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Dateline 1982: Photographing Annual Reports

The Leisure Life spread in the book Denver: America's Mile High Center of Enterprise, a state of the city report by the Denver Chamber of Commerce in 1983. Photo is of Ed Webster climbing at the Garden of the Gods. Photo @ Stewart M. Green

I've been reducing my library of thousands of books over the past few years, either giving them away or selling them on Amazon. This morning I went through a big box filled with coffee-table books, large format books filled with lavish photos.

In the bottom of the box was a large book called Denver: America's Mile High Center of Enterprise. It came out in 1983 to celebrate the Denver Chamber of Commerce's 100th anniversary. Until I saw it nestled between a David Muench book on Arizona and a classic book of Eliot Erwitt photographs, I forgot that I made most of the photos for that book.

In the 1980s I did a lot of annual reports for different organizations, including the Denver Chamber. I photographed their report for six years. One of the projects I did for them was to photograph everything in the anniversary edition that they couldn't get stock shots for.

I spent a couple months in the fall of 1982 driving all around Denver shooting images on Kodachrome and Ektachrome with my Canon F1 for the book. Images of hospital labs, clean labs for computer manufacturing, housing developments and construction, cool new buildings, schools and colleges, as well as skylines and sports. Some of these places would say, "Well, I guess you can come in for photos, but only one camera and film and you need to wear this cleanroom suit and booties. Oh, and you can't use flash or talk to the employees. You'll have 10 minutes to get your photos...."

Here's the opening spread for the chapter on outdoor recreation, featuring a full-page photograph of Ed Webster climbing the North Ridge of Montezuma Tower at the Garden of the Gods with snowy Pikes Peak behind him. Ed didn't have a problem with me talking to him during the shoot...

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