All photos are posted.
On November 14, 2018, my wife mentioned that our neighbors were interested in me taking some family photos that they could use for their Christmas cards. The Fall colors were quickly fading, and the upcoming weekend weather was uncertain, but this would be worth a try.
Early last week, Patty asked me if I would take some family photos for a work friend whose husband was being deployed to the Middle East right after Thanksgiving. I had taken their photos before, and I was looking forward to seeing what I could improve upon.
On September 14, 2018 the Director of Therapy Services at the University of Maryland Rehabilitation & Orthopaedic Institute invited me to take photos at the Maryland Crab Pot V wheelchair rugby tournament, which would take place on October 27-28, 2018. I’ve been heavily involved in organized sports my whole life, as a player for nearly 50 years, also as a coach and referee, and now as a photographer. I have seen, and have personally experienced, how participation in sports can help people discover the strengths that they possess. Now as a photographer I get a chance to capture the moments that demonstrate those strengths, and leave players with ongoing reminders of them. Needless to say, I accepted her invitation.
My wife of 35 years graduated from McLean High School in 1978 (We met at Virginia Tech in February 1979.). While helping to plan her 40-year high school reunion, she offered me up to take photos at their reunion dinner.
In mid-August, I was contacted by the team captain for the NoVA Mutiny wheelchair (“quad”) rugby team. He asked me if I would be willing to take some promotional shots that he could use to advertise what the team was up to, in particular, to help attract sponsors, as the Fall season was just starting. This is a great cause, and one that I enjoy supporting. Therefore, it was a no-brainer!
On January 15, 2018, I received an email from the Director of Student Activities at Annandale High School, asking if I would be interested in being the photographer for their very first Athletic Hall of Fame banquet, to take place early the following school year. It sounded like a great way to learn something about, and help to preserve, the athletic history in the area where I grew up. And at the same time it would give me more experience shooting event photography.
It is that time again, when school starts, and the Annandale Atoms hit the field, the course, the court, the track, the mat, the stage, and hopefully the books. Here are a few photos to remind them of the experience.
On February 12, 2018, Patty sent me a text, to tell me that our friend Mary’s son had asked if I would be willing to shoot photos at a tournament that his wheelchair rugby team, NoVA Mutiny, was hosting in Richmond, Virginia on February 24-25. The six-team tournament was being sponsored by Paralyzed Veterans of America (PVA), with support from both the Virginia chapter, and the national office in Washington, DC. It would serve as a tune up for the Atlantic Sectionals tournament coming up on March 23-25 in Fort Washington, MD. For me, in addition to the opportunity it provided to volunteer for a great cause, it was a chance for Patty and I to get down to Richmond to visit her father, her sister, her brother, and their spouses for the weekend. Unfortunately, we ended up cutting the trip short, coming home Sunday morning, because Patty wasn’t feeling well.
After I had started shooting the Annandale boys varsity basketball games, I considered whether to take shots of the girls games too, both to get more experience shooting basketball, and to give these kids some souvenirs that might encourage them to stay in sports. I didn’t know whether Annandale High School had already arranged for all the professional photo coverage that anyone would want, or if parents or students were covering this need. So, I took a chance. I spoke to the girls varsity basketball coach the first time I showed up, and he was supportive.
One of the benefits of coming out to these games with a camera is that sometimes county-hired photographers are there, and every one of them has been extremely nice and helpful to myself as a novice photographer. At the first girls game that I covered, I met a professional photographer named Celeste, who was there to shoot the home team Centreville Wildcats. She actually reviewed my camera settings for me, and she made some good suggestions. Sometimes it pays to be helpless ;-).
I had been looking for opportunities to try out my new Nikon D850 Digital SLR camera in different situations, to see how I could make best use of its capabilities. So Friday night, January 12, 2018, having just returned from spending a few vacation days in Florida, Patty and I attended the Annandale High School boys varsity basketball game, at home against Mt. Vernon High School. It was great to see the local team out there working hard, and I learned a few things about my camera, and photographing basketball, in the process.
But another reason why I take photos of high school sports is give these young people evidence of what they can achieve when they work hard. And obviously, I’m not just talking about sports. So, since I had a brief pause in my government travel schedule, I looked for opportunities to shoot a few more Annandale games, so that I might offer some nice photos to more of the players.
Our neighbors across the street had seen the Christmas photos I took of the family next door, and they asked if I would take similar photos of their family. The night of December 22, 2017 presented the opportunity. So, I reassembled much the same equipment configuration out in the street in front of their house, and we took some photos. Afterwards, we went inside a took a few more shots around their Christmas tree. Every such opportunity gives me more chances to improve my technique.
Once again this year, my wife asked me to take photos of kids with Santa Claus at the Annandale Food Bank at Annandale Methodist Community Center. I took the photos on December 21, 2017 as the families were coming through the food line, and we had the prints available for them to pick up the following week. There were a lot of families that came through that night. And where last year I delivered 38 photos, this year I delivered 62. ‘Hats off’ to Pete, our Santa Clause, who put in his usual Norman Rockwell performance!