September was "life in the fast lane" for me. I was booked on a project, or chained to post production, every single day of the month, except for a couple of Sundays. I worked for international bio-chem companies from Switzerland, local tech companies, industrial concerns, commercial construction companies, the Theatre, a collection of health care practices and two law firms. Oh yeah, and one conference. I could stop working on the first of October and coast through the quarter but....I would begin accruing a Karmic Debt for the first quarter of 2016.
But what I want to write about today is a re-cap of the last week. The nuts and bolts of a high end event. How high end was the high end? Well, at the last session of the day, on Monday, they served everyone Moet Champagne. We drank our way through a discussion of securitizing something. I'm not really sure what we were securitizing but it doesn't matter. The actual attendees learned stuff and had fun.
This is a conference about finance and real estate. But it's not a "workshop" about how to buy and flip houses on a "one off" scale. It's for bankers, federal regulators, investors and others who buy thousands of properties, provide access to financing and also securitize the assets for the investment community at large. Attendance at this conference is by invitation only and all attendees are required to agree not to disclose any quotes or proprietary information they discover at the conference. From high executives in the federal government to executive V.P.s at Goldman Sachs, it really is an audience of heavy hitters. At one point I looked up at a panel on the stage and counted 6 CEOs of billion dollar+ companies. Not bad.
The conference started on Sunday evening and went through Weds. This is the sixth year that I've covered the conference and I don't think it violates my N.D.A. to tell you that I did wear a coat and tie for every session. Along with nice shoes. (Yes, I wore pants...).
But my intention here is not to describe the conference in more detail than I need to in order to tell you the story of the photographic coverage.
When I shoot conferences like this one I need to take into consideration that I'll be covering keynote speakers, moderators, participants in panels and emcees. I want to shoot multiple angles of the stage and include wide shots of the stage, and tight close ups of every speaker and panelist. I also need to shoot break out sessions, and coffee and refreshment breaks. Signage shots and venue shots are also appreciated. It's like a long, three and a half day wedding with multiple brides. But unlike wedding photographers my brief is to be discrete, never use flash during a stage session, and never call attention to myself, or try to direct the action. There is no posing and no "do overs." All this means that I shoot lots and lots of frames, not only to cover my ass but also to give my clients lots of choices. Different angles and different expressions.
I really thought a lot about