• Arts,  Festivals

    Art All Night x 7

    Last Saturday’s Art All Night wasn’t just one celebration — it was, in fact, seven-in-one. Seven neighborhoods hosted events, and a group of DC Focused photographers tag teamed to better chronicle the evening. We saw art and artists, of course, along with musicians, dancers, hula hoopers, and selfie-taking revelers, all bathed in the shimmering light of DC at night. Feature image © 2016 Victoria Pickering   First Things First: The Art More than anything, Art All Night is about the art. I mean, it’s right their in its first name. The festival gave local artists a chance to display their work before huge crowds, educate people and, perhaps, sell some…

  • Events,  Festivals,  Free Music

    Dancing in the Streets at the 17th Street Festival

    The seventh annual 17th Street Festival was just the place for dancing (and singing, plucking, and fiddling…) in the streets. Unlike the 2015 festival, which offered a main stage for performers, this year’s event featured roving troupes of musicians and dancers who did their things among the crowds on 17th Street. Feature image © Victoria Pickering   One of the day’s highlights was a group of dancers performing to Spanish guitar.     The high point of the show came when a diminutive performer joined the grown up dancers.   Also wending its way through the crowds was a mariachi band.     Perhaps banjo is more your thing…  …

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  • Celebrations,  Events,  Parades

    Pride and Joy

    The contrast is shocking: the elation of Saturday afternoon’s festivities in Dupont Circle and the anguish of the news from Orlando on Sunday morning. And yet, that should not take away from the overwhelming joy of the Pride Parade. Always a happy occasion, revelers had one more thing to celebrate this year. This was the first Pride Parade that took place after the Supreme Court legalized gay marriage in June of 2015. Here, DC Focused photographers tried to capture some of that sense of happiness. Featured image © 2016 Victoria Pickering.                                      

  • Events

    Snowbirds Invade

    Yesterday, around 12:25 p.m., the Snowbirds put on a short demonstration over the District.  The Snowbirds are Canada’s equivalent of the Blue Angels and Thunderbirds; they’re a flight demonstration team that brings “thrilling performances to the North American public.”  A number of DC Focused photographers managed to take some fantastic shots of the Snowbirds’ two passes over the city.  Here are some of the best that were added to the DC Focused Flickr pool.            

  • Celebrations,  Festivals,  Music

    Let the beat funk you up — music festival is big part of parade’s fun

    The Funk Parade is sort of a misnomer. While a raucous parade down U Street is certainly the eponymous moment of the day, the day-long event is as much free music festival as it is parade. The bands played at 12 stages and performance areas during the day and 15 venues into the night — and DC Focused photographers were at most of them. Be sure to check out our Music Project for bonus coverage. Featured image © 2016 Jeffrey Morris. Chelsey Green © Clif Burns The Ron Holloway Band © Zack Lewkowicz Reesa Renee © Sean Kennedy Lucky So & Sos © Rob Cannon Nappy Riddem © Joe Newman Funk Ark © Zack…

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  • Arts,  Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals,  Music,  Parades

    On this day, it was the District of Funk

    U Street was all about the funk on Saturday — music, dancing in the street, drum lines and tens of thousands of people turning out for the all-day party and music fest known as the Funk Parade. The festival of funk took over the U Street corridor, as old and new DC came together to celebrate the city’s cultural heritage. The Mayor of Funk Town was even there throwing beads to cheering constituents, walking just a few hundred yards ahead of parade participants carrying a gigantic, inflatable joint. The parade slogan, after all, was “roll your funk.” Spread along the corridor from the Howard Theater to 14th Street, the festival included…

  • Celebrations,  Festivals,  Parades

    Are you ready for the funk? Annual U Street parade and festival returns

    Although the Funk Parade is just in its third year, it has already become one the District’s marquee cultural events. The all-day celebration pays homage to the U Street corridor’s rich musical and cultural heritage. This year, the DC Focused community is proud to be part of the event as the official photographers of the parade and musical acts. So, it’s fitting that we look at some of our favorite images from last year’s Funk Parade and talk about things to consider if you’re planning to photograph this  year’s event. All images are part of the DC Focused flickr pool. 1. Jeffrey Morris | Work the angles   Jeffrey got low on this photo, which produces…

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  • Arts,  Events,  Meetups

    Paint Jam Comes to Rhode Island Ave.

      “We are Hip-Hop in all its forms,” says Words Beats & Life, a non-profit arts and educational organization. Last weekend, the Hip-Hop form on display was the mural. Since its founding in 2000, artists working with Word Beats & Life have created thousands of feet of public art around the District, including major installations in Storey Park and Edgewood.  On Saturday, the Fine Lines Paint Jam came to Rhode Island Avenue NE, with dozens of artists leaving their marks on a 900 foot concrete canvas just off the 500 and 600 blocks. With art unfolding before one’s eyes, it was the perfect time for a photo meetup. Several DC…

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  • Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals,  Portraits

    Picturing Japanese Culture at Sakura Matsuri

      Each year, at the end of the Cherry Blossom Festival, Washingtonians get a chance to celebrate Japanese Culture at Sakura Matsuri. Now in its 56th year, the Sakura Matsuri Festival offers up a mix of martial arts demonstrations, dance and musical performances, saki and sushi stands, and, of course, hundreds of cosplayers taking on the personas of their favorite characters. A gathering like this is a “target-rich” environment for a photographer. Everyone is dressed in fabulous fashion and is eager to pose for you. “I’ll let you in on a little secret,” one reveler told me. “Cosplayers actually want to have their photos taken. They just like to be…

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  • Protests

    Democracy & Demonstrations on The Hill

    It was a busy Monday morning on Capitol Hill with continued Democracy Spring demonstrations & arrests at the Capitol as well as enough demonstrators at the Supreme Court for police to block off First Street between SCOTUS and The Capitol. This morning the Supreme Court heard the immigration case, United States v. Texas. For some good explainers on the case (it’s complicated) take a look at Vox and SCOTUS Blog. I’ve photographed a fair amount of demonstrations at the Supreme Court & I always like getting to see the handmade creations that protesters bring to make their point. Both events didn’t disappoint as far as creativity is concerned; the giant…

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  • Celebrations,  Events,  Festivals

    Light City in Charm City

    Last week, Charm City was transformed into Light City, an international light festival spread out on multiple piers along Baltimore’s Inner Harbor. The crowds, which numbered nearly 400,000 people, experienced interactive light shows, musical performances, faeries on stilts, a neon peacock, glowing paper boats, and other attractions, all reflected in the harbor waters. A more somber display was dedicated to the Black Lives Matter movement. Light City ended on Sunday night, but if you missed it, we have you covered. Victoria and I were on hand for all of the festivities and here is some of what we saw.                      …