Posted on April 29, 2013
I was hired to photograph the 2013 Color Vibe Akron 5k took place on April 27th at the Summit County Fairgrounds. From looking at the photos, you can tell this wasn’t your run-of-the-mill 5k run. Participants of the Color Vibe 5k are guaranteed an event unlike any run they’ve probably ever taken part in. With over 8,000 runners showing up the morning of the run, the fairgrounds were full and lively well before the run got under way.
Being April in northeastern Ohio, the weather is always a gamble with an outdoor event, but nature was kind to us and we had the most outstanding conditions imaginable. In the morning it was bright and clear and about 45 degrees, but the sun quickly warmed things up and everybody was in t-shirts before the first wave of runners hit the course. Every participant is given a white event t-shirt and a pair of Color Vibe sunglasses. These aren’t simply to look cool, but the white shirt gives the perfect canvas for the brilliant colors, that are the event’s namesake, to be painted on. The sunglasses look fun, but also protect the wearer from getting a blast of color in the eyes. The colored power itself is nothing more than cornstarch with a biodegradable pigment which is made in the USA and is safe for the participants and the environment (and hopefully for camera gear).
At the staging area, runners are given bags containing the colored powder and they began dousing themselves and others with bright, fun designs, or simply tossing it in the air and letting the cloud waft color onto everybody surrounding them. Upbeat music is pumped out by a DJ the entire day and keeps the entire event feeling like a giant neon-colored party. Runners were let off in waves of 1,000 at a time and start at an easy jog. They proceed though multiple “color stations” where event volunteers are waiting with truckloads of different colored powder to be squirted, lobbed, tossed and wafted onto the passing event participants. Runners can decide to go directly through the thick of the color station and get the full dousing of powder, or if they’ve had enough color for the time being, they can go to the outside and skip that particular color station.
At the end of the 5k, plenty of water was available for the runners and the DJ really ramped up the party atmosphere. Free prizes were thrown into the crowd and participants could join in the dancing and partying or decide to sit under the shade of a nearby tree and relax their painted and (possibly) tired bodies.
Throughout the entire Color Vibe 5k, the event organizers were easy to spot for runners with questions and all the corresponding stations were well marked with large flags. The party atmosphere was never tense and everybody was enjoying their time at this one-of-a-kind event. For next year’s 2014 Color Vibe 5k, the event will be moved to a larger venue to accommodate an even larger number of participants.
More information about upcoming Color Vibe runs can be found at www.TheColorVibe.com.
Posted on April 23, 2013
I was honored recently to be asked to photograph the 50th wedding anniversary of Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz at the MAPS Air Museum in Canton, OH. The parents of a good friend of mine, they have enjoyed a half century of good health and a large family of five children.
Mr. Schwartz serves of the board at the MAPS Air Museum and is highly respected there. He was able to arrange the use of the main hanger at the Museum to house the large, and happy celebration that lasted the entire afternoon and into the night. Banks of large windows let in bright sunlight that showed the air power of the United States in years past and toward the present, presenting a backdrop to the event that few other events can top.
My job at the event was to capture the happy atmosphere that was present and the feeling of the party at such an impressive location. We also had the idea of setting up a photo booth that allowed me to photograph people and have their photos printed on-location and inserted into a frame, giving the guests a physical reminder of the event. I chose a location directly in front of a large Navy prop plane because I liked the light from the windows near it and the way that this particular plane had it’s engines and cockpit near each other, allowing me to capture both in-frame while at the same time being close to the guests.
After night fell, I lit the plane and guests with off-camera strobes, which looked beautiful.
The cake topper was the same one used 50 years ago, I was sure to capture it as well as the ceremonial cake eating, although there was no cake smeared on each others face. The staff at the MAPS Air Museum was first-class. When guests wondered around the celebration, there was no shortage of fascinating history to read abut or displays to look over. Before dinner I went from table to table photographing the guests for the happy couple and there was no shortage of kind words and compliments for the family or the entire event. Compliments to the Schwartz family for putting on such a wonderful event and for Mr. and Mrs. Schwartz 50 years of wedded bliss.
Posted on March 1, 2013
The premise of the party was a murder was committed in the library of a beautiful Italian museum and the guests had to determine amongst themselves who was the killer. Every guest was given an alternate personality for the evening and had to stay in character for the duration of the party. All the guests arrived dressed in beautiful costumes and immediately began their role as one of the murder suspects.
The organizers of the event, Mr. Sommer’s wonderful family, spent tremendous energy and effort in decorating the party to be a tasteful mix of masculinity and elegance. With many of the party decorations sourced directly from the forest surrounding their own spacious ranch, the decor was stately and rustic and looked very solid and genuine.
There was a beautiful 4’x5′ reproduction of a golden staircase that served as the backdrop for portraits of the guests and as a centerpiece to enhance the feel of an Italian museum, where the “murder” was to have happened.
Throughout the night the guests had a wonderful time interrogating each other and being interrogated. Much laughter and fun was had by everybody in attendance. Because of the format of the party, guests were forced to talk to everybody else in attendance and this produced a very warm and friendly atmosphere for the entire event.
Congratulations to Mr. Sommer and his wonderful family for hosting an amazing and successful dinner and birthday party.