US Grains Council Conference in Sacramento – Day 3

The US Grains Council’s 62nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento is in the books! It was another fantastic event. I am humbled and honored to be the official photographer for this amazing group.  Their destination conferences are always so informative and inspirational!!! Here are a few shots from the final Day 3…

US Grains Council Conference in Sacramento – Day 2

The US Grains Council’s 62nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento is in the books! It was another fantastic event. I am humbled and honored to be the official photographer for this amazing group.  Their destination conferences are always so informative and inspirational!!! Here are a few shots from Day 2…

US Grains Council Conference in Sacramento – Day 1

The US Grains Council’s 62nd Annual Board of Delegates Meeting at the Hyatt Regency Sacramento is in the books! It was another fantastic event. I am humbled and honored to be the official photographer for this amazing group.  Their destination conferences are always so informative and inspirational!!! Here are a few shots from Day 1…

New Orleans Greenscreen Event

We live in interesting times!!!

Photography certainly has evolved over the 40 years since I first got “hooked” with my Dad’s Pentax K1000. I photographed all through high-school as the senior yearbook photographer with that camera and a Rikoh KR-5, switching to the Pentax Program Plus and ME Super in college. I upgraded to medium format Mamiya 645 when I turned pro after college. When auto-focus technology arrived, I converted to Nikon N8008, N90, and F100. Things got really interesting when digital hit the scene. I was an early adopter with the D100, progressing to the D2x, D3, D4, D5, and many other variations in between. Most recently, the big change has been switching to mirrorless. I’m currently working with the Z9 and loving it!

But what’s really cool is how cameras and computers have become so integrated! Last week I had a fantastic time photographing a greenscreen event in New Orleans for one of our favorite clients, the US Grains Council! Similar to how the weatherman shows you the maps on TV, I used a green background that the computer would later drop out and replace with a digital background.  With my D5 tethered to one laptop, Lightroom would instantly import the image. Then a special program from the awesome team at Photo Party Upload would watch that “hot folder” and pop the image up in an intuitive kiosk app.  If the first laptop was still being used by the previous guest in the booth, I had a second laptop set up with the same kiosk app running on it for the next person to use.  After getting their picture made, guests would go to one of the kiosks to choose which background image they wanted, and use the touchscreen to pinch and zoom their photo, placing themselves in the “scene” wherever they wanted. Finally, they could instantly share the final image on social media, or simply email it to themselves.

It was so much fun watching everyone get creative and have fun with the system! 40 years ago, if you had told me I’d be doing this king of “magic” with today’s technology, I would have told you you were crazy!!! 🙂

Commodity Classic in New Orleans

The Commodity Classic is America’s largest farmer-led, farmer-focused agricultural & educational experience! It’s a massive 3-day event where farmers gather every year to find the answers, solutions, and information they need to gain greater clarity and vision for their farm’s success.

This weekend, I had the pleasure of photographing the 2022 conference and trade-show for the US Grains Council.  They are an amazing organization, focused on developing markets for American corn, barley, and sorghum…enabling trade…and improving lives. The 3-day program was held at the New Orleans Ernest N. Morial Convention Center. With over 7,000 attendees, it was a huge success!!!

(All images captured with Nikon Z9, Nikkor 24-70 f2.8 S, and Lexar XQD cards.)

US Grains Council 19th International Marketing Conference – Day 3

The 3rd and final day of the 19th International Marketing Conference and 62nd Annual Membership Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville was a time to celebrate!

All the Advisory Team Leaders shared the progress reports and final results from their intense break-out meetings. Recognition Awards for exemplary service were handed out to deserving recipients. And final words of inspiration were shared before the conference was finally adjourned.

It was an absolute pleasure being back in person, photographing another fabulous event for the US Grains Council!

US Grains Council 19th International Marketing Conference – Day 2

Day 2 of the 19th International Marketing Conference and 62nd Annual Membership Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville begin with some fantastic presentations. But the majority of the day was spent in break-out meetings, focusing on different sectors of the market.

That night, everyone got to blow off some steam during an off-site reception at the famous BBQ at Zen!

US Grains Council 19th International Marketing Conference – Day 1

Day 1 of the 19th International Marketing Conference and 62nd Annual Membership Meeting at the Hyatt Regency in Greenville started off with a bang!

A very full schedule included highlight appearances from Mayor Pro Tem of Greenville, Lillian Flemming…Ryan LeGrand, President and CEO of the USGC…Ambassador Katherine Tai…Jason Hafemeister, Acting Deputy Under Secretary for Trade and Foreign Agricultural Affairs…Sharon Yuan, President of The Asia Group…and many more!

A casual Welcome Reception Welcome Reception was held in Noma Square that evening so everyone could de-compress from the days events.

US Grains Council 19th International Marketing Conference – Day 0

Following two years of cancellations, postponements, virtual, and hybrid meetings, the US Grains Council was finally back to having in-person meetings!

The 19th International Marketing Conference and 62nd Annual Membership Meeting was held at the Hyatt Regency Greenville. The Greenville downtown area has been completely revitalized over the last decade. It’s a beautiful city, with tons to offer. And this year’s conference was held right in the middle of it!

Arriving in town the day before the conference began, I was able to photograph a wonderful reception hosted by the outgoing chairman of the board, Jim Raben. It was a wonderful evening at Jack n’ Diane’s Dualing Piano Bar. Spirits were high as everyone re-connected with one another, and prepared for the 3 days of intense presentations and meetings that lay ahead.

USGC 61st Board of Delegates Meeting – Day 3

Day 3 of the US Grains Council’s 61st Annual Board of Delegates Meeting kicked off with more meetings in the big conference room, including great presentations, awards ceremonies, and votes for new officers.

Then I got to switch gears and turn to photographing headshots of the new board members, plus group photos of the new board of directors. I used the Nikon D5 + 70-200 f2.8 with the new Godox X2T transmitter in connection with 6 of the V860II flashes.  For destination events, I carry the Manfrotto 5001B light-stands, which are super compact and great to travel with. The flashes worked beautifully, and everyone was fantastic to work with!

Once the portraits were done, I had to pack in a hurry and head to the airport to catch my flight home. The entire event was a HUGE success!!! Many thanks to the US Grains Council Staff for all their hard work putting everything together and making it run so smoothly.

USGC 61st Board of Delegates Meeting – Day 2

Day 2 of the US Grains Council’s 61st Annual Board of Delegates Meeting started off with headshots for some new staff members. I love meeting new people!!! 🙂

After that we had tons of presentations, both in person and virtually. This was the first year of hosting a “hybrid” meeting, in which most of the international staff and attendees couldn’t be there in person. Everything went incredibly well thanks to all the hard work and planning that had been put into the conference!

At the end of the day, everyone celebrated in an off-site event. The USGC hosted “A Taste of Des Moines” at Cowles Commons, which is a big beautiful square with fountains and gardens in the heart of the city. There was food, drinks, an amazing band…everyone had a fantastic time!

With Day 2 in the books, everyone headed back to the hotel to rest up and get ready for the big finale the following day.