I didn't think I'd ever heard of this photographer before, so I didn't know what to expect. I didn't even remember his name until I got into the room for the presentation and it was projected onto a screen. The photographer we went to see was Stephen Wilkes. In case you didn't know, Stephen Wilkes is the guy who took that Verizon network photo with the tons of people in it. Yeah, him.
He showed us some pictures he took in China many years ago, then some very nice photos he took in Ellis Island, and some more recent ones in China, and many, many more. He even had some portraits of horses. And with all of the photos he showed us, he told us the story of when and why he took them. How his assistant thought he saw a ghost in the measles ward in Ellis Island, and his guerilla tactic of snapping shots in China because the government there didn't want pictures being taken. When he got to his advertising work, he pointed to a box-like thing toward the back of one of the photos he took for IBM and said, "You see that little cart there? There's a funny story about that. It was the police, and they were coming to arrest me for taking pictures." Most of the things he showed us are on his website, but there were a few he said that he hadn't published anywhere yet.
Photography became about five times more interesting. That isn't the only presentation that will be there, either. Annie Leibovitz is coming to give one next week, and Vince and I are planning to go to that one too. Hopefully we can get there early enough to get seats.