Photography often puts me into places I would otherwise never be. Such was the case Saturday when I went to the Vinoy Resort in downtown St. Petersburg, Florida to photograph an event -- PARC 45th Annual Black Tie Sapphire Ball. Somehow the "black tie" part eluded my mind so I was surprised to see everyone that dressed up when I arrived at the Vinoy!
People were not the only ones all dressed up, the ballroom in the Vinoy Resort was as well reflecting the Sapphire Ball theme. The chairs especially stoodout to me with their shape and striking sapphire blue covering including a sparkling diamond circle on the back. I made this shot when I first arrived before the guests were allowed in. Since I used a tripod and wanted to focus on the decorations, it was necessary to start with this type of shot first when photographing the event. For sure the ballroom did not look like this by the time 11pm came around and Kool & the Gang had the place jumping!
After photographing the ballroom and some other outside establishing shots, I put away my tripod and went more mobile photographing the guests mingling out in the lobby. I walked right into this scene and had my camera ready to catch this amusing reaction shot.
While dinner was being served, several items were auctioned off from charity ranging from a week vacation at a house on a private island to a custom diamond ring. Many items went for over $5,000!
For many years I have kind of had a crush on Gayle Guyardo. It was a very pleasant surprise to find out she would be presenting the winners of the Magnetic Man award at the event. Seeing her in person only further strengthened the crush!
Another surprise was seeing former Tampa Bay Buccaneers great Mike Alstott. He still looked like he could step onto the football field and play this Sunday! He received the first of thirteen Magnetic Man awards.
Once the awards were handed out and the auctions ended, Kool & the Gang took the stage and played a very enthusiastic set. I am always impressed when artists can do this and make it seem like it's the biggest show they have ever done. More shots from their performance to come in another blog post.
Photographing this event for PARC was exciting and a chance to have an evening I definitely would never have experienced otherwise. Thank you Susan and Kelli!