There are rock stars then there are the rock stars of the technology world. I had the absolute pleasure of photographing the Turing Awards this year at the Westin St. Francis. The speakers and honorees are people who have changed the lives of all of us. This year’s winner, Tim Berners-Lee, created the world wide web. Yes, THAT www.
It was a most intense two days. In all my time doing event photography, this event totally kicked my butt. I learned so much though while listening to the talks and chatting with some of the previous winners. The Turing Award is the most prestigious award in the tech industry. Think Nobel Peace Prize for geeks. I had such a lovely time meeting them and watching how some, especially Don Knuth, were like rock stars with groupies! After Don’s lecture, he was just inundated with people wanting to talk to him and get photographs with him. For me, what was most endearing about him, was that I had been sitting by him in the front row for a bit when he was leaning over the chair taking a nap. The first image below, was how the event started. See, it was Vint Cerf’s birthday and they opened with everyone singing Happy Birthday to him. I think he was a little embarrassed but secretly loved it.
I love what I do. Sometimes, it is simple and straight forward. Sometimes, it takes me down roads I could never imagine with challenges that keep me on my toes. Both roads are good. Both roads are actually GREAT. Do what you love so that you can love what you do. This event had seriousness, hilariousness, laughter and camaraderie that only these world changing people can do.
And in a final show of wonderful people at the Turing Awards, Vint made a point of telling me I had done a great job the past two days as he was leaving the final event. That just takes the cake for me in my experience with event photography.