Bill Foster

Ribbon Cutting Event with Mayor Bill Foster at Office Depot

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster (3rd from left) helps with a ribbon cutting ceremony for a new Office Depot on 34th Street NOn Tuesday I was able to continue my great photography relationship with Office Depot in St. Petersburg by photographing a ribbon cutting ceremony for their new store on 34th Street North.  This was also another chance to photograph St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster helping cut the ribbon on a new local business.  I am starting to get familiar with who in the local government attends these events, like Council Chair Leslie Curran (4th from right) and Council Member Bill Dudley (5th from right).  

Office Depot handed out "big checks" to several local non-profit groups and donated 200 backpacks for school children.After I photographed my first Office Depot event in December I realized how a large corporation like Office Depot actually reaches out to be a helpful member of the local community by investing in local non-profits through donations of both cash and goods.  They continued this custom handing out three more checks and 200 backpacks filled with school supplies to be given to local school children.  Being able to photograph and be a part of an event like this is a satisfying experience.  Office Depot has earned my business, which is mostly the purchase of printer ink, but still, in my mind through their charity work they have established a very positive image.  It was also my second time to meet some of the regional management and they remembered me as well.  I hope to continue to be able to photograph future Office Depot events showcasing their community work and new stores.

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster Ribbon Cutting at VIP Eye Care

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster helping Dr. Mona Henri with the ribbon cutting for her boutique's new location.This morning was my fourth opportunity to photograph St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster at a ribbon cutting for a local business.  VIP Eye Care has been my source for contact lenses since moving back to Florida 2.75 years ago.  I chose Dr. Henri's (in red above) eye care facility because I wanted to support a fellow independent St. Pete business rather than a chain with outlets across the country.  As you would expect, the service is great and Dr. Henri's eye exams are actually kind of fun.

Warning, looking closer may cause sticker shock! - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 800 1/60th with Nikon SB-800 Speedlight @ 1/4 +2/3 power hotshoe mountedMost of the times I visit VIP Eye Care I am just in and out to pickup my contact lenses.  At the ribbon cutting this morning I had a chance to browse the many designer brands of eyeglasses on display.  Now, I have been a loyal Oakley man since I was 16 years old, so I am accustomed to paying a not insignificant sum for eyewear.  However, Oakley provides "thermonuclear protection" which I absolutely believe in.  Thus, $300 to $400 sticker prices for just an empty pair of frames was shocking to me!  At least the ones for $400 were made of carbon fiber!

Candid Mayor Bill Foster trying on a pair of square lenses at VIP Eye Care in St. Petersburg FloridaMayor Foster declared himself as a person who really loves wearing glasses having no interest in lasic surgery or contact lenses.  I liked that.  You do not often hear people being proud to wear glasses, although I think it has gotten a lot cooler to do so in the past few years compared to when I was a kid.  

Visit VIP Eye Care official website


freeFall theatre company ribbon cutting St. Petersburg Florida

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster helps Eric Davis of freeFall theatre company do the ribbon cutting in St. PetersburgOn a bright and sunny Tuesday morning the new freeFall theatre company of St. Petersburg, Florida had its ribbon cutting on the front lawn with assistance from St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster.  As you can see by the direction of the shadows, I had to shoot almost directly into the sun, which of course meant having to definitely use manual settings to insure the exposure was long enough to be able to see some details amongst the group and try not to just totally blow out the sky.  Using my Nikon SB-800 Speedlight as fill flash, I was able to produces a satisfactory exposure.  

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster addresses a packed freeFall theatre before the ribbon cutting.Before having to deal with too much light, I had to deal with far too little light inside the darkened theatre itself.  The purple hues are due to the colored lights being used to light Mayor Bill Foster and the packed stands of attendees.  This was not a situation where flash was allowed so that meant cranking the ISO up to 1600, setting the aperture to f/2.8 and using a steady a shooting stance as I could in the crowded conditions as I let shutter speeds dip to as low as 1/40th of a second making sure to shoot when the mayor froze his stance, otherwise even just a slow walk would lead to a blurred image at 1/40th of a second.

freeFall theatre company interior "Frogs" set - f/2.8 ISO 1600 1/40th handheld no flashSeveral people spoke and had the crowd quite energized.  I was ready to see a full performance!  We were treated to a small performance showcasing the current, impressive cast of The Frogs.  Long ago when I was a USF student there was a brief period where I frequented a number of Tampa playhouses.  I would like to again, but it seems ticket prices have gone up significantly since the 90s!

freeFall theatre company Eric Davis shakes hands after the ribbon cutting ceremonyIt is certainly not often one shoots in such extremely different light conditions in a span of five minutes.  That is just part of being a professional photographer, being able to adapt to wildly varying shooting environments in minimal time with the ability to produce consistent results regardless.  Lots of shooting experience in lots of situations gives one the confidence necessary to do this.

Urban Style Flats Apartments St. Petersburg Grand Opening Ribbon Cutting

St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster helping a young girl at the ribbon cutting ceremony for Urban Style Flats Apartments

A new innovative style of apartment living was launched this evening as Urban Style Flats of St. Petersburg had its grand opening.  Besides being an affordable rental option for people wanting to live near downtown St. Petersburg and directly across from Tropicana Field, it will be home to visiting MLB teams playing the Rays.  St. Petersburg Mayor Bill Foster was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony helping a young girl with the traditional giant scissors used at such events, which despite their enormous size have poor cutting ability.

Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm f/2.8 lens @ f/5.6 ISO 400 1/60th Nikon SB-800 Speedlight hotshoe mounted in TTL modeDue to the long history of the newly renovated building, there were many people in attendance who had great past and present involvement in creating that community history.  I spoke with one woman who's grandfather had lived in the building and she showed me the exact unit on a large photograph placard.  I find when I attend such events, people tell me their stories.  I do not know if it is because I am holding a large camera, or I have some other intangible trait that draws out such stories, but I am always interested to hear them.  I like to learn about the history of places via people's own personal tales.

Celebratory spirits were high at the Urban Style Flats grand opening, even for the mayor. 

For a Rays season ticket holder wanting an urban lifestyle, I can see these apartments being an absolutely perfect place to call home.  You could walk door to stadium seat in minutes.   

Jason Collin Photography for Events 

Doyle Wealth Management Ribbon Cutting Event with Mayor Bill Foster

Mayor Bill Foster of St. Petersburg on hand for the Doyle Wealth Management ribbon cutting

I met Anne Drake of Doyle Wealth Management at a new member orientation for the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce a few weeks back.  She told me of her company's relocation and ribbon cutting event so I attended it in an unofficial capacity, i.e. just a networking opportunity for me, but of course I brought my camera.  Got to see Gary (photo left) again of WUSF, an interesting fellow.  I see him at most of the networking events I go to.

In his brief appearance, Mayor Bill Foster shook a lot of hands, but not mine.

If I had had a chance to talk to Mayor Bill Foster I would have asked him to fix up the North Shore Dog Park as the cold winter has really destroyed most of the grass in the park.  Alas, I had no such audience with him.  Last year I did have a chance to directly ask a question to former Mayor Rick Baker.

Should have let me take take the photo!

The most interesting person I spoke with at the event was Sylvia Doyle, who I did not realize right away was the mother of the president of the company!  She said she had been living in St. Petersburg since 1957, when it was of course a far different place.  She thanked me for keeping her company, as no one was talking to her before, but I said on the contrary I like listening to your stories and there is very unlikely anyone else there that I would have anything in common with.  

I heard that to be a client of this wealth management group you need to have a minimum of $500 million in assets.  It blows my mind that there are enough of these people living in the area to keep a business like this in business.  

UPDATE:  according to their website it's a minimum of $500,000 I knew the other number was way too high, there are only so many people in the whole world with that much money, never mind in St. Pete