Wrapping up 2017 entailed some time off with friends, family and plenty of well-earned downtime.  I had a chance to catch up on some reading (I recommend Quiet by Susan Cain) and throw myself into a Netflix binge of which I refuse to divulge the shows I was watching due to potential embarrassment.  Before you think less of me, it was not Fuller House.  

A week into an incredibly frigid January, where I had not left the house for several days due to the 10 below temps and accompanying windchills that pushed me and my puppy into hermit status, I was happy to dress myself in the appropriate ensemble of black shirt, black jacket, black pants, black shoes and make my way to the Hyatt Regency in downtown Chicago for two challenging and fun days of event photography for their corporate sales and event managers’ meeting.  

As a Chicago event photographer, I have covered many meetings at the Hyatt and also photographed a few environmental portraits for various hospitality magazines in their beautiful, skylit lobby so it’s one of my favorite hotels in the city to shoot in.  So, I was excited to be called in by their event manager to cover their annual meeting where the focus would be on not only the speakers, attendees and candid images but also highlighting the room set-ups, food, beverages and in general wonderful spreads that the Hyatt Regency Chicago consistently delivers.  And they surely did not disappoint.

 

 

Above: The theme of the meeting focused on the Chicago seasons, history and fun things the city has to offer.  In the morning meeting, the color scheme reflected our wintry season complete with couches and blankets.  The evening reception hosted in the lobby restaurant was based on a Zoo theme (think Lincoln Park Zoo-one of the oldest zoos in North America and also free admission).  The tables were dressed with various animals made of stretched bamboo and gigantic trees walked their way through the reception.  Click on any image for a larger preview.

 

 

Above: The breakfast selection that was offered made me want to be an attendee at this meeting as breakfast is simply the best meal of the day.  The chefs had pulled together everything from fresh smoothies, to lox and bagels, breakfast sandwiches, beautiful fruit and nut selections as well as a variety of incredible looking pastries and homemade granola.  The morning meeting included a presentation from former NFL quarterback Tom Flick who kept the audience engaged with his thoughtful and often pretty funny presentation.  Lunch was all Chicago.  The cities’ neighborhoods and their foods were represented including Greektown, Chinatown, Pilsen and Devon Avenue.  Then it was off to the afternoon sessions where smaller groups got together to dive deeper into discussions.  Click on any image for a larger preview.

 

 

Above: The last night wrapped up with an evening reception that was a throwback to the Chicago that most everyone is familiar with through movies and historical figures.  Think Blues Brothers, prohibition and flapper girls who loved their boas and their jazz.  The set-up was beautifully lit, the food looked fantastic and the entertainment was certainly amusing with a Blues Brothers tribute band who played like they were on a mission from God and vaudevillian dancers from the musical Chicago.  And of course, there is always dancing when a cover from Wild Cherry comes on.  Click on any image for a larger preview.

A great introduction to 2018!  A new client.  Fantastic people to work with.  A beautiful event. And awesome images as a result (said humbly).  Here’s to the new year!