Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Balancing her time out in left field...

Multi-sport athletes and the kids that play a number of sports are the norm around here, and even the ones who excel at a number of sports are kind of common. However, those players are usually at the smaller schools where the good athletes, excel based on them being good athletes and great talent just isn't as plentiful. So, what make Sealie Tiner different is she is doing it at one of the local schools, where specializing in one sport, is more common. And, playing more than one sport per season just doesn't happen. The fact that she's a freshman and doing one of the top players in two varsity sports just adds to how good she is. Tiner recently was the only Cooper High School girls gymnast to qualify for the state gymnastics meet, she is also the starting left fielder on the softball team. On days when she doesn't have a game or competeing she is spending almost four hours a day practicing!

I've always enjoyed shooting gymnasts. To be a good gymnast you have to be in great shapes, which usually translate into nice body lines and more importantly good posture and great balance, all those together make for nice photos. The other reason is how easy the team is to work with, they don't really get a whole lot of ink so, when we do the stories the coaches are really willing to help out. Haveing shot nice photos to go with the stories in the past helps too. It also helps that I'm one of the few people in our office who has covered gymnastics before having covered UGA gymnastics when I was in college, so I know at least enough to talk competently about the sport, which has earned me points with the coaches.

The other nice part about this story is I got it a long time before the story ran so I wasn't rushed to the point that it needed to be shot the day it was assigned. How does this help? I had an idea of how to shoot it. With her softball gear in one of the gymnastics apparatus. So the day I got the assignment I was able to go talk to the coach and Sealie and set things up how I wanted it. I told he I wanted her to bring all her softball gear with her. Now plenty of photogs want their ideas to be their and not listen to suggestion. I'm always willing to hear others' opinions, now I don't always use them, but it nevers hurts to listen. For this shot it helped, like I said, I had the idea to shoot it with her in her leotard with her softball gear, and her coach suggested a good pose for her after explaining everything I wanted. The final touch was he cleats I had her put them around her neck, but before she hopped up of the beam the coach moved them so they were just draped over her shoulder, which made them placed perfectly for the photo.

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