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Join The Story

As a photographer, I thought I would give the leadership at a fresh perspective from the eyes of a first-timer to their Apex event, from behind the scenes. I ‘assumed’ early on that maybe their media team might be tasked or focused more on the kids, so I tried to find the holes in their coverage and capture something unique.

Someone taught me a long time ago what that word ‘assume’ really means… Suffice it to say I realized straight away that I was wrong. Their team was not only capable but gifted. In fact, so gifted that they could easily contract out for the type of high-end media coverage that you might find with a full-time production house.

Abraham could zoom by me on his Back to the Future electric skateboard and cover anything before I could even blink. With his camera on a gimbal, the shots were butter. He managed his team with great attention to detail, but he didn’t micromanage. He let each member of his team flex their talents and he trusted them.

When a moment called for an aerial shot, Michael was already on it, and there was his drone, hovering over our heads (except for that 15 seconds when someone who shall remain unnamed slammed it into a tree - I felt his pain).

Tamma has an amazing eye for angles in her video work. She says it’s just a hobby, but this woman has serious talent. I can say this with confidence because I’ve been doing this for a very long time. I’m not boasting, it’s just that after 20+ years, you know where to be, when, and how, to get that shot. Every time I went to capture something, she was either on her way to that exact spot or already there ahead of me. To pull that off, you have to be anticipating the light, the story, and where the action will be, all in a split second. Tamma met that challenge every time.

Atalie Bale handled the photography with two cameras hanging off her shoulders, and I often found myself relating very much with her. I’ve been in her shoes many times as a sea of people flowed all around. She swung between different camera rigs to catch just the right focal length, always moving, always studying. David and Stephen up in the control booth made the sound and lighting seem as if it just happens naturally and effortlessly. Finally, Jeddi pieced all the raw footage together long after everyone else went to bed, with a sleep schedule all his own, so that when people woke up the next morning there would be a magic video of yesterday’s highlights.

Incredible work all around.

The theme at this event was ‘Join the Story'. It really is exciting when you think about it, and more thrilling when you get to witness so many gifted people coming together for one mission. It gave me pause as I considered just how much impact that simple little word, to ‘join’, can have on the world.

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