One of the perks of being self-employed in any field is the ability to choose to donate your skills to worthy causes in the community. As a photographer, that usually means selling prints for donations to a cause, taking animal portraits to promote a shelter, or event photography at a fundraiser.
Last month, I had the opportunity to photograph the 2016 Streetwise Gala at the Museum of Broadcast Communications. Streetwise is an organization in Chicago that provides employment, housing, and financial literacy services to Chicagoans in need. Anyone who takes the steps to become a vendor can get set up with Streetwise Magazine and sell the publication in high-traffic locations around Chicago.
Each year, Streetwise Chicago holds a gala to raise money for these life-saving services, and honor the Streetwise Vendor of the Year.
I photographed throughout each portion of the evening: the cocktail hour, speakers, dinner, and life auction.
One of the honorary speakers was Kim Foxx (who is also on the ballot in Chicago today!)
Louis Hale was named 2016 Streetwise Vendor of the Year. He gave a speech telling his story, which ended with a surprise proposal to his girlfriend. Congratulations!
The live auction includes many Chicago-centric prizes, including VIP White Sox tickets, and concert tickets, as well as many weekend getaways and vacations.
An adoptable dog visited the auction to encourage guests to bid on the adoption fee of a dog or cat, which the winner could use to adopt a shelter animal (that is, if they wanted to! The winner could also donate the adoption fee back.)
Thank you to Streetwise and Eden Kaminski for having Kelly Peloza Photo photograph at the 2016 Streetwise Gala!