowd of people who would be walking along the waterfront, so the turnout was always massive.

During the final weekend of July 2021, a particular band (whose name I forget, unfortunately) was playing and. . .well. . .here’s the (fictional) story I would like to recount as I captured the unfolding moments.

1 - The band has started to jam with a jazzy groove coming live and direct from the Seattle waterfront.
1 – The band has started to jam with a jazzy groove coming live and direct from the Seattle waterfront.

2 - The Seattleites are intrigued and have come to hear the sound the band is throwing down.
2 – The Seattleites are intrigued and have come to hear the sound the band is throwing down.

3 - There's a large audience now.  One individual in this photo -- though not obvious whatsoever -- is really, really feeling the groove.
3 – There’s a large audience now. One individual in this photo — though not obvious whatsoever — is really, really feeling the groove.

4 - Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the first main character of the story:  Wilbur.  He literally got up from his seat in the audience, strutted to the space in front of the stage, and started moving to the jazzy groove.
4 – Ladies and Gentlemen, I present the first main character of the story: Wilbur.
He literally got up from his seat in the audience, strutted to the space in front of the stage, and started moving to the jazzy groove.

5 - As you can see, Wilbur is serious about his groove, and wants the city to know it.
5 – As you can see, Wilbur is serious about his groove, and wants the city to know it.

6 - "Nobody can get down like this! Nobody!" Wilbur exclaims as he moonwalks across the pier.
6 – “Nobody can get down like this! Nobody!” Wilbur exclaims as he moonwalks across the pier.

But wait a minute!  A few meters behind Wilbur, our second main character, Miss Genevieve, has been observing and believes Wilbur has issued a brazen challenge to the audience.  She steps into the scene steadfastly.
7 – But wait a minute! A few meters behind Wilbur, our second main character, Miss Genevieve, has been observing
and believes Wilbur has issued a brazen challenge to the audience. She steps into the scene steadfastly.

8 - Miss Genevieve introduces herself to the audience by mimicking Wilbur's choreography without difficulty.  Others from the audience have also attempted to take on Wilbur.
8 – Miss Genevieve introduces herself to the audience by mimicking Wilbur’s choreography without difficulty.
Others from the audience have also attempted to take on Wilbur.

9 - Having proved herself effortlessly, Miss Genevieve proceeds to show the Emerald City how she uniquely gets down while Wilbur's Rhythm Syndicate contemplates how to upstage her.
9 – Having proved herself effortlessly, Miss Genevieve proceeds to show the Emerald City how she uniquely gets down
while Wilbur’s Rhythm Syndicate contemplates how to upstage her.

10 - "Good luck with that!"  Miss Genevieve calls out to the competition.  "The waterfront is my house."  One member of Wilbur's Rhythm Syndicate appears to agree and resigns in admitted defeat. Wilbur, nevertheless, remains resolute in his groove.
10 – “Good luck with that!” Miss Genevieve calls out to the competition. “The waterfront is my house.”
One member of Wilbur’s Rhythm Syndicate appears to agree and resigns in admitted defeat.
Wilbur, nevertheless, remains resolute in his groove.

11 - "I can do this all day, Miss Genevieve!"  Wilbur says to his enthusiastic rival. "I can stand it as long as you can.  Bring it, gramps!" Miss Genevieve quips in response.
11 – “I can do this all day, Miss Genevieve!” Wilbur says to his enthusiastic rival.
“I can stand it as long as you can. Bring it, gramps!” Miss Genevieve quips in response.

12 - It appears that Miss Genevieve has declared a self-proclaimed victory.  In similar fashion to comedians at the conclusion of their stand-up gigs, she announces "That's my time, y'all!" and waves to the crowd as she begins her exit.
12 – It appears that Miss Genevieve has declared a self-proclaimed victory. In similar fashion to comedians at the conclusion of their stand-up gigs, she announces “That’s my time, y’all!” and waves to the crowd as she begins her exit.

13 - Meanwhile, the local band mysteriously commences to bring their "A-game" to their live performance. The band has become progressively jazzier, unexpectedly groovier, and decisively funkier.
13 – Meanwhile, the local band mysteriously commences to bring their “A-game” to their live performance.
The band has become progressively jazzier, unexpectedly groovier, and decisively funkier.

14 - "Ooooh! That's my jaaaam!"  Miss Genevieve announces excitedly after recognizing the song the funky band is playing.
14 – “Ooooh! That’s my jaaaam!” Miss Genevieve announces excitedly after recognizing the song the funky band is playing.

15 - 15 - Miss Genevieve decides to stick around with Wilbur until the band finishes its funky number, much to the delight of the audience.
15 – Miss Genevieve decides to stick around with Wilbur until the band finishes its funky number, much to the delight of the audience.


37 articles down for the TIAA challenge. 15 remain!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. Kirk. says:

    What a fun way to share your photos with a fictional story as accompaniment. Well done! πŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎπŸ‘πŸΎ

    1. Thank you! Photo essays can be fun (especially if they’re telling a fictional story).

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