My First Photograph Published in the Pocono Record

PV Baseball 2013-05-14-1174

I have a strong passion and interest in sports photography. When I was finishing up my first photography class at Temple University, my final project was on sports photography. I did okay in the class, but my photographs for this project helped my final grade immensely! I shadowed a photographer at a weekly newspaper for a day and one of the assignments was to photograph a Donegal High School baseball game. I remember that event and the excitement of trying to capture the action on the field. I was hooked!

Now, many years later, I can think of few things I’d rather do in my spare time than photograph a sporting event. I like sports to begin with and I believe every game has a unique story that unfolds as the players put their game on the field. Our job as sports photographers is to record the unique storyline of the game and capture the exciting action of the players!

Over the past five years I’ve enjoyed photographing the baseball games for Pleasant Valley High School. I photograph as many games as possible each season and then show a presentation of my best photos for their end-of-year banquet. I also create collages for the seniors each year as a special remembrance of their final season. Previously, I was the photographer for the Lehigh Valley Baseball Academy in Allentown, Pennsylvania.

Recently, I signed on with the Pocono Record to be one of their freelance photographers. I just had my first photograph published with them today! You can see my photograph here:

I am very excited to share my photography passion in this way. I am at the games already and can provide some special coverage of the games with my camera. I hope to grow in my photographic abilities as I share my game-day art with others!

These Old Photos Bring Back Some Strong Memories!

I went to college at Temple University and graduated with a degree in Journalism. This education has helped me literally every week of my professional life. I went off to graduate school the same year I graduated from Temple.  One night, while I was in my dorm room in Pittsburgh and thinking about the required papers and class load of school, I heard some sirens. It wasn’t the usual, city siren passing by from an ambulance or single fire truck. No, this was a full-blown 5-alarm fire and I could see the flames from my dorm room window! So, I grabbed my camera and ran the seven city blocks to photograph the fire and firefighters who were working feverishly to put it out.

Pittsburgh Fire 1987-002 Matte

My mind raced back in time to my first photography class at Temple University. Our professor instructed us to always have our camera with us. On this night, I was very happy to have my camera with me. I started taking a few shots as I got closer to the fire. It was a cold December night and it was dark.

Pittsburgh Fire 1987-003 Matte

The flames were already completely out of hand and engulfing the row house. Firefighters were laying down hoses and keeping steady streams of gallons of water flowing onto the structure. Fortunately, no one was inside the home that night. I kept taking photographs as I changed angles every now and then to get different perspectives.

Pittsburgh Fire 1987-004 Matte

I did not mind the cold air one bit. Besides, the flames from this fire were heating up the whole block! So I persistently and patiently photographed the flames behind the firetrucks, which were parked in the middle of the street. I never saw such a large fire in my lifetime. This was big!

Pittsburgh Fire 1987-005 Matte

Not every shot worked and since this was back in the slide-film days, I wasn’t sure I actually was getting anything usable. My training and education from Temple, however, prepared me better than I could have imagined. The thrill of being the only photographer on location was exhilarating for me. Then, my eyes noticed something special. I saw a firefighter on top of a fire truck aiming a water cannon toward the fire. This alone was nothing unusual, but he was situated just beyond a beautifully backlit  instrument panel. Here is the photograph I captured:

Pittsburgh Fire 1987-007 Matte

I think it works pretty well to show the tireless work of these firefighters and the equipment they use to fight the fires. I did not realize the power of this image until I had the film developed and opened the box of slides. As I looked carefully at each slide, this one just popped out at me. It was my favorite one of the entire shoot.

The next day I went back to photograph the charred remains of the row house, as you can see here in this photograph.

Pittsburgh Fire 1987-009 Matte

The damage was devastating but at least no lives were lost. I would suggest the owner of this house check out Singleton Law Firm website to find a good for Fire Damage Attorney as the damage is impressive. I got to bed much later that cold, December night and it was well worth it! I captured the consuming flames, the lights of the firetrucks, the efforts of the firefighters, and even the aftermath of this incredible fire.

I actually pretty much forgot this event until earlier this week when I dusted off my Photojournalism textbook for another photo project I am working on now. The textbook is entitled, “Photojournalism: The Professionals’ Approach,” by Kenneth Kobre. I started re-reading this textbook and came across an early chapter in the book about how to photograph fires. Incredibly, it was like these words were in my head and my actions that night. It was textbook! (Please pardon the pun.) Today, as I was scanning these slide images into my computer, I relived that night again after reading that specific chapter in my old textbook. I somehow took the words to heart and did just about everything mentioned in this section of the book.

That was the good news. Unfortunately, there was some rather sad news, as well. I did not even try to market my photos to the local newspaper that day. I suppose I was too busy with my classes in graduate school, but it certainly was an opportunity missed!

Lessons learned include:
1. Always have my camera with me
2. Learn to use existing light
3. Rely on my education; it was very good
4. Do not undervalue my photos or keep them to myself
5. Keep learning the craft & keep shooting!
6. Be a photojournalist!

I am a freelance photographer who is like wine–I am getting better with age! I now have many years of sports and wildlife photography under my belt, which I continue to enjoy. I also am branching out in new ways to some of the approaches I learned while attending Temple University. I am blessed. I see an event and I desperately desire to communicate that event in a visual way! I cannot wait for the next event to unfold!

Promoting the Passion

This week I needed to put together an advertisement to promote my passion for photography. This is what I came up with.

Our daughter, Lydia, is rehearsing for the high school musical, “Oklahoma,” which will open in the middle of March. I purchased a full-page ad in their musical program, which will be given to the audience members who come to watch the musical. I figure it is just one additional way to promote my photo passion and perhaps help to pay a few of the bills. After all, I did just buy a new piece of equipment! (More on that later in an upcoming blog post)

So, how to promote my passion. I always figure that the photos do speak for themselves, so I decided to start with some photos. My training in communications at Temple University taught me that less is more, so a simple, clean design was also imperative. Of course, with any promotion or the Five Channels marketing tool I also needed to include the pertinent information of how my photo passion can maybe help someone else out.

So, after an hour of thinking, creating, and designing, this is what I came up with for the ad. How do you promote your passion?