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A Benefit of Being an Event Photographer

For me, one of the greatest benefits of being an event photographer are the countless opportunities to be present for exceptional presentations with influential leaders and keynote speakers.  And with every talk, I gain more insight and knowledge and am often inspired.



Last year, I was asked by a client (XERO) to photograph their company’s team-building event. I was informed of a tight-guarded secret, that Chris Hadfield would be the afternoon’s Keynote Speaker to the company team.  I must admit, I was as excited as a child on Christmas morning, as he is one of my favourite Canadians. 


In his book, ‘An Astronaut's Guide to Life on Earth,' Chris tells his story of how a televised event on the evening of July 20th, 1969, would forever shape his future.  From that night onwards, he had a vision for his life, a goal of what he wanted to do - to be an astronaut.  And every decision he made from that night onwards was determined with one simple question, ‘What would an astronaut do?’  


Chris Hadfield as Keynote speaker for Xero Event - Photo by Cory Meli of Extensia Studios

One of my favourite pastime sports is Skydiving.  However, there was a time when the very thought of jumping out of a plane at 12,000ft would have terrified me.  I was afraid of heights.   One of the most impactful takeaways from Chris’s book is that knowledge conquers fear.  When we learn what to do, how to do it (and what to do when shit goes sideways), then we have the knowledge, ability and confidence to execute.   His book inspired me to step outside of my comfort zone and push myself beyond my boundaries.  I would often remind myself, ‘If people can learn how to ride a rocket 100 miles into space, then I can learn to travel up to 12,000ft, jump out of the plane, do some cool tricks in the sky, and land safely.’


I have recommended Chris Hadfield’s book to family and friends.  And I have often purchased and offered copies as gifts.  And each person who has read his book has shared how they were inspired to make a significant change and do something awesome in their lives. 


Chris Hadfield as Keynote speaker for Xero Event - Photo by Cory Meli of Extensia Studios

Thank you to the team at Xero for always asking us to capture your company events.  We love working with you.


Cory











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