The more time goes on, the more I realize that if we don't try anything new, if we live in our fears, if we stay only in our comfort zones, we're not really living.
In my current stay here in my Parent's homeland, I've climbed hills I never thought I could, tried foods that terrified me and immersed myself in new music. I was lucky enough to be guided through most of this, as I may not have had the courage to do it myself. I purposely stayed off social media and didn't take many pictures because I wanted these moments to be more than just moments, I wanted them to be memories. Ones I'll hopefully tell my grandkids around the dinner table someday.
My most recent adventure? Attending my very first Fête. I won't lie, not knowing what to expect made me a little nervous. Right up until I got in the car, I had to remind myself to take a deep breath. But, once I got there, surrounded by the music and the people and the energy, I just knew I had to write about it.
What is a Fête you ask?
I have to say, in all honesty, it's kind of hard to compare it to anything else, but you may know it as a big concert, or even a rave. If you're looking for an official definition, Wikipedia calls a Fête an elaborate festival, party or celebration. And Wikipedia has it almost correct. Except for one important detail. It is not for the faint of heart.
If I can tell you anything, it's that you must go to a Fête, if for even once in your lifetime. It's a chance to really let go, let live and soak up the early morning hours as the music on stage bursts through you.
The people of Trinidad and Tobago are not shy when it comes to the subjects of their songs, but it is nothing compared to the fire they bring on the dance floor. In all my life I've never seen anything like it. You couldn't be near it without feeling the electricity surging through your body. It's not a place to just stand. You have to immerse yourself in it, feel it and become a part of it. Because if you don't, are you really living?
While I was there I noticed cameras flashing everywhere and I wondered what on earth it must be like to see all this energy from behind the lens. Well now I can tell you. I recently sat down with Joel Peters, native to Trinidad and noted photographer of the Carnival season for many years. It was very insightful learning what it's like to view such an epic time from behind the lens. A view many don't get it. Check out my interview here, to learn more about Mr. Peters, his company, his passion and his upcoming plans.
Consider The Music: What was the first moment that sparked your interest in photography?
Joel Peters: The first moment that sparked my interest, was seeing my uncle John Peters doing freelance photography as a hobby. He then gave me my first disposable camera as a gift and told me "Go. Create". By this time I was about 11 years old.
Consider The Music: What inspires you in your work?
Joel Peters: My inspiration comes from capturing the moments that may be overlooked or not seen by everyone else at that given time. It really is an advantage looking through a lens, it makes you connect with that person and make that individual relive something special.
Consider The Music: How long have you been shooting?
Joel Peters: I have been shooting for approximately 5 years and it has been an amazing few years.
Consider The Music: What is your opinion on professional training vs self taught photography?
Joel Peters: Well being self taught, I believe that once you have that inner drive to learn your craft, you will make it a way of life. Your circles and speech changes to one of excitement and love for your craft. However yes, being taught by someone who actually studied the craft is important. But at the end of the day, learning on the fly actually makes you think outside the box in terms of problem solving.
Consider The Music: What's your favorite event you've shot so far?
Joel Peters: My favorite event I have shot would be weddings. Capturing those love filled moments, make me realize more and more why I do, what I do.
Consider The Music: Have you worked solely in Trinidad or have you gotten a chance to travel for work?
Joel Peters: I was privileged to have worked outside of Trinidad and Tobago. I travelled to Jamaica for their carnival in 2018 and that was an amazing experience. I worked with Trinidad Carnival Diary in conjunction with Bacchanal Jamaica.
Consider The Music: Where would you go and shoot if you could go anywhere?
Joel Peters: I would love to do underwater photography actually. I know it may not be the conventional answer, but I like to think outside the box.
Consider The Music: What is it like shooting for the Carnival season and what do you look for when you're seeking the perfect shot?
Joel Peters: Carnival photography is one of the most amazing things ever. When you are on the road for carnival and you see someone you haven't seen in years, that initial expression of happiness and excitement being captured on camera may be the realest expression you can get. Yes, carnival is color and revelry but it really is about expressing yourself for those two days.
Consider The Music: What are you working on now and what are your plans for your work and your company for 2019?
Joel Peters: 2019 has already started as a blessing. I have a few contacts with a few national, regional and international clients. I don't want to give it away yet, but this year is going to be one of change and growth for my company, J Peters Images. I welcome every challenge and success moving forward.
Contact Joel for bookings here:
And check out more from Joel here:
Every day and every chance that I get to explore it, Trinidad and Tobago is continuing to surprise me in ways I never could have imagined. There is a spirit and a life here that I think everyone should try and see.
It may appear to be a small Island, but take a chance and come see it for yourself.
It has a big heart.
Peace and Love,