I noticed that there was a comment in the programme to the effect that photos would be taken throughout the conference, and would be put up on the Faith website
. This made me very happy, as I didn't need to worry about getting "permission" from people - though the posed shots were usually shown to the victims (sorry, I meant to say subjects
) and the right of veto given... allowing me to get a better shot if they had objections to the first! Sir Dan of the Nesbitry
lay in wait for unsuspecting customers by his publications stall, and relieved them of money that would otherwise have been wasted on beer... so it really was an act of charity...
Fr. Mike Dolman agreed to pose for a photo, as did the two young ladies shown... I asked three other young people if they'd be willing to be snapped, but the ravages of the previous night's entertainment meant they weren't too keen... I told them they'd only be let off if they found me some substitute victims, which they did, and pretty quickly!
Bishop O'Donoghue was definitely not camera-shy, and was happy to have his photo taken - he's seen here outside the Chapel after Mass, along with Fr. Hugh MacKenzie, Editor of the excellent Faith Magazine.
Posed shots are ok, but photos taken when the subjects are unaware of the danger (sorry, camera
) can give a better idea of the atmosphere. Here, Fr. Stephen Boyle can be seen deep in conversation with two young people. Minutes later, he tried to convince me that I'd need written permission from him before I could use the photo... I reminded him that, given his previous ambition to be the most-blogged-about non-blogging priest, he was pretty much without a leg to stand on.
Richard Marsden, author of the excellent blog, Bashing Secularism
, was also happy to pose for a photo. I tried to engineer something a little more "natural," but the sight of a camera made all three turn to face me head-on... and a posed photo seemed better than no photo at all, so I snapped away. Richard had read of my newly-awakened interest in cricket, and he was keen to know who my local team was, and whether I had any cricketing "pin-ups" yet... Alas, I had to admit ignorance on both counts: I suspect my local team is Kent...
Meals involved a queue through a tunnel-like corridor: the queue also provided quite a good opportunity for a photo or two, and I discovered that the flash gives a rather ghastly hue to people's faces. Fr. Luiz Ruscillo, shown talking to Alison Smith (who organises the Faith Community Newsletter) didn't believe me, and complained that the flash hadn't worked... so I took another photo. He immediately realised that I did actually know what I was talking about, and I deleted the second photo...
Behind Alison, talking to another priest (I think it's Fr. Ian Vane) and Fr. Hugh MacKenzie (behind Fr. Luiz), you can see Fr. John Boyle
, who has returned to blogging after an absence from the Blogosphere. His return was greeted with tremendous enthusiasm, with many, many comments from people telling how much his posts had encouraged them in their faith.
Fr. Dylan James was also happy to be snapped. I have to say that, while grateful that others are willing to be photographed, I cannot understand the appeal. I loathe having my photo taken, and will go to extraordinary lengths to avoid being captured on film. There have been a couple of occasions when, out of courtesy, I have submitted to being photographed (smiling through gritted teeth), but the results are ghastly, and I've become a lot more determined to avoid the camera.
Not so Sr. Andrea Fraile, of the wonderful Sisters of the Gospel of Life
. To be fair, I think she was waiting for the red light to come on before the flash, and intended to duck when it did... but, of course, I don't use a flash, and she was pretty aghast to realise that she'd been caught... but I decided that the photo was too good to delete...
And finally, I got a shot of His Hermeneuticalness
himself, doing his bit to capture the moment for posterity. He had brought his super-snazzy mega-camera, mostly to allow him to get a photo of Bishop O'Donoghue for the Catholic Herald. However, he's quite happy to be photographed himself, so I got to take the photo... but I really do prefer my own camera, which has far fewer buttons!