As the last of 2012 comes closer I often find myself in the morning, sometimes early, taking some time to clear my thoughts and reflect on the year just past and the time ahead. It’s all too easy to get overwhelmed it seems, worrying over money or work and the day to day tasks that are always surrounding us. I find it worthwhile, especially at this time of year to get outdoors; breathing the cold Midwestern air and walking to clear my head. Because I live close to a forest preserve in Chicago I usually go there. This is where I meditate in silence on the world before me without having to be analytically control my thoughts. I try to let the natural world serve as a foundation for bringing me a sense of peace and perspective on life. It is something I deeply value.
As I look back at my last blog entry in August (!) I was set to start a busy Fall season of work. As it turned out it was almost too busy to handle. I had to say goodbye to my long time office manger and find a replacement. As any employer will tell you, finding the right support staff is critical and difficult. I will attest to that ! I did find someone to help with managing my office but it was ” late in the game” as the saying goes. Paperwork in general had piled up and I knew I was lucky to finally find someone I could trust.
In September , October and throughout the rest of this year’s schedule, I had a number of different events and went everywhere from Brussels to Houston to Detroit as well as handled many assignments here in Chicago. I worked on such diverse assignments as The National CREW conference here in Chicago to the Annual Global Auto Logistics Show in Detroit for UltimaMedia Group in the UK.
I had a number of repeat clients including The Chicago Midwest TMA for their Annual Winter Meeting and FFI’s Annual Global meeting in Belgium. Newer clients like The Laser Institute of America and The Global Food Protection Institute were interesting change of pace events for me. I was set to finish off the year with a trip to India for another regular client but due to some logistical problems it fell through at the last minute. The meeting is rescheduled for next December.
Here are just a few highlights from the events this last half of the year:
I thought I would have the time last month to update my blog and found, once again, that I couldn’t manage to do that.
June was remarkably busy with seven different conferences that found me with no more than three days off that month as I went from two conferences in California starting at the end of May into two different conferences in Paris then a conference in Dublin and then finally back to Chicago for two more conferences. I pushed myself and my equipment to it’s limits in terms of capabilities. It was demanding, fun and quite intense.
The clients ranged from new clients such as The European Anesthesiology Society and The Human Variome Project’s Bi-Annual International meeting at UNESCO’s offices; both of which were in Paris to my regular client The Association Of Nurse-Midwives in Long Beach California and The Annual American Optometric Association Meeting in my hometown of Chicago.
I had a lot of follow-up work to do in July and I had an assignment less than a week after I returned for Pennwell conferences: The HydroVision International conference in Louisville, Kentucky. With my associates Jeff Callen and Warren Perlstein image processing and or photographing the events with me, it was a marathon of image work.
As I begin to prepare for my next two events this month I am expecting yet another busy and productive Autumn season ahead.
Here are just a few of the images I created during my travels.
This seems to be the year of back to back conference events. My last two events were separated by less than twenty-four hours.
I went to San Antonio almost two weeks ago for my long-time client; The Industrial Supply Association . The event was a great networking event for professionals in the distribution and industrial supply fields and the attendees are always ready to get down to business of connecting and making deals with each other.
The day after I finished that conference I flew to Denver for the second time this year. I photographed for the second time, the International Airport Cities conference ; an event devoted to engaging attendees in the airport infrastructure continuum with the best practices and skills needed to meet the challenges of airport business here in the US as well as around the world. Professor John Karsada, whose theories and writings developed the ideas of the Aerotropolis was, again one of the main speakers at the conference. The event was organized by the exceptional UK based events team of Insight Media.
In January and most of February I spent my time doing the usual things I devote myself to at the start of each year. I organize my office, work on taxes and try to plan my work schedule for the coming year. I prefer to rest and not travel in February but this year I was offered an assignment in Minneapolis. Of course I had to take it. I love revisiting my college and the many friends I still have in the Cities. The client was a very intriguing ; The National Court Management Association. And as it turned out the weather was unseasonably warm in Minneapolis so all the attendees and locals were surprised by the good fortune of the warm weather.
It’s been a hectic close to this year’s activities. I started with The Annual TMA Midwest Executive Forum event. This year’s speaker was Dr. Condoleezza Rice. I found her gracious and articulate but somewhat like last year’s speaker, Tony Blair… let me explain… I was too busy concentrating on my job creating images during the evening and setting-up a portrait studio configuration for Dr. Rice and certain guests to have their picture taken at the after dinner reception… to tell you what she said during her dinner speech.
The event was on Thursday and On Saturday I photographed the Annual Indiana Society Of Chicago’s Dinner. As usual the venue was The Fairmont Hotel. Another great evening was enjoyed by all attendees with this year’s honoree being Indiana State University with a salute also to the City of Terre Haute, Indiana.
I made it home by Midnight after the evening finished and boarded a flight to Phoenix , Arizona for this year’s Grid-Interop conference, a four day long conference on the business and scientific fundamentals of our nation’s electrical grid infrastructure.
There are numerous loose-ends to tie up with several other projects and assignments before the end of the year but I am looking forward to some rest in January and some work on taxes for this year (my least favorite part of running my company) .
As I type this I will also be purchasing a new MAC desktop computer that should take me through the next couple of years of business before it must be upgraded and replaced. That too is a constant in my business, continual upgrading and relearning the functions of new software and related image-making programs. I certainly had no idea it was as much work as I tend to do now. Live and learn. I’m still asked by attendees at conferences throughout the year-if I miss film…or prefer digital to film. I usually reply I still have mixed feelings. The technology of film and traditional camera systems was a hundred years in development-things moved at a slow pace compared to today’s blur of digital re-invention. Having to upgrade and relearn my tools more frequently certainly is frustrating but offers me more choice and greater control. Either way one looks at it; technology is always in flux and one has to at the very least be prepared to learn it and to integrate it’s applications in one’s life and business to some degree. There’s really nowhere else to go but forwards.
It’s been a busy month of November. I started out in Houston for a new client; the CWC Group out of the UK to document the World Shale Oil and Gas conference. It was a pleasure to work with their staff and I truly enjoyed learning about the shape of the energy industry and the immense possibilities for new sources of energy that will reshape the way our world will function in the years to come.
After a short personal break I returned to work on the National Hemophilia Foundation Conference based this year in my hometown of Chicago. I finished supporting my associates who I hired to work on the first part of the event creating and printing family and group photos at the Grifols Booth. That again was a real pleasure as both my associates and I loved interacting with the attendees and making these instant images on-site then printing them on our dye-sub printer.
Then , before a week passed, I was back at the same Hotel, the Hyatt Regency Chicago for the Annual IASB/ISBO/IASA conference. Attendance this year was up again to well over 12’000 attendees I believe.
Next week: The Annual Mid-Winter TMA conference in Chicago with Condoleezza Rice as the guest speaker. That should be very interesting !
After I had taken a few weeks off to organize my office I had a small conference for ISPE (International Society For Pharmacoepidemiology). I had another two week break after that conference to work on organizing my customer data and computer files along with email consolidation and more paperwork (it never ends…) .Then before I knew it I left for Washington DC to work on Gridweek 2011. Another fascinating exploration of the Electrical Grid systems in place and in development in the USA and around the world. There was a large group of Indian delegates this year and they offered a unique perspective of developing electrical infrastructures overseas. Then it was back to Chicago for the Inaugural VEINS conference at the JW Marriott Hotel. It’s always a challenge to create a first event but Ashleigh Brinkman and her co-workers at The Prairie Education and Research Cooperative pulled it off without a problem and attendance was better than they had expected with lots of exhibitors .
And then closing out the month was the Annual Automotive Logistics North American conference at The Henry Hotel in Detroit. The UltimaMedia events team made all the events move smoothly as usual. Then it was back to paperwork and bookkeeping.
I had a lot of family business to take care of too. My parents are getting old and need more care as time goes on so that tends to occupy my days often. Thankfully the rest of the year is well booked at this point so I am concentrating my efforts on solidifying work with clients for next year. And preparing for more office work with the new computer system I will be getting next month.
After my recent assignment in Maryland for The Society Of College and University Planners I decided I had to take some time off to concentrate on organizing my office. I left for Europe for a vacation prior to that and basically left a lot of papers and disorder to be dealt with when I got back. My office manager was also on a long vacation break so things started to pile up rapidly. I am always amazed how much paper and electronic information tends to accumulate ! Now we are slowly getting through it all so I feel a sense of relief. And yet, there’s always more to do.
I thankfully have a break of another two weeks before I leave for Washington, DC. area again for another of my clients; CLASMA. Their particular niche is events concerning Electric Grid systems. I ‘ll be looking forward to Gridweek 2011.