The Secret Project is...

Well it's over. I am back and maybe you've already heard about this project from the blogs, twitters, and Facebook postings of many of the top photographers in the world that were present.

The event was a monumental feat - the gathering of 20 of the best-known wedding photographers in the industry for a charitable project: Divide them into 2 teams and give them 24 hours to concept, script, shoot, edit, and complete a 10 minute video that relates to photography. No rules, (well there were some), no holds-barred. The resulting videos will be given to the popular vote and the winning team receives big money to donate to their assigned Charity. I was on team Thirst Relief. The losers...er, uh, I mean the other team was raising money for Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep. Both extremely worthy causes. Be sure to watch the behind the scenes "reality show" video of the process, which will be shown in the weeks leading up to WPPI 2009. The final videos will be shown just before WPPI. Sponsors of the event were: Microsoft Expression Media 2, Triple Scoop Music, Asuka Book, Kubota Image Tools, ShowIt Sites, Photographers' Edit, and Loktah. The website for the videos will be given out soon.

We had a blast and came up with some hilarious videos! I can't tell you much more about it, but if you're in to photography, you'll need a lower back support cause the laughing could cause kidney damage.

The teams were:

Team A: David Jay, Dane Sanders, Kevin Kubota, Kenny Kim, Jenn & Steve Bebb, Bronson Pate, Chris Humphreys, Alisha Todd, Robert Evans, Becker, and Jules Bianchi.
Charity: Thirst Relief

Team B: Jasmine Star, Gene Higa, Jim Garner, Joe Photo, Bambi Cantrell, Ann Hamilton, Kate Humphreys, Catherine Hell, Brook Todd and Michele Celantano
Charity: Now I Lay Me Down to Sleep

I did not blog, twitter, or Facebook about it during the event because I was trying my best to be "in the moment", which I believe I could still be better at. On the other hand, I realize how great it is to be able to give blow-by-blow updates to those who aren't there, and I struggle with finding a balance between being present and timeliness.

In fact, I had an epiphany while recalling a moment from the event where myself and several other photographers were sitting around relaxing in between scenes and EACH and every one of us had an iPhone up in front of us - twittering, blogging, emailing, and facebooking. We could have been catching up with each other, sharing stories, or getting to know each other better. We did not take advantage of this once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to be present with each other, instead we told the world that wasn't there about it. Which is better? I am as guilty as anyone else. I learned many valuable lessons from this project - this being one of them.

Bottom line, though, is that this was a fantastic project and I hope it raises the awareness for the charities involved. Oh, and don't forget to vote for our video when it comes out!

Here are some images from the event. A big thank you to Jules Bianchi and Joy Bianchi for the fabulous photos and the collage.