On November 30th I photographed the 2006 networking conference for Tutor-Mentor Connections. I arrived at the downown Chicago Depaul University campus at about 11am and marched right through the Borders book store on the first floor without hesitation, carrying my tripod in hand. The mentoring conference was to be held on the eighth floor. I had no idea what to expect and yet I was not very nervous at all. I knew I had a job to do, and I was prepared. Using a tripod for this event would ensure that I would not have to deal with the camea shaking in my hand. The shutter was at 1/10 at first. Gradually, I pulled it back to 1/15. That seemed to work best. I went to the front row of the conference room and set up to shoot.
The funny thing about it was that most of the people in the room had no idea what I was doing there. They probably tought I was some kind of nutjob at first. It had been months since I'd had enough extra money for a haircut, so my hair was all wild and messy while I was casually walking through the doors unannounced. For the first few shots, the main subjects were looking directly at the camera. I did not like the attention. My opinion was that this event was not about me or my pictures, it was about them. More specifically, it was about a very important cause that they were willing to meet so early in the morning for. Thankfully, the speakers got the message soon afterwards and began to act more natural. The big challenge with taking these pictures was getting the camera moved quickly enough to take the right shots. I made sure to take more than one for each position.
The campus facilities themselves were very large and expansive. The views from the eight floor windows were awesome.