When I first started photography it was my dream to photograph the X Games. After graduation high school, I realize this dream was about as possible as my dream to play in the NBA. After a year of photography and graphic design I decided my best route would be to just get into business and see what happened, of course giving up on my dream. If you know a little about my beginning, this will be a quick recap, but it was after Natasha and I got married that it hit me, maybe I don’t have to do the x games, I can still make a living doing photography just in the wedding industry. It’s kind of the same thing, you get one shot to capture the moment and after that you can’t recreate it no matter how hard you try. This excited me and I decided to pursue a career in wedding photography, which of course brings us to today. After talking with Natasha one night, I realized that I have in fact been making excuses for the past 7 years as to why I would not pursue my dream to photograph the x games. Excuses like; I didn’t go to the right school, I don’t have the right connections, I don’t have a portfolio, etc.
Granted, shooting the x games would be an extremely difficult goal to accomplish, but impossible? I don’t think so. It’s definitely nothing like my dream of going to the NBA, that may be a little bit impossible. Plus, I’m a hockey guy now. 🙂 So I have decided to put myself out there, take some risks and see what happens. Is there the chance of failing? Of course, but I honestly believe that if you aren’t doing something that you can potentially fail at, you’re doing nothing. You’re playing it safe and you’ll get to the end of your life and realize you wasted 80-some years of your life not taking any chances. This reality hit me hard. I don’t want to sit in my rocking chair on the porch at 80 years old looking back at my life and realize I never took a chance at this. I know, I know. Photographing the x games may not be that big of deal to some, but come one, we all have goals right? Or at least dreams? What is stopping us from accomplishing those dreams? I’ll tell you… EXCUSES!
Maybe it’s your goal this year to lose 10 pounds. It’s everyone’s goal to lose weight at the new year. haha But seriously, chances are most people will get to December of this year and realize they are in fact 10 pounds heavier. What is stopping you from losing 10 pounds in the next 2 months even? Will it require work? Sure. Maybe a little sacrifice? Of course. But isn’t that how everything in life is? I feel like I’m right at the beginning of the entitlement generation. The generation that wants things now and don’t want to work for it. Thankfully I was raised to work hard for things that I want, however, many of the things did come easier for me. For example, I grew up in a small town where our basketball team had about 10 players. Most of whom were taller, and some were in the awkward growing phase and were kind of clumsy. I was one of the shorter players and was very quick in transition. To some degree my position was earned, but there really wasn’t anyone else that was able to have my spot. Sure we had a couple guys that could play guard, but then their role as the shooter would be taken away. So my position was pretty secure, and there were many games that I would play the entire 32 minutes without a sub. Because of this security, I was pretty lazy in my off season training and even during my in-season training/practice. I didn’t spend 2 hours a night shooting free throws, or working on my dribbling skills. It wasn’t until my freshman year of college basketball that reality hit me hard… or it was the 6’8″ center that I tried shooting against, I can’t remember. My position wasn’t secure. In fact I sat the bench a lot.
This experience was actually a good thing because it taught me that I won’t be handed everything. It’s going to require hard work and sacrifice to accomplish my dreams and goals. And like I said, my dream is to photograph the x games, and I don’t mean I buy a ticket and go as a spectator and take some pictures, but I mean as a paid assignment by anyone, whether it’s an athlete, sponsor, magazine, whoever it may be, it’s my dream to be there photographing it. So with all that said, with this year being my year of change (blog coming soon) I am putting myself out there. I’m starting on a portfolio, and my goal is to work up from each shoot. I don’t know what that looks like, maybe it’s going up in the ranks of the caliber of sport I’m shooting (from high school to college basketball), maybe it’s going out on assignment from a local paper or magazine to do a shoot, whatever it looks like I’m pursuing it. And maybe it’s not until 2020 that I’m shooting the x games, but whatever it takes I’m going to do my best to accomplish this goal.
So this pursuit started with the Altamont/Vandalia high school boys basketball game. These pictures were all shot like I was taking them on a film camera. No burst, meaning no holding the shutter down and going click, click, click, click, click and hoping the one I want is in there. No way, it was waiting for the moment to happen, anticipating that moment and BOOM! Catch it. THIS is what I love about sports photography. One chance, that’s all you get.