For nearly 10 years, Allan Griffin, of Nuriootpa has captured the colour and charm of the state’s largest pageant and this year, despite it being held at the Adelaide Oval, the National Pharmacies’ Christmas Pageant was just as fun.
Allan, who runs his own photography business and is also a freelance photographer for The Leader, says photography saved him during a time when he faced depression and a divorce.
He joined a camera club and resurrected the club, with a few others, and it now proudly boasts a membership of more than 50 photographers.
It was by chance that a member of the camera club was to retire and Allan became part of the team to cover the annual event.
He was fortunate to have a handover with the former chief of photography and Allan hasn’t looked back at attending the Christmas pageant since.
“The pageant is a real passion of mine… it’s fun, exciting and colourful,” said Allan.
“I love it. There’s a great team of people that organise it and work all year to make it happen… this year though was completely different.
“Even for myself, going into it, none of it was the same.”
Despite a national pandemic forcing a relocation of the popular event, Allan was still able to capture the pageant, including a lot of backstage footage and all the new floats including some of the “larrikins”.
“Behind the scenes was just epic this year,” said Allan.
“People were still in character and displaying cheer and joy and they were having a great time. This year, for me, was more about capturing the behind the scenes.”
Taking some time to go through and process the 6,000 photos from the November event, Allan said the 2020 event was historical as the pageant was first created during the Great Depression in 1933.
“We are in a similar position to the Great Depression,” said Allan.
“COVID-19 shut down the world and the pageant continues to bring delight to the children of South Australia and aboard.
“It’s about capturing the moment in time through photography, which is what X Mark Photography is all about.”