Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Get the Job Done: Photographing the Council on Foundations annual conference in Denver

Today I received my service agreement contract to be the official event photographer at The Council on Foundations Annual Conference being held in Denver, April 25-27! Even though I was contacted about this last week, I didn't want to announce it on my blog until I knew if I had been awarded the contract.

When I spoke with the organization's public relation's director, I asked her how did she find me. I was pleased when she said Picture Your World Photography appeared on her Google search for a "Denver event photographer." It's good to know that all that time I've spent learning about SEO and how its techniques can benefit my studio has paid off. "Plus, I thought the name 'Sheba' had a good, earthy sound to it, too!" For that, I guess I can thank my father, since he got to name me! :)

The Council on Foundations is a membership organization serving national and international grantmakers, family foundations and corporate giving programs. This year's annual conference will feature keynote addresses by Former Vice President Al Gore who served with the Bill Clinton administration 1993-2001 and Admiral Mullen, the 17th Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, the principal military advisor to the president, the Secretary of Defense, the National Security Council, and the Homeland Security Council. Because of such high profile speakers, I will have to endure going through tons of security. All of the speakers seem very interesting and I can't wait to be apart of this event. Other speakers include Valerie Jarrett, senior advisor and assistant to the president for Public Engagement and Intergovernmental Affairs in the Obama administration; Geoffrey Canada, president and CEO of the Harlem Children’s Zone; Patrick Corvington, CEO of the Corporation for National & Community Service; Chip Heath, co-author of “Switch: How to Change Things When Change Is Hard;" and Douglas Shulman, the 47th Commissioner of Internal Revenue.

Shooting event photography gives me the chance to flex my developing photojournalist muscles. Not only do you have to be a master of your equipment, but you have to be a master at interpreting decisive moments and showcasing them in storytelling photography. My three years spent as the official photographer for the National Brotherhood of Skiers has definitely honed my skills for coverage of the council's conference. However, a major difference in this event is that I will have to quickly turn over high res images at the end of each day of coverage so the council can use them as updates on their website. That means I've got to get as much as I can right in camera from the start instead of relying on time consuming fixes in post. I think I will also take advantage of some batch process editing tools and plugins as well in Lightroom and Photoshop. All told, I can expect about 25 hours worth of work from the three-day event, including shooting conference attendees, key note speakers, other VIPS, receptions, and workshop sessions. Wish me luck on this wonderful opportunity!

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