Updated: Apr 13, 2018
It all started one afternoon in early August when I received a phone call from the Creative Director of Notting Hill Carnival, Debora Alleyne Degazon. She offered me a chance to join the media team as a photographer for this year's event, having seen my YouTube video and blog post on Notting Hill Carnival from last year. Of course, I accepted! Notting Hill Carnival is one of my favourite events in London and it was a dream to be able to be part of it behind the scenes! The event also links in with the themes of my YouTube channel; my videos aim to capture my London life, as well as encouraging everyone to love their identities. After all, carnival is a perfect time to express one's identity.
As I left the house for carnival on Sunday morning, one of the hottest days of the year, I experienced a rush of gorgeous memories made from Notting Hill Carnival 2016. Last year was my very first time attending carnival and I remember thinking that I wanted to be a part of it all. Before locking the door behind me, I paused for a second. I thought about the day ahead - the day I had been waiting for eagerly all year. What challenges would I face? Who was I going to meet? I wonder if there are severe tube delays? Despite all these thoughts buzzing through my head, I kept a positive outlook and I was very excited.
Getting off at Westbourne Park Station, I immediately made my way to the judging zone, making my way past numerous police officers and barriers. Luckily I had my pass to show them to get past all the crowds! I made it just in time for the Grenfell tribute, and the release of the doves. I immediately pulled my camera out of my bag and started filming; I didn't want to miss a single moment. It was definitely an emotional tribute; seeing children crying on their mother's shoulders was a painful sight.
Even though it was a really busy two days, I cherished every moment. Even after working the whole day, I felt more energised at the end of the day than in the morning - everyone's energy reverberated through the atmosphere and it was so infectious. I experienced a whirlwind of emotions whilst taking in all the colours, costumes, dancing, flags and seeing people's emotions of happiness, sadness, and pride. I think Notting Hill Carnival showcases London in such a beautiful, special way.
I hope you enjoy viewing the following pictures. A link to the video of the event is at the end!