Independence Day inspired another look back at my favorite moments over the past year. On June 6th I was the photographer selected to shadow President Barack Obama. His luncheon was held at the Julia Morgan Ballroom of the Merchants Exchange building. Clint Reilly and Janet Reilly, owners of building were the hosts.
Hefty ticket prices did not stop supporters from turning out in droves. The number of guests continued to max out days before the big event, requiring additional table settings be added. Mayor Ed Lee and baseball legend Willie Mays were featured on-stage before the President. Governor Jerry Brown, Lt. Governor Gavin Newsom, U.S. Senate candidate Tim Kane and George Marcus were among guests in attendance. Your SF Socialite Examiner also spotted Giant’s President and CEO Larry Baer, Patricia Ferrin Loucks, Leona Bridges and Rebecca Miller in the crowd. It was only several days before that I had photographed them at the Symphony’s Black & White Ball.
This time last year I also had the privilege to take on the same honor as photographer to First Lady Michelle Obama. The question I’m asked most is “what are they like?” They both have a presence beyond what someone can teach and what power can give. The First Lady was a welcoming force, embracing everyone she met at the intimate meet and greet. Her responses were humanizing, modern and independent. The President possessed an effortless air of complete control. He was proper without pretension and floated through the room with intent and genuine interest.
My continued gratitude goes out to Phil Spiegel, Clint Reilly and his wife Janet Reilly. Their support and the opportunity to share two priceless memories with them will not be forgoten. Photographing both the First Lady and President Barack Obama are career highlights and I cannot wait to see what is next for 2012.
To read my coverage of the First Lady's visit see the author's suggested link at the bottom of the column.
All the best - Moanalani Jeffrey