I’m expecting to gain a few more Facebook friends after this weekend. Mostly cute ones, with affiliations which end in Sorority, Inc. 🙂 Last weekend, I traveled down to Atlanta, GA to photograph the 2011 Atlanta Greek Picnic (ATLGP). The resulting trip is going to yield an extremely cool video summary and photo web gallery, which will be online very soon. The ATLGP is regarded by most to be the premier Greek picnic. While other notable picnics occur in Texas, Virginia, Florida and other cities, the ATLGP stands as one of the original and most successful yearly regional events for alumni and current members of BGLOs.
This was my first year attending the ATLGP and I must say that I had a fantastic time! I finally arrived in Atlanta around 7PM on Friday, June 10, 2011. My long time mentor and friend Rahim Rasul (below) picked me up from the airport and it was officially on. Rahim wanted to learn photography techniques from me through some hands on experience so what better way than for him to come to the picnic and to shoot with me? We spent most of the day Friday catching up and spending time at the ‘Welcome to Atlanta’ party at the Compound. Needless to say, we had a GREAT time speaking with people and just hanging out.
I didn’t know what to expect from the Atlanta picnic. I had been to other Greek picnics before, but the reputation of ATLGP was superior. Once Rahim and I pulled up to Morris Brown College it was apparent that we were in for a long day. Wave after wave of beautiful people spilled onto the campus, bringing alive its empty yard. ATLGP is actually a fundraising event for Morris Brown College. With recent financial challenges threatening the schools condition, ATLGP organizers teamed up with Morris Brown College and sponsors such as State Farm to provide a platform for a fundraiser. Over time, the gathering grew into an annual event bringing thousands of people to the picnic.
Everyone comes out representing their organization. Surprisingly, more than several generations of initiated members are represented. Mostly everyone gets along and is gathered to have a great time, setting out chants, strolls and songs entertaining the public. The event is actually one of many over the course of an entire weekend of events which include: a $10,000 step show, community service events and even a BGLO town hall meeting, which provides a forum for campus greek leaders to have an open dialogue about the challenges facing Black Greeks in the 21st century.
Overall the experience was an incredible one. I have to shout out the hardworking men and women who put the event together, all the sponsor and all the photographers out there working hard doing what they love to do (S/O Silas and Demi)!!! Special thanks to Tiwa Works and Erik Gordon who made the weekend accesible.
The highlight of my week was spending time with my boy Rahim. It is the ultimate compliment (in my opinion) to be able to help other photographers develop their craft. I really do want to teach photography some day. Rahim kicked butt at this shoot and Im looking forward to developing our philosophy next year! It is funny how things work. About 2 years ago, Beyond This Place was simply an idea. Now, people recognize me at these types of events and show me a lot of love. I mean everyone, Alphas, Omegas, Deltas, Iotas, etc. It is that type of love that drives me to take this project to the next level. Check back with Beyondthisplace.com for more photos and our video coming soon!!!! Follow us @Beyondthisplace and at facebook.com/beyondthisplace . Oh, yea, dont forget to add me as a friend. 🙂 Tag yourself in my FB album.