News and Views from Dave Wilson

Archive for May 1st, 2009

Jeanette Walls at Caritas Luncheon

by on May.01, 2009, under Photography

I spent a couple of hours this past Wednesday volunteering as photographer at a major Caritas fundraiser at the Austin Convention Center – an 800-person lunch held in a huge upstairs ballroom. The guest speaker this year was Jeanette Walls, onetime MSNBC.com gossip columnist and author of the bestselling book “The Glass Castle”, a memoir of her childhood, growing up in poverty with eccentric, nomadic parents. Ms Walls spoke extremely well, engaging the attendees with a collection of both funny and shocking stories. As an advocate for the work of Caritas, they could have found no better speaker.

From a photographic perspective, this was a tricky assignment for me. Last year’s event was held in a different venue and people milled around the hotel atrium prior to the lunch allowing me to take photos in a fairly well-lit environment with decent backgrounds. This year, however, the attendees were shepherded into the ballroom to see various art exhibits very early so most of the photos had to be taken in a cavernous and very poorly lit space and, worse, while sitting around the lunch tables. The art exhibit was interesting but all the pieces were exhibited in front of a strange, reflective diamond-plate paneling which made use of flash somewhat hit-or-miss. Despite the difficulties, I ended up with around 100 pictures that Caritas can use in publicity and this is one of my favourites.

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