Putting my Political Science Degree to Work

When I received the call from The State Department this past summer regarding APEC 2011, an economic summit being held in San Francisco in September I did not know what to expect.  As a photographer my name gets passed around and I am often asked to submit proposals for a variety of projects.  This one however was different than anything I had done before, but I felt like it was the right job for me.  As a college freshman at Tulane University I signed up as a Political Science major.  I always enjoyed politics and had no idea what else I should study so I went with it.  Once in New Orleans my focus quickly shifted outside of the classroom and I began to explore and study the city I was living in.  Eventually I took a photography class and the rest as they say is history.  My love for music and deep respect for the traditions of New Orleans led me to jazz and for the past 15 years I have been shooting this truly American art form.  Jazz photography has been the thread that keeps me tethered to my passion and while I shoot a wide range of subject matter it is jazz that I always come back to.

When I received word that Scott Chernis Photography had been chosen as the APEC 2011 official photographer I knew it was going to be a great project to work on.  I have come full circle and one week in with one week to go, the APEC 2011 Senior Officials Meeting in San Francisco has been an experience like no other.  From the opening remarks by California Governor Jerry Brown to the two days of meetings chaired by Secretary of Energy Steven Chu and Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood I have been immersed in the functions of international politics like never before in my life.  I sat in on Bilateral meetings with Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius and have created countless images of foreign dignitaries from around the Asian Pacific Region.  The week culminated with an address by Secretary of State Hilary Clinton at the Women and The Economy Summit, which is being held in conjunction with APEC2011.

The days have been long and the pace has been fast, but the experience has been amazing and I am looking forward to shooting at this level again in the future.  It has been inspiring to see so many committed, bright, hard working people come together to pull off an event of this magnitude.  Week two began today.

To see more work from Scott Chernis visit http://www.scottchernis.com

www.scottchernis.com

SF Outside Lands has arrived

In four short years Outside Lands, the music festival in Golden Gate Park has established itself as the premier summer music festival in California, perhaps even the country.  This eclectic mix of music, food, art and human personalities has found its groove and should be a part of the San Francisco scene for many years to come. Following is  small sample of photos shot by Scott Chernis on Saturday from the three day music festival.

The food truck forest

Outside Lands

Christina Perri

Old 97’s

Only in San Francisco A cello playing Wizard in the forest

The Roots

Twin Peaks Stage

Warren Haynes Band

Outside Lands sunset

Muse plays for 60,000+

Plum Assignment

Being a photographer is often regarded as a dream job.  I when I tell people what I do for a living a common response is “you are so lucky”.  Little do they know that the reality of being a working photographer is anything but glamorous.  However, we do have our moments and that is what makes it a “dream job”.  Just last week I found myself perched atop the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium looking out over a scene that did not resemble the San Francisco City Hall that I have come to know and love over the past 15 years. The magnificent dome of City Hall was awash in orange light, thousands of people roamed the streets, mingling with jugglers, stilt walkers and marching bands.  A giant ferris wheel framed the scene at the north end of Polk St. and music blasted from speakers perched on the steps of City Hall.  This moment was the culmination of a weeklong assignment for the San Francisco Travel Association covering Pow Wow, an international event to promote the United States and San Francisco to the world.  For more images and information visit www.scottchernis.com