Wednesday, May 21, 2014

2014 PIIN Banquet

The 2014 banquet for the Pennsylvania Interfaith Impact Network (PIIN) was held this past Sunday at the Westin Convention Center Hotel.  This is my second year photographing the event.  PIIN is an alliance of religious groups, organized labor, and others engaged in social activism.

Photos from the event can be found HERE.

Sunday, May 18, 2014

Celebration of Friends

Paul Richard Wossidlo Photography: Celebration of Friends &emdash; Last Thursday I photographed the annual "Celebration of Friends" presentation put on by the Friendship Circle of Pittsburgh, which was held at the JCC in Squirrel Hill.

Friendship Circle is a non-profit organization that unites high-school age Jewish teens with young members of the Jewish disabled community.  My son KJ, who has autism, has been attending for several years.  There are a variety of sponsored activities that support a wide range of interests.  KJ always looks forward to getting the postcard in the mail announcing upcoming activities.

Last Thursday's presentation was an end of year wrap up to recognize everyone's efforts.  Especially those students who are graduating seniors, and will be moving on from Friendship Circle.  This year's colors are purple and gold, as you can tell from the photos.

Photos from the event can be found here.   The password is "volunteers", because they are the ones who make Friendship Circle work as well as it does.

Wednesday, May 7, 2014

The Pittsburgh Marathon

Paul Richard Wossidlo Photography: Pittsburgh Marathon &emdash; Sunday, May 4th, was the Pittsburgh Marathon. I was lucky enough to get a chance to photograph it this year.

For the last couple of years I've been working for a national company that photographs graduation and commencement ceremonies around the country. They have a sister division that covers major marathons and similar events. I was contacted mid-week because they needed additional photographers to help cover the Pittsburgh Marathon.  This is a huge production from the photography side.  They had a total of 37 photographers, and they expected to have over a quarter-million photos when we were finished.

My assignment was to photograph the runners after the race, in front of a Pittsburgh Marathon backdrop. There were ten of us assigned to do this, each with our own backdrop set up after the finish line. As the runners finished, we invited them to come over for an official portrait. Having 10 stations meant the runners shouldn't have to wait long. This type of assignment doesn't depend on a photographer's technical expertise. But it does depend on the photographer's ability to interact with their subject and get a great photo quickly. I found that a simple "How'd you do?" was a great way to start (they just finished a race, after all).

Things started rather slowly, but once more people started finishing, we got very busy, very quickly.  All 10 backdrops had multiple runners waiting to get their photo taken.  The most amazing moment for me: photographing a woman who was 5 months pregnant and still completed the race!   The weirdest/funniest moment was the two girls who came up for a photo together, and they couldn't decide which was their good side.   Really??? You just finished running 13  miles.   Your "good side" disappeared 10 miles ago!

Things were going smoothly for the first three hours, then the wind started to pick up, amplified by the concrete canyon we were in.  Our backdrops were attached to PVC frames, which were zip-tied to the temporary crowd-control fences that were set up.  The backdrops were like giant sails, and one by one they blew over, until only two of the original ten were still standing.

Thus ended my day photographing the Pittsburgh Marathon.  All in all, a great time, and I wouldn't hesitate to do it again.

Friday, May 2, 2014

Spectrum Charter School 15th Anniversary Dinner

Paul Richard Wossidlo Photography: Spectrum 15th Anniversary &emdash; This past weekend was the fifteenth anniversary for Spectrum Charter School in Monroeville.  Spectrum is a high school specifically set up for autistic students, and my son KJ is graduating from there this year.  The dinner was both a fundraiser for the school (with a variety of raffle and silent auction items), as well as an opportunity to recognize board members, staff, students (past and present), and their parents.  The food was excellent, and everyone had a great time.  Of course, they asked me to photograph the event for them.  Photos from the event can be found HERE. The password is "puzzle".