Tuesday, December 15, 2009

Our Community: Sports Shooter Academy VI

Looking back at what has happened this year, I thought it might be good to write about my experiences from SportsShooter Academy VI.

The Sports Shooter Academy is a memorable opportunity for students and professionals striving to move their sports photography to the next level. Like with any great photojournalism workshop, you'll make some new friends, see some old ones, and have experiences you won't forget - but here, its about sports and great pictures. Robert Hanashiro and the rest of the SSA faculty have put together a cool workshop featuring three intense days of shooting college basketball, volleyball, soccer, swimming & diving, water polo, track & field, softball and tennis.

The chance to shoot sports completely new to yourself - but with the coaching of experienced photographers - is fantastic, plus the faculty is great about encouraging students to think differently about their work, to make frames that you would not normally make for a "daily newspaper" - to get creative and shoot pictures that you want to shoot.

I am particularly grateful for the SSA experience as one of the images I made at SSA VI was part of my sports portfolio that won bronze in CPOY this year. Beyond just the pictures I made then, I learned a lot more that I have yet to express in my images. The experience from the workshop continues with you into every assignment you have after that week.

There is not a set way of shooting at SSA - you can shoot how you want to, but you can also get advice and ideas from other students, you start to think more about how you see the world and sports - the emotion, relationships, and moments that happen on and off the field. The workshop doesn't just deal with the technical [though a lot of that is available], it teaches you about how you think about sports photography as a whole, making every picture mean something.

I really cannot say enough good things about the workshop and would encourage other students and professionals to apply, you will find it time well spent. I did not apply this year, but I will certainly do so again in the future.

For more information about the Sports Shooter Academy, or to apply for SSA VII check out SportsShooterAcademy.com

Horse racing remote camera set up under the fence with the help of LA Times' Wally Skalij at Santa Anita Park.

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