A Gibbes Museum Event!

Have you ever been to an event that just seemed to make you smile? Well this event always makes me smile every time I look back at the pictures. I was invited by a private organization here in Charleston to take pictures for the Catesby Society. They are a group that seek to keep history alive through the preservation of Mark Catesby’s work. Mark was an historical naturalist who painted and researched wildlife in the Americas back in the 1800’s.

The event was being held at the Gibbes Museum downtown. I love the Gibbes, as it holds such beautiful art and wonderful people to work with. I was very excited when they asked me to cover this event for them.

I arrived early to find parking and to introduce myself to the board before the event began. It was very fun meeting the board as they were made up of professors, historians and novelist. I am always inspired to be around a group of people much like this group. It shows what a life time of great work and success can do when you put your mind to something. After the intro there where a few pictures of the group and then I went to capture the details of the venue.

As the guest started to arrive I went into action. When it comes to a large event there are a few things I do as a photographer. I am seen and then not seen. I am apart of the fun and then hidden away from the crowd. It is a delicate balance honestly that only works when done with exact timing. It may sounds funny to hear it presented that way, but it is how I handle events.

I start by taking pictures of people coming in. gathering a few groups together, and then getting a few images of private moments caught with a flash of light. Then we move on to give people a few moments to move into the venue. Then we go to interact. I start to ask if I can take and image of small groups. I tend to make a joke or throw in the funny comment to keep the patrons laughing.

After getting several of these images I step back to get some of them interacting. Less images of the entire room, but more of them up close as if we were in the group of friends talking with them.

Soon we move on to the sit-down dinner part of the evening at which I try to get to each table to take a group shot before the food is served. You never take images of people eating, no one looks good stuffing their face. The band strikes up so I start to focus on them while others eat.

Soon the auction begins. This is honestly the first time I ever took pictures of an auction. I was a bit nervous, but I was saved by the auctioneer, Tom Crawford. Many of you know him as the morning news man on ABC News 4 here in Charleston, but this is how I met him for the first time. He works often as an auctioneer around town and is a pro at this job. He directed them laughing and cheering to the items that were offered with a smile. He then moved on to an cold call auction and I was amazed to see how easy the whole affair went.

At last the event ended and people started saying their good byes. I was able to make many great connections including Tom. This event will go down in my books as one of the most lively and fun events I have and will ever do. I am lucky to continue to meet amazing people in Charleston and to be just one small part of important moments.