It seems like only yesterday I opened the doors to the Galerie Denzelt in Echternach for my first exhibition. Although I was off to a rocky start, it was a brilliant experience and I’m quite sure that 2015 will see me returning to this lovely place where I spent countless hours discussing my frames and photography in general with locals and tourists alike :-)
Flash forward to January 2014. It was a typical mid-week afternoon until my phone rang and the ensuing enquiry brought a huge smile to my face. The Ville d’Echternach was hosting its first awards ceremony at the Trifolion, the Bene Meritus, and they wanted ME to shoot it! This came as a bit of a surprise to me, but I was told that they had seen my exhibition and liked my style, so I paid them a visit to discuss further details.
At first, I thought it would be a relatively small, intimate ceremony with only a couple of dozen guests, fifty at the most. Well, I was wrong.
During the meeting, I learnt that I was up against another photographer and also that hundreds of invites had actually been sent out. Quite a bit more than what I had expected…
However, luck was on my side and I got the job!
A week and half later, on Saturday, January 18th, I found myself documenting the pre-awards celebration, swooping through the sealed-off VIP area, being introduced to celebrities, minor and major, local and national, as “Olivier Glod, the photographer”.
The first five minutes were really awkward for me. Five minutes during which I was unflatteringly self-aware, felt my head spin and my heart race like I was about to either swoon or throw up. Five minutes which seemed like an eternity…
I was wallowing in self-doubt. Had I made a mistake ? Was I not ready for this kind of excitement yet ?
I looked down at the official press pass dangling from my chest and remembered the beautiful wedding I shot only a couple of weeks earlier. Something strange happened as a result: a sudden surge of confidence arose with the rush of adrenaline kicking in as I went into full-blown shooting mode. I lost myself in the crowd, constantly scanning my surroundings for opportunities, paying attention to the small details, trying to anticipate what was going to happen next.
I was using a dual camera setup: the 5D Mark III with the EF 24-70 f/2.8 L II and the 6D with the 135 f/2 L, which allowed me to either get close to my subjects and make them aware of myself by requesting small group shots, or to happily snipe away at them from a distance without them noticing me and bagging some lovely candids.
About half an hour later, everybody moved to the main event hall and took their seat.
The ceremony itself was quite beautiful, mixing speeches, live music and multimedia presentations of the three laureates. I was constantly sneaking around between the ground floor and the upper level of the Atrium hall, changing my viewpoint as often as possible to get a wide variety of shots.
The evening was concluded with a small reception during which snacks and drinks were served to the general public. This once again provided me with a great opportunity for some lovely candids :-)
After about four and a half hours everything was said and done and I returned home, exhausted but incredibly happy and thankful.
The following weeks were pretty fun, as I saw my group shot featured in print in several different magazines and a larger article with some cool layout work done in Echternach’s monthly publication.
I got the approval from the Ville d’Echternach to publish below small selection. More shots can be found on their website, alas none of the candids. These will probably published along with the rest of the shots (329 in total) in a special limited edition book :-)