Athlete portraits are one of the big things I've had to work on, improve and really think out this year on the job.
Rarely in college did we have access to student athletes for PR reasons as well as just schedules to take them out of
practice or shoot them on their own. Since we photograph mostly all high school athletes in the area, we are able to
actually take the time to set things up and have them in a non-action shot that takes their helmet off and brings out a little
bit of their personality in the process.
I have really struggled with these, agonized over shooting them in car rides, and really had to force myself to look like I
knew what I was doing. But the funny thing is I had no idea. I'm not an awkward person, but as a photojournalist, I am
used to just sitting back and watching the action playing out in front of me; not having to set it up. the big thing I've tried
to work with is angles. I've gone above, below, eye level, etc. to try to vary things up (especially when you have to
photograph an athlete multiple times throughout the season, like Donte Simmons of Bristol Borough HS, pictured at
bottom). I've been lucky to have some really great subjects who are willing to work with me through the process, even
saying "what about this, what about that?"
I hope that when these athletes look at their portraits they see their strength, confidence, agility and ability to continue on
with what they are working toward. I always want a portrait subject to be happy with my work with them, both in the pro-
cess as well as with the result. I hope this is something they will carry with them as they pursue their futures in sports or
with whatever they may choose to do.