Chamber of Commerce

ABQWest Holiday Celebration & Donation Drive 2018

ABQWest Holiday Celebration & Donation Drive 2018

More Professional Vendor Table Setup!

This was the second year in a row I had a vendor table at the ABQWest Chamber of Commerce Holiday Celebration and Donation Drive event. My setup was much more professional this year compared to last where I just had my logo printed on an 8x10 piece of paper! This year I had a table runner with my logo and contact information on it, plus two easels with 30”x40” canvas prints on display. This is in addition to a 27” 4K monitor showing 4K drone video highlights from the past year, and Jessica’s MacBook showing a photo highlights slideshow. I also donated a print to the raffle.

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Albuquerque Event Photography AHCC Get Crafty With Your Biz

Albuquerque Event Photography AHCC Get Crafty With Your Biz

The most fun you will have networking in Albuquerque

The Albuquerque Hispano Chamber of Commerce did it yet again with another amazingly fun, energetic and informative networking event right here in Albuquerque, New Mexico.   The first Thursday of every month is the Get Crafty With Your Biz event where three local business owners briefly tell their own personal business story and the conclude with a piece of business advice for the attendees.  It is a great format that let's one network and mingle, but also here a real local business success story.

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St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce 114th Annual Meeting event photography

Handing out awards at the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce 114th Annual Meeting at the Vinoy Hotel - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 800 1/60th SB-800 hotshoe mounted @ 1/2 powerI continued my long standing relationship with the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce when I photographed their 114th Annual Meeting last night at the Vinoy Hotel in of course downtown St. Pete.  I have photographed several events at the Vinoy Hotel each time getting to see a new ballroom and that continued last night as well shooting for the first time in the Palm Ballroom.  It was not unexpected that it was as about as dark as it gets for indoor photography inside the ballroom.

It was packed inside & outside the Palm Ballroom of the Vinoy Hotel - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm @ f/5.6 ISO 1600 1/40th SB-800 hotshoe mounted @ 1/2 powerWhen I arrived I could hardly make my way through the crowd.  It was absolutely jam packed.  I found a small corner to unpack and get both my Nikons out.  That of course made it even more of a squeeze to get through the crowd with two DSLRs hanging off my shoulders.  In such situations I look for a bit of breathing room somewhere and stay put and photograph those that pass by instead of constantly moving through the crowd myself.  After a few minutes in a spot, I then move to another one.

Dan Heath co-author of SWITCH was the keynote speaker - Nikon D80 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/4 ISO 800 1/100th SB-600 hotshoe mounted @ 1/2 powerDan Heath gave a very entertaining keynote speech.  What I will remember from it is that teenagers make about 29% good decisions, roughly the same percent as businesses do!  There were several other speakers before him.  It actually takes many shots to get one of a person speaking where the person does not have some kind of unflattering facial expression.  Many.

Mingling during the St. Pete Chamber of Commerce 114th Annual Meeting inside the Vinoy Hotel - Nikon D80 Nikkor 80-200mm @ f/4 ISO 800 1/100th (no flash)It was a fun event to photograph as I got to see many of my networking and Chamber friends in the crowd and as often happens when I photograph events, I got to run in circles I would normally not be found in.  Makes me feel like an insider!

American Momentum Bank St. Petersburg Ribbon Cutting Event

Ribbon Cutting for American Momentum Bank in St. Petersburg EventAmerican Momentum Bank is located at a great corner location in downtown St. Petersburg.  I photographed the ribbon cutting ceremony sponsored by the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce.  It was a very well attended Thursday evening event.  The marketing team did their jobs well.  It was one of the liveliest crowds I have seen at a networking event too.

New St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce CEO Chris Steinocher addresses the attendeesI am normally quite shy at these networking events, but even I talked to at least five people at length.  It helped that I met the manager of the bank a few weeks earlier at another networking event and he took a liking to me.  He was very generous with introducing me to people at the event trying to help me get new photography clients.  It was greatly appreciated.

I was glad these people requested a photo because I loved that lady's glassesThe crowd was a mix of the regulars you see attending Chamber networking events, bank employees and their guests, as well as clients of the bank (pictured above).  It was a very fun, productive, and tasty (sweet dates) event to photograph!

Ceridian Healthcare Panel in the Vinoy Grand Ballroom

Rita readies the sign in table for the Ceridian event at the Vinoy Grand Ballroom

Part of being a professional photographer is being ready to shoot anytime you have a free spot in your schedule.  I have been a member of the St. Petersburg Chamber of Commerce for almost a year now and have developed a good relationship with many of it staff, including Rita pictured above.  However, it was Bonnie who called me on a Wednesday afternoon asking if I could photograph an event the next day.  I had no scheduling conflicts so I said, "I'd love to, thank you for thinking of me for this job."  

Inside the Vinoy Grand Ballroom - Nikon D300 Tamron 17-50mm manual mode @ f/4 ISO 800 1/40th SB-800 Speedlight hotshoe mounted

This was also my first chance to photograph inside the famous Vinoy Resort Hotel.  Having photographed inside the Don Cesar last year, I have now worked in the two most famous hotels around.  The Vinoy's Grand Ballroom at first glance looked to be well lit, but of course what our eyes think is good indoor light and what a DSLR thinks is almost never the same.  

Listening carefully - Nikon D300 with Nikkor 80-200mm manual mode @ f/2.8 ISO 1000 1/250th SB-800 hotshoe mounted

The panel discussion was on the new healthcare bill President Obama recently signed.  For the first thirty minutes of the close to 90-minute discussion I was very focused on getting at least one good shot of each of the six panel members, with a good shot being mouth not in a strange position, eyes open, hands not obscuring their face, etc.  Even though they were sitting down and just talking, it took quite a few frames to finally get each panelist frozen in a normal looking talking posture.

candid moment between panelists - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm manual mode @ f/2.8 ISO 1000 1/250th SB-800 Speedlight hotshoe mounted

After I got the standard looking shots I of course looked for some fun candids of the panelists, like the shot above featuring some friendly microphone hijacking.  The panelists had to share two microphones between the six of them.

In the exif data I provided in the notes for each shot, you can see that even when shooting at f/2.8 with a powerful Nikon SB-800 Speedlught hotshoe mounted, I needed the ISO to be at 1000.  This is because the ambient light in the room was only so-so and the panelists were a good distance away forcing me to have to shoot at a focal length of 200mm to fill the frame.  All the shots were handheld too so I really had to use solid camera holding technique, and when I could I wedged myself against a wall or window sill.  

Candid Q&A session - Nikon D300 Nikkor 80-200mm manual mode @ f2.8 ISO 1000 1/250th SB-800 Speedlight hotshoe mounted

The local debates leading up to the healthcare bill, as you may recall, were rather animated.  However, this was a very polite Q&A session with the panelists, and the panelists themselves were very civil with each other.  After I settled in and got the shots I needed to and dialed in the exact settings for shooting with the two lenses I was using to photograph this event, I could take in some of the discussion and found it to be very interesting.

There were also some great cookies spread out in the back of the ballroom that went mostly ignored!  I ate two while shooting and must confess took another 4 home inside my camera bag!  I did not want them to just get thrown out, of course.

Florida Holocaust Museum - Networking Event

Despite the threat of very stormy weather, the turnout for this networking event was strong.

I have been getting on the local business networking scene more and more lately.  By the number of familiar faces I see at these events, I am not the only one following the calendar of events on the Saint Petersburg Chamber of Commerce website.  I did not know what to expect for the mood and atmosphere of this networking event with it being held at the Florida Holocaust Museum, but as I approached the room and heard the usual vibrant conversation I quickly realized that there was nothing to be unusual about it at all.  I was greeted by the friendly curator of the museum and soon had a conversation with the public relations consultant for the museum about photographing their next official event.  

Kathy, on the right, I met at last night's Young Professionals networking event in Clearwater.

I took a brief tour of the museum after signing in.  One of the two exhibit floors is dedicated to revolving art collections.  A series of large paintings inspired by the Holocaust was on display.  I did not expect to see a fine art collection in the museum, so was pleasantly surprised.  The first floor contained exhibits more toward what one might expect in a Holocaust museum.

I turned my SB-600 speedlight off for a few shots and let the display lights provide the backlighting effect.

As always with such networking events, I felt the most comfortable when my camera was up to my eye.  In the right center is Ford Kyes, someone I have gotten to know through the Chamber and these networking events.  He is a master at that, and in fact makes his living as a business coach.  He was generous with his time to me tonight offering advice and encouragement for my photography business.  

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  • Ribbon Cutting at Landmark at Waters Pointe Saint Petersburg

    Landmark at Waters Pointe officially opens ready for residents wanting great waterfront living.

    This afternoon on behalf of the Saint Petersburg Chamber of Commerce I photographed the ribbon cutting ceremony for Landmark at Waters Pointe.  Assistant manager, Amy, gave us a tour of the very nice grounds and model apartment.  I also had a chance to learn about Amy's rather interesting life and the complex path that ultimately led to her becoming assistant manager of an apartment community.

    This was a little bit of a tricky shot to make.  The ladies were standing in the shade, but right behind them was a pool with concrete deck reflecting a lot of light, then of course the water and blue Florida sky in the background.  Not wanting to have my SB-600 Speedlight on camera, but not having the ability to setup a light stand or anything, I simply handheld the SB-600 in my left hand as far out and up as I could while holding my Nikon D300 with only my right hand.  I have actually practiced this shooting technique a lot so I am fairly comfortable with the balancing act it requires.  

    It is always fun to attend and photograph these Chamber events.  A couple more are coming up in March.  They also make good networking opportunities.