The Great Gala

On Saturday night last week, I had the privilege of being a photographer and videographer for the MAD Academy’s 5th annual gala dinner. I’ve done event photography in the past, but it was very fun to photograph and film an event full of people I know and are close to.

The gala was at the Santa Barbara Historical Museum. The gala was called “The Great Gala” because of the 20’s theme. There were flapper girls, people in period dress, and the bars were called “speakeasies”. I was the youngest person on the media team, the rest of the team comprised of juniors and seniors. KC Thomas, the photography teacher at MAD, was the media team director.

The juniors were there as a requirement for their photography class, but Emily Hay, Jason Feinberg, and I were there as volunteers. For the first half of the night, there was a silent auction, cocktail bar, and a step-and-repeat for photos.

Emily, Jason, and I all used a Ronin steadicam to film the gala, and we had other cameras to take pictures. I took pictures of people and groups, and I even got a photo of Don Johnson and his wife. 

Dinner, speeches, and the auction started at 8:00. Olió Limone, an Italian restaurant in Santa Barbara did the catering. Dan Williams, the MAD Academy director, spoke. We listened to some MAD alumni speak as well, their stories were pretty inspiring. Billy Baldwin (one of the Baldwin brothers) spoke and was the auctioneer. Between speakers, the Honeytappers, a 1920’s throwback tap dance group, danced on the stage.  The food was amazing, even though Emily, Jason, and I only had a couple minutes to stop and eat. 

At dinner, I talked to a man named George, he’s the CEO of G Comp technologies in Santa Barbara. He’s a Hungarian immigrant, he came to the United States in 1993. He attended UCSB, and now his son, Adam, is a freshman in the MAD Academy. It was nice talking to him. 

After my quick break, I had to get back to taking photos. Billy Baldwin did the auction, and three people went home with trips to New Orleans, New York, and British Columbia, Canada. There was also an auction for donations to MAD. Plenty of people donated, which shows the tremendous support for a great program, including my parents. Thanks, Mom and D. 

Everything wrapped up after that. At 10:00 I was on my way home. I got home, and went to bed. I needed to rest before my long day of filming a VowForMal 30 second promo. That’s next week story, though. Thanks for reading! 


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