Thursday, May 27, 2010

New Territory

Soccer Team Shoot

Thank God for wives.  My son's soccer league was not going to have team and individual pictures this year so she volunteered me to take pictures of my son's team, the Blue Sharks.  So off I went, to take sports team pictures, woot, woot.

I have never done team or individual sports portraits.  I have done more game pictures than I care to think about, I've also spent endless hours in event and controlled portrait work, but never done onsite team pictures before.  As always, I learned a ton about how I must adapt as a photographer to this new photographic form.

So if you have some time, not too much needed, lets talk about what I learned and must now integrate into my photographic life.

What did I know going into the shoot.
  • I would be shooting in mid-day sun.  Therefore I would need fill light to prevent harsh shadows.
  • I knew posing would be challenge - kids like to slouch.
  • Corralling 9 year-olds is very, very difficult.  Nine year-olds are fast.  :-)
As you can see, I knew some things that would be challenges, like getting the the kids to cooperate and dealing with the bright mid-day sun.  I felt prepared as I had done my research to address these.  I knew what I could know, but no more.

How did things develop?
  • The consensus was to use a goal as the background.  Not my personal choice, but the right one given the streets and mall surrounding the soccer field.
  • Using the goal caused issue with the sky.  It was a very bright day with no clouds or color, just sun.  No matter what I did, I couldn't get the sun under control.
  • Challenges in posing showed.  Looked at the team picture in the memory mate above.  A few of them were wearing sun glasses.  A rookie mistake.  I did ask them to remove the glasses after a few pictures but every shot taken after that had a bad pose.  Closed eyes, looking at a passing car, etc.  Sadly, the above was the best of the shots.
  • The most valuable thing I brought were weights to prevent my light-stands from blowing over.  I have scientifically proven that winds pick up as soon as an umbrella opens, and calm as soon as the umbrella is closed.
At the end of the day everyone seemed happy as was my wife, my most important customer.  Enough for now, as always, if you have any suggestions let me know.  Lets just say I'm glad I had the opportunity to do this shoot and look forward to doing more team and individual sports portraits in the future.