photo updates from Jim and Mary Whitmer

Event Photos

Jan. 4th – Street Fair in Palm Desert

What a great time to escape the bitter, brutal cold in the Midwest.  We’re enjoying warm temperatures, blue skies, and a fun-filled community in Palm Desert, CA.  One of the most popular weekend events in this area is the College of the Desert Street Fair.   Over 300 merchants hawk their wares which includes just about everything you can imagine, and then some with palm trees and snow-capped mountains providing the backdrop.  The sites, scenes and sounds make for a wonderful op.

COD Street FairHere’s the official web site for the event:

Nov. 9th – Berlin Wall Anniversary

Today is the 20th anniversary of the opening of the Berlin Wall, the world-famous structure that divided East and West Berlin.  And I had the privilege of being at that wall a few weeks later on an assignment.   The photos in this collage include the Brandenburg Gate and Check-Point Charlie, one of the most well know military check points in history.  It was a unique opportunity for me to be precisely at the place that history will talk about into the future.

Berlin Wall anniversaryThe most popular “tourist souvenirs” became pieces of the wall – and even though there were vendors hawking the physical remnants of the wall, I was able to grab my own personal “memories.”   This photo shows a couple chunks I picked up on my own.
pieces from the Berlin Wall 2

Chicago Air Show 2009

Every summer, Chicago puts on a spectacular air and water show, and this year, we were privileged to join our friends Don and Kris Lake on their boat to see the event from out on Lake Michigan looking back towards North Avenue Beach. (yes, we were with the Lakes on the lake.) This collage will give you a preview of what we saw, but definitely not what we heard. Some of those thundering jets soared just above us and it’s amazing the sounds they generate. By the way, the photo in the upper right hand area is not a Photoshop trick. That seagull was actually in my view as the U.S. Air Force Thunderbirds screamed by. Honest.


4th of July – “Stars and Stripes Forever”

Each year, our church hosts a free community 4th of July picnic, offering free hot dogs, snacks and drinks, plus kids’ activities, to anyone who stops by. (The church is located where the parade begins.) To help give a visual overview of this festive occasion, Mary and I did a video slide show, using the background music from our good friend, Huntley Brown. The track is from his CD: “God Bless America” – which we also did the cover photography for.

Feed My Starving Children – (short video)

One of the most unique and literally “hands-on” volunteer projects, is the food packing project from Feed My Starving Children.  (  This past weekend, Willowcreek Community Church coordinated an area wide operation with the goal of 4 million meals for Zimbabwe.  I photographed the Willow DuPage group Sunday night and here’s the video results:

Bike Week – 2009 – Daytona Beach, FL

In stark contrast to most of the events we’ve covered recently, Bike Week in Daytona Beach has some flavor and style that we do not see or photograph very often.  We’re currently in Florida for creative work, but took yesterday off to travel up the interstate to see what we would find at this annual event.  See what you think:

National Religious Broadcasters Convention

Each year, we cover the international convention of the National Religious Broadcasters, which is held at the Opryland Hotel in Nashville, Tennessee. This is a video slide show from our still images taken this week. It’s an extraordinary event with high quality speakers, worship, networking, and a large scale exhibition hall of products and services.

(click the center arrow to start the slide show presentation.)

Palm Springs International Film Festival

While in Southern California doing some new shooting and taking some time to work on some web updates, we had a chance to play “Paparazzi” this evening at the Palm Springs International Film Festival. The most impressive person of the evening was Dustin Hoffman who graciously walked a long line of well-wishers, greeting them and signing autographs.  Here’s a collage of Dustin Hoffman, Ben Stiller and Suzanne Somers among a host of others.

Ben Stiller, Dustin Hoffman and Suzanne Somers - photos by Jim Whitmer

Suzuki Strings Concert at Wheaton College

Each year, I have the chance to provide the photo coverage for the Christmas concert hosted and produced by The Community School of the Arts at Wheaton College . They currently are teaching 1500 students with the mission of providing “professional instruction in the Fine Arts to students of all ages and ability levels.” Their concert today was a joyous reflection of Christmas inspiration. On their website, there’s a great quote from a parent about the program: “I enroll my children in Suzuki Violin not because I want them to be a violinist, but for the life lessons.”

Some of the children learning at The Community School - © 2008 Jim Whitmer