NAFSA 2018 Annual Conference & Expo - Pennsylvania Convention Center

NAFSA held their annual conference in Philadelphia in 2018. I lived in Philadelphia for ten years, so it was fun to visit my old hometown and see what changes had taken place since I left in 1993.

I photographed the event over five days. As usual, NAFSA had some great speakers this year. Bill Nye, science ambassador and CEO of The Planetary Society, was the Wednesday plenary speaker. Renowned journalist and author Terry Gross was the final plenary speaker at the NAFSA 2018 Annual Conference & Expo in Philadelphia, delivering an insightful and inspiring address to NAFSA 2018 attendees on Friday,

IDEA World Conference in San Diego

This was the seventh IDEA World Conference that I have photographed and the second in San Diego.  The San Diego Convention Center is the best convention center in the country, in my opinion.  The weather, the close proximity to the water, the  hotels, and being a block away from downtown San Diego, make this a wonderful location for a conference.  The weather has a huge impact on the conference itself.  Because the temperatures are between 65 and 75 degrees everyday, and it rarely rains, you can plan activities outside with a high confidence that you will not be rained out, or sweat to death.  

I was able to photograph a half dozen events outside, two of which were on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier (which is just a few blocks from the Convention Center).  

Over 14,000 people attended this years convention.  During any time period there are dozens of events / sessions going on, and of course, there is the huge Expo Hall with hundreds of vendors and activities.  Trying to decide which events to photograph can be a challenge.  Outside sessions get very high priority.  You can't beat the fresh air, open space, and, of course, the great light.  There are a lot of great sessions on nutrition and the science of exercise and diet ... so often I am in a workshop and am totally engrossed in the presentation, but I have to leave to photograph another session ... I would love to go as a participant someday ... even for people who are not Personal Trainers, I think the conference would be extremely valuable if you are interested in nutrition, exercise, and health.  

A new addition to the conference was Les Mills Live.  WOW, their workouts were packed and the energy was amazing.  They started on Saturday morning at 8AM on the USS Midway Aircraft Carrier.  See the photos below, but photographing 800 people going through high energy workouts on the Midway was incredible.  Les Mills Live moved to the convention center and the high energy workouts continued but now with an amazing light show to help pump up the attendees.

Chris and Heidi Powell from ABC's Extreme Weight Loss were the recipients of the prestigious IDEA Jack LaLanne Award.  They were so appreciative of the award, and afterwards they led a workout session and lectures.  They were very kind and genuine people, and made themselves available to the attendees for pictures and discussion. I even got a photograph with them!

 

 

IDEA Personal Trainer Institute - Alexandria, VA 2018

The IDEA Personal Trainer Institute is for personal trainers, fitness professionals, owners and managers. They learn how to take their business and training skills to new heights. IDEA Personal Trainer Institute is where industry leaders demonstrate how they secure client and business success. The workshops include sessions on fitness assessment and program design to social media marketing and staff management.

I have been photographing this event for eight years and it is always exciting.  In addition to taking live photographs of the workshops and lectures, we also set up a photo studio in one of the conference rooms and do "staged" shots of trainers in action.  

Their annual conference is in San Diego this year and it will probably have over 10,000 fitness professionals in attendance.  I will be there as well.  This will be the third time that I have photographed a conference in San Diego, and it is one of the nicest locations in the country.  More information on the conference can be found at the IDEA Home Page.

Bank of America Northeast Washington, DC Financial Center Grand Re-Opening - Community Focused Financial Center

Bank of America remodeled and reopened their financial center at 722 H St NE, Washington, DC. This bank has been around for decades.  Bank of America is trying to recast the bank from just being a place to make deposits and cash checks, into more of a community center.  They have add iPads that customers can use and a small lounge area where they can relax and recharge their phones.  

There was free food, a band, balloons and a ribbon cutting to mark the reopening.  

IDEA World Convention - Las Vegas, NV - The Super Bowl of Fitness

This year was my seventh year photographing the IDEA World Convention.  This is the first time the convention was held in Las Vegas in 10 years.  It is always a great convention to photograph because of all the energy and activity that the 10,000 participants bring to the event.  The best fitness professionals in the world are at this convention, such as Tony Horton, Todd Durkin,  Bennie Wylie, and Cassie Ho. 

Commencement Ceremony at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC

I had the opportunity to photograph the second Jack Welch Management Institute graduation ceremony that was held at the Andrew Mellon Auditorium in Washington, DC.  The keynote speaker was David Zaslav, CEO of Discovery Communications.  It was a very interesting keynote in that David Zaslav actually worked for Jack Welch at GE, so he was able to discuss real world lessons that he learned from Welch during his time at GE.  

2017 NAFSA Annual Conference & Expo in Los Angeles, CA

This was my sixth year photographing theNAFSA Annual Conference & Expo.  NAFSA: Association of International Educators is the leading organization committed to international education and exchange, working to advance policies and practices that build global citizens with the knowledge and skills they need to succeed in today's interconnected world.

Given recent changes to immigration policies, this was a very interesting and busy year for this year's attendees.  The plenary keynote speakers came from a very diverse background such as Kareem Abdul-Jabbar, Abigail Disney, and the first Muslim woman to win the Nobel Peace Prize, Shirin Ebadi,

IDEA Personal Trainer Institute - Bethesda, MD

I believe this is the seventh year that I have photographed the IDEA Personal Trainer Institute that is held every year in the Washington, DC area. 

Personal trainers, fitness professionals, owners and managers: learn what it takes to truly take their business and training skills to new heights. IDEA Personal Trainer Institute is where industry leaders show how they secure client and business success. From fitness assessment and program design to social media marketing and staff management.

This year it was held at the Marriott Conference Center in Bethesda, MD.  It was nice to photograph the event in a new facility.  

We setup a small studio in one of the hotel conference rooms every year to produce images that we hope will end up on the cover of next year's brochure and also to to be used for other marketing purposes.  Most of the time during the two days that I am photographing the event I am in live sessions capturing the action as it happens. 

GRAND OPENING - Henry's Sweet Retreat - Bethesda, MD.

Henry's Sweet Retreat is a candy market and dessert bar in Bethesda, MD.  Henry's is a modern version of a traditional candy store, plus much more. 

They had their Grand Opening on November 4, 2016.  The owners, Patty and Tom Craver, asked me to come by and photograph the store, the colorful candy, the baked goods, and the festivities. 

IDEA WORLD Personal Trainer Conference

Another great year at the 2016 IDEA World Personal Trainer Conference at the Los Angeles Convention Center.   This was my sixth IDEA World conference to photograph.  Next year will be their 35th anniversary and they will be holding the conference in Las Vegas.  That should be exciting to photograph.

This years conference included presentations / workouts from Todd Durkin, Jack Canfield, Cassey Ho, and Jillian Michaels.

Photographing this event is more like covering a sporting event like track and field, football, or basketball. You always have to anticipate where the action is going to occur and take the photograph a split second before it happens.

You can view all the photos I took at the conference by going here: http://photos.lenspoden.com/ideaworldla2016public .