Tell the WHOLE story.

You know I love, love sports photography.  It’s a kick!

Every week, as I stand on the sideline, I imagine capturing that one, special shot.  You know, the Sports Illustrated photograph…

But, what I’ve learned over the years is while that super, fantastic action shot is super and fantastic, it is not the complete story.

If you are the parent of a child who competes or performs on or with a team, then you know there’s more involved than just what’s going on, on the field or stage.

Part of the excitement of a football game, for example, is hearing the band play some loud, driving drum line–you find yourself clapping your hands or tapping your foot to the beat.

Or, you get caught up watching the girls on the drill team do their hand motions while in the stands, pom-poms glittering in the stadium lights.

Of course, there are the cute cheerleaders climbing upon each other, yelling their little hearts out.

Yes, the focus is the football game, but there sure is a lot going on all around the game.

I’ve discovered I can tell a much more complete story of each event if I capture moments not on the field.

Look around you; take your eyes of your child for just a moment.

What do you see?

If you son or daughter competes every week, then you’ll start noticing, if you’re intentional, there’s more going on than the game.

Does one set of parents always bring the same beat up lawn chairs that you can’t help but wonder when they’ll eventually fall through?  Snap a shot of the chair!  Maybe from an odd angle.

(I don’t know!  Pretend you have to bend down to tie your shoe, then snap the picture!  You don’t have to be obvious about it.)

Right now, with the heat being what it is, do you see a trillion umbrellas and covers all along the sidelines of your daughter’s soccer game?  Back up and take a wide-angle shot; it’ll remind you of our horrible drought and heat wave.  When you look back at that picture with your daughter, you can remind her how blessed hot it was and ask her how in the world did she ever play in that heat!

Does your son’s coach bring a bag of footballs to each practice?

Or, does your team wear a special patch, hat, or color to commemorate something special?

Our varsity football players show their support for Breast Cancer Awareness in October, each year, by wearing pink!

(I still assert that pink and football don’t go together, but I very much appreciate their desire to bring about awareness.)

What about the girls’ gymnastic’s bows?  Are they all the same?  Well, line up the girls and take a shot of the bows from behind, and to the side.

Sort of like the shot below:

(I love repetition photos, can you tell?)

REMEMBER: Faces and whole bodies don’t have to be in every shot.

Tell a larger, more creative and more complete story by snapping a picture of a tradition.

For example, I know that at the end of every game, the boys on our high school football team will lift their helmets in tribute, as the school song plays.  Sometimes, it’s a joyful occasion and the helmets are held high, sometimes, not.  But, the helmets will be up.  No matter what.

It symbolizes their dedication to the team and to their school…

So, next time you go to one of your child’s sporting events, grab your camera and a new mantra: I WILL TELL THE WHOLE STORY THROUGH MY PICTURES!

Happy Shooting!

E.

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