Stationed in the Fruitvale district of Oakland, I photographed an event run by Grupo Fremont VIP, an organization helping to spread information about HIV and the importance of getting tested. They shared the area with an Aztec dance group, which helped attract a diverse crowd.
At some points of the day it was a battle between the two to see who could spread their message out louder and longer. On one side was the organizer, Ron, who was telling people about the free condoms and free testing they were offering (20 mins) and free food upon getting the results. On the opposite end was the dance troup, consisting of around 30 people, dancing to the beats of the drummers.
All in all it was a beautiful sunny day in Oakland, and getting the message out to the several dozen people who got tested, and even those who were simply within earshot, is success to me.
Went to Milpitas to photograph a 5 year anniversary party for an MBA training company, Gurome. It was held in the CEO's house and had an outstanding turnout. I think everyone was surprised with how many people came, which is simply a testament to how well the company is doing. They had a slideshow presentation of its history, and from memory they recorded profits starting the 2nd year!
Seems like it has a very good future ahead of it...
Arriving at Mr. Smith's in SF for Melissa's white-themed birthday party, she easily stood out with her pink dress amongst the crowd. Once she turned around, the sense of familiarity came over me and I asked her whether she knew of a Kathleen...turns out she did and that her Kathleen is my cousin!
Needless to say, the night started off with a bang!
The bar was rented from 7-10, and by the time 9 o'clock rolled around the place was packed with white suits and dresses. Eventually the familiarity of Melissa's face evolved into recognizing a few more friends and guests, including my cousin.
White is always a troublesome color when using flash since it reflects so easily...I was also trying out my new flash (580 EX II) for the first time that evening since my old flash (550 EX) was giving me some problems. Since Melissa was a good friend of Kathleen's, I ended up staying til about 1230, filling up my memory card with numerous model poses :)
Yesterday I went to Pittsburg for Jonathan's first communion mass. I showed up expecting a standard mass just like every other mass I've been to...only this time, it was all in Spanish!
The church was packed with people, so I still don't know how I got such a nice seat 4 rows from the front. The whole mass was centered on the "class" of first Communioners of about 25, dressed in beautiful white dresses and nice black and white suits.
As the Communion part of the Mass neared, it was cute seeing the kids getting nervous and fidgety as they prepared for their reception. The ceremony was nice and sweet and I thought the added touch of the parents and godparents walking up with their child to receive Communion was touching.
I spent a little over an hour at the SF General Hospital today. Unlike other times I had been inside a hospital, I was neither a visitor nor a patient...but rather an "employee."
Sojourn Chaplaincy is having their 3rd annual gala fundraiser on May 22nd and they were in need of some photos of the Chaplains in action - talking to patients, discussing things in the hall, etc. They already had a videographer in place but at the last minute decided a photo slideshow would be effective as well.
Due to hospital restrictions and the sensitivity of most of the patients, I was only able to photograph inside one of the patient rooms. Mary was kind enough to oblige, and the day started with me photographing her for a short time. By the end of the day, I ended up photographing about a dozen or so employees. It was quick and easy, but the sensitivity of being and photographing in a hospital was a strange change of scenery from my normal gigs.
I got this gig working for HDE Video Concepts (www.hdevideo.com) with its owner, Dil, as the videographer. I had only been to one previous Indian birthday (Armaan) but that was more of an American celebration. This was more traditional. I was blown away by the wonderful colored dresses I saw...and the fact that once the music came on, all the women, and I mean all regardless of age, would bust out dancing! Normally its the younger kids who are dancing, but at this party they were definately outnumbered!
I joked with one of the men that once the music came on, while the women converged on the dance floor, the men converged to the bar, drinking their whiskey! It was an awesome sight :)
The night ended strangely and badly, however, as one of the CF cards Dil purchased for this gig had been corrupted after I had taken 350+ photos with it! I was terrified and bummed out! I had never experienced a card failure and loss of images...I couldn't explain it to Dil.
But Dil was extremely calm and understanding...he made me feel a whole lot better about the situation that night. The next morning he called me with the good news and I couldn't have asked for a better person to hear it from.
Thanks for everything, Dil. You were awesome.