Friday, March 13, 2009

Woodland Park Zoo...Thrive 2009 featuring Ed Begley Jr.!

Last night I was honored to photograph one of my favorite annual events with my friend Ryan Hawk. The charity event was Woodland Park Zoo's "Thrive." Thrive is first class all the way. It is an important fundraiser for the Zoo and they really go all out.

Making his grand entrance riding a bicycle up to the stage, Ed Begley Jr. set the tone for the evening right off the bat with the message that there are many ways individuals can contribute to our environment in a positive way that will collectively create change. The man puts his money where his mouth is too. While he admitted he didn't actually ride his bike all the way up from LA, he did drive his wife's Prius spending just $50 on gas rather than flying up. According to his wife, these kinds of decisions aren't necessarily because he cares deeply for the environment (which he does) but actually because he is a "very cheap man." :) I thought that was pretty funny but it also made a good point, you can reduce your impact on the environment and your wallet at the exact same time.

His message was strong, poignant, funny and effective. In a nutshell, don't wait for the Government or big business to make a difference in our environment and don't assume it is already too far gone to be worth the effort, instead live life more simply and get to know your world in a friendly way. One point he made that really hit home was that kids in a study could only identify a handful of plants and trees but knew on site without words the logo's of hundreds of corporations. That's a bit bass-ackwards and really should change.

So the generous donors of Seattle were treated to what looked like an incredible dinner, some good cocktails and a good time. I hope that the zoo was able to raise a lot of money and that everyone had a good time.

I was thrilled and honored that two of the banners framing the stage featured my photo's as well as the cover of the donor book and the the paper the donations were written out on. Too cool! I know it's silly but I do get very proud when I see my work prominently displayed like that. Thanks WPZ for such great opportunities!

Guests were sat at beautifully decorated tables and given a copy of Ed Begley Jr.'s book Living Like Ed.
Zoo staff was walking throughout the crowd trying to scare everyone they could by sneaking up on them with large reptiles. Thank goodness there was a defibrillator nearby! :) Just kidding of course.
I had all of about 15 seconds to set this shot up. I think it came out pretty good.
The Zoo seriously knows how to host a charity event! Check this place out!
Woodland Park Zoo President and CEO Deborah Jensen on stage talking about the Zoo.
Here is Dan Evans Jr. showing the crowd the card for their donation amounts to be written on...isn't that a beautiful photo on the card? :)
Ed Begley Jr. making his grand entrance riding a bicycle through the crowd.

I think they did an amazing job with the plants and displays throughout the hotel but I think the branches behind the stage looked especially cool.

I love the light in this shot. It's always fun to take advantage of stage lighting. Makes my job so much easier.
I had to throw this shot is Ed pointing at my photo's on the banners on display. OK, he wasn't actually pointing them out but it kind of looks that way so that's my story and I'm sticking to it :)

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