Once again I’m shooting another really cool event. For the next couple of weeks I’ll be shooting the U.S. Open Swimming championships in Federal Way, WA. There’s a lot going on, events going all day, some of them quick and others, like the 1500m freestyle, that take forever.
I’ve often found it quite ironic that as I’d end up shooting so many different sporting events when I’ve never really been a sports person. Sure, I played soccer as a kid and later on in life I was drafted by the roller hockey team some of my co-workers had formed when I worked at The Mac Zone. I’d never even watched a hockey game, but when they found I was was born in Canada they decided that Hockey was in my blood and I should be the goalie. Other than that my interest in sports has been pretty minimal since Magic Johnson left the Lakers.
How is it then that I ended up spending so much of my time shooting sports? Some 15 years ago I was hired by a medical device company to travel around the country taking photos of their products in various hospitals and I was thrilled to finally be making money doing something that I love. When I got back from that trip I started contacting all the local newspapers until finally I badgered the editor at the Federal Way News enough that they finally gave me a couple of assignments and I kept after them until finally the sports editor started giving me regular work. I was so excited to be doing the work that it didn’t matter a bit to me what I was taking pictures of, I was being paid to take pictures and they were being published in a newspaper! I did this as a sideline along with my day job for a few years until I finally decided I’d had enough of the day job and quit without any real plan other than I knew that I wanted to take pictures for a living.
It took a few months, but I finally got in touch with a company that specializes in sports photography and since that was what I’d been doing with the paper I thought it was a good match. I started doing contract work for them 7 years ago now and I still love it. While I’ve never really been into professional sports, at least not since I spent my youth watching Lakers games with my dad, I do really love getting to go to all the high school tournaments. I also get to travel quite a bit and see a lot of places I’d never get to see otherwise.