A few days after I shot the 2018 Atlantic Sectionals Wheelchair Rugby Tournament, my wife Patty mentioned that she had seen a Facebook post that described a youth wheelchair basketball team called the Fairfax Falcons that was heading to the national finals. I figured that I was already over-subscribed for the spring season, but it sounded like a very successful program, so I wanted to find out more about it.
I found the Falcons on Instagram, and I noticed that most of the photos in their feed were either team photos, or action photos that were taken from some distance. When I take sports photos, I’m trying to create something much more personal. I want to focus on the individual, catch them doing something great, and render the image in jaw-dropping beauty. I’m not always successful, but I’ll keep working on it.
I decided to follow the Falcons on Instagram, and soon afterwards I received a message from the couple that runs the program asking if I would be interested in photographing the team. From their description, it sounded like some nice photographs could help the kids to stay engaged, and possibly help spread the word about this unique adaptive sports opportunity. So I came out to one of their practices, … and now I think I’m hooked.
My plan for the weekend of February 24-25, 2018 was to spend it in Richmond, Virginia, covering the Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA) Code of Honor Quad Rugby Invitational tournament. Saturday went great. And for Sunday, I had plans to set up a backdrop and lights to do sports portraits of the players. But on Sunday morning, Patty woke up and thought that she was coming down with the flu. So, I packed her up and brought her home.
Once I got Patty settled, I started to consider how I could fill in the gap for what we had planned to be a pretty all-consuming weekend of photography. In the weeks prior, I knew I had received an announcement for a Special Olympics basketball tournament that weekend. So, I started trolling through my emails. Sure enough, there was a Sunday afternoon tournament at Episcopal High School. So, I set out with all my equipment still packed in the car.