Photo by Jay Mark Johnson. http://www.photola.com.
A friend, Madoka, from Photo 2 (Photo Darkroom) class sent an email to my former classmates earlier this week about volunteering at PhotoLA. I hadn’t a clue what that was but I love photography and volunteering so I decided to sign up as well with my friend Jack.
After picking her up, Madoka and I arrived at PhotoLA and found our way to the second floor of the building to find a huge photography exhibition. There we met Chris, the floor manager, and his son, Cadmar, who gave us our volunteer shirts, badges, and instructions.
I started off greeting and taking tickets and learning from another volunteer. It was a lot of fun seeing new faces and welcoming all of the people who were excited to see the photography and installations and listen to lectures.
Later in the day, I was moved to checking badges at the VIP lounge. The location of the lounge was absolutely perfect. It was in the center of the entire exhibition as opposed to being in a cramped corner. Inside, VIP guests were given complimentary cappuccinos and expressos, a bottle of soda, and pastries. There were two tables where people could chat or photographers could show potential buyers their portfolios. In addition to the VIP lounge, VIP guests were also allowed to go into all of the lectures they desired for the flat rate instead of purchasing each lecture separately. If I weren’t volunteering, I would have purchased the VIP ticket and came everyday of PhotoLA.
Towards the end of the day, Jack, Madoka and I looked through the hundreds of photographs and met a number of incredible people. We stopped by Santa Monica College’s booth were we talked with our former Photo 2 instructor, Steve Moulton. It was time to head home- so we gathered our belongings and headed home.
Rising the next morning, Jack and I were excited for today’s adventure again at PhotoLA. After I picked up my other friends we headed to Los Angeles. Today was even better than the previous day. I interacted with the volunteers even more and it felt like a family with all of the people I was around. It was our second day so we were “in the know” and knew our jobs inside and out. I was able to go through the exhibition by myself and take my time looking at work and talking with people.
At the end of the day we took some pictures and hugged one another not to say goodbye but just to see them “next time” because we are going to continue to stay in touch.
The atmosphere at this event is fun, upbeat and very clean. I was filled in a room with people who enjoy photography and socializing and everyone I came across was very kind, intriguing, and full of stories.
I had a marvelous time, if you live in Los Angeles, California and love photography, socializing, and having fun I suggest you to volunteer at this amazing event!