By: Tony Simonetti
“Each picture tells a story.” That is what photographer David Fox thinks is the most important part of the work he does. Found in his online portfolio of past works, his album entitled “CitiCenter for the Performing Arts 25th Anniversary Gala” is a brilliant example of how Fox truly captures every important moment of a corporate event, from before the guests walk in the door until the final dance.
With a unique eye for shot composition, Fox really shines in this collection. Fox has been the photography sponsor for such organizations as the Greater Boston Convention and Visitors Bureau, Mass. Lodging Association, Trade Show Exhibitors Association, and many local Chambers of Commerce. Having graduated from Emerson as a filmmaker in 1982, he is no stranger to telling stories through the media. Fox knows how to retell a story interestingly enough for an audience who already attended the event, but also how to highlight all the important parts of the event for anyone who could not attend. All these skills and experiences served him well when he was called to cover a party at one of the most prominent theater companies in the Boston area.
For twenty-five years, Josiah Spaulding, Jr. has been president of the Citi Performing Arts Center, so in celebration of his success, the administration held a party on his behalf. David Fox and his assistant photographer were hired to cover this fun, yet prestigious event. Including brilliant décor, live entertainment, tribute speeches, and after-dinner dancing, the event was a blast for everyone in attendance, which is marvelously captured in the album Fox has created.
In the thirty-two-image collection of photos, not a single aspect of the event seems to be missed and not a single shot angle seems to be extraneous. David told me “every image is specifically created and chosen on purpose.” He pointed out how each shot is cropped in such a way that a viewer can easily identify important subjects in the shot as well as get an idea of where they are in the Center and what they are doing. This attention to detail is quite admirable and impressive, but his ability to snap a picture at just the right moment with just the right lens to create a memorable, touching image is rare and truly inspiring. For example, the shot, shown below, in which Josiah is wiping a tear from his eye after the surrounding group of kids from the Center had just sung a song for him is simply priceless.
Three of the thirty-two photos really stand out among the rest. Image eight, which is a medium shot of Josiah standing next to another important figure in the Citi Center lobby, is one of the most visually stunning. This is not necessarily because of what is in the photo, but because of the incredible shot composition. Fox placed the two individuals right in the center of the picture, shot them slightly from below to show their prominence, closely cropped the Citi Center flag in the top left corner to help identify where they are in the Center, and included the following in the background area that surrounds the two subjects: other party guests on the right, a table of food and the lobby staircase on the left, and the beautiful lighting on the walls of the lobby along the top. Next, image twenty, shown below, is a wide shot from the very back of the Citi Center stage, looking out at the party happening on the stage and farther, into the house of the auditorium. This is a very unique shot because Fox managed to show the entire event as a whole, while utilizing the rule of thirds, symmetry, and deep focus. Finally, image twenty-two is a close-up, candid photo of Josiah hugging two of the aforementioned young singers from the Citi Center, with whom he must have been very close. In cunningly capturing this brief, heartfelt moment, Fox used a lens that allowed him to focus just on Josiah and the two kids, and he placed them slightly off to the right so that the viewer does not feel intrusive on the touching moment and can see the decorations and applauding guests that are out of focus in the background.
If the shots weren’t already beautiful enough, each shot gives an overwhelmingly clear idea of what was happening before, after, and in each particular moment. The candid and group photos are very well composed and everyone seems genuinely happy to be posing which is a big accomplishment as a photographer. Fox also says “these pictures have a longevity beyond the event itself,” which is exemplified in the introductory pictures of the decorations, tables, and lights. This is not an aesthetic to which Fox is particularly contributed, but it was his responsibility to capture the design carefully and with a degree of craft so that the event planners and decorators would have some documentation for their portfolio. This is a very important part of Fox’s job and he certainly delivers.
Fox’s images are eye-catching, touching, and professional; they will make you want to throw a party just so he can cover it. He has mastered the craft of photojournalism and is an asset to any company that reaches out to him. He continues to work daily with various companies in the Massachusetts area and strives to meet the standard of quality displayed in this album in all his other projects, as well.