Silent Disco in the PNW Outdoors

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A photoshoot that bridges experiencing the outdoors through dance, music, and the light of dusk.

I have to admit when I client commissioned me to shoot their event… I had to Google what it was. I’ve shot a lot of different kinds of different events that has dancing that comes along with it or is a part of the event; but never a Silent Disco.

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If you are as unfamiliar as I was with the term, a Silent Disco is an event where people dance to music played through wireless headphones instead of traditional speakers. It is both a group and individual dance all at the same time. The individual headphones allow for even multiple DJs to play different genres of music simultaneously without disturbing the surrounding area. Potentially, you could have different vibes of music going on at the same disco.

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It’s a unique and fun experience that has become increasingly popular in recent years. This event takes place outdoors every Saturday through the summer on Taylor Dock in between downtown Bellingham and the art district Fairhaven. A mashup, pun intended, for one to groove to music while appreciating the natural beauty of sundown over the Salish Sea; all without breaking noise ordinances.

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We all ‘nature’ in our own different ways here in the PNW, and for those who love to groove to the outdoors, this kind of event allows you to rock out without disrupting others to prefer to take in nature without a thump of a subwoofer. At the same time, it also provides a venue for those who love the group experience and the social nature dancing brings with it, yet provides the introvert a way to participate without as much anxiety. A win-win for anyone trying to find people who want a family-friendly dancing event, and groove to nature in their own way.

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For this shoot there was the added complication that it runs from golden hour to nautical hour; the time when in the northwest, our light goes from golden hues to our deep blue hues.

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It’s not anything like a rave, so there are no crazy projectors, projector mapping, or lasers; but the light fades fast. I opted to not go with flash photography, as I didn’t want to break folks away out of their groove, or blow out their pupils as dusk faded in. However, it meant I had to work fast with event faster-moving subjects always on the move with their groove.

I have to admit, as I was listing into the jam as I was shooting to follow for the flow of the songs and folks dancing, even I fell victim to the groove of the DJ on the dock as the light began to fade. I don’t often shoot video while on a photoshoot, but I grab some in this case. Should you be interested in it, and live in the Bellingham area this summer take a look at the Silent Disco schedule hosted by Dana Carr and reserve your spot.