Freshmen, sophomores and even juniors undergo an intensive weekend orientation focused on preparing them for future success in the ROTC. Their time is spread out over the course of three days at Fort Custer in Augusta, Michigan focusing on fundamental military training from drill and ceremony to basic rifle marksmanship. New cadets are introduced to Military Land Navigation techniques as well as conducting a Field Leader’s Reaction Course. The Army Physical Fitness Test is also administered in preparation for scholarship contracting.
A couple of weeks ago I got the opportunity to photograph a beautiful winter engagement for not one, but two, of the biggest goofballs I will soon have the pleasure of calling my family. Rosalyn Calvaneso, who I met by joining Lahser High School’s kickass cheerleading squad, is related to Nick Calvaneso, who is currently engaged to my sister (who also met in the damp and dark halls of Lahser High School, swoon!) Rosalyn and her fiance Jimmy stuck it out throughout the blistering cold and were patient with me every step of the way so that I could capture every shot I had envisioned for their ‘Save The Date’. Luckily, there were sleek cars and delicious milkshakes in between to keep us going! So, without further ado, I present to you the future Mr. & Mrs. Fresard:
“Rosalyn and Jimmy met their freshman year in “Foods” class at Lahser High School. It may have been the pranks they were constantly playing on each other, or that they were secretly too busy crushing on each other to pay attention, but to this day, neither of them know their way around a kitchen. Something they do both know: they can’t wait to get married on July 6, move in together, and get a kitten that they will most likely name Pewter (still negotiable). Their differences? Rosalyn likes chocolate, terrible romantic comedies, and is as extroverted as they come. Jimmy likes vanilla, war movies, and time to himself. With enough core qualities in common (mainly a goofy attitude and inappropriate sense of humor), and interests as opposite as night and day, Rosalyn and Jimmy are destined for a lifetime of happiness.
Or at the very least, laughter, which is basically the same thing.”
Crystal Bradford doing what she does best; playing ball and showing no mercy.
I’ll admit, when it comes to sports I am always eager to tackle a new speed. But when I signed up for gymnastics I had no idea what I was getting myself into. When asking an old mentor of mine what advice he had to give me he responded by telling me,
“You sit and hope, then shoot and pray to God, and then you keep shooting and continue to hope some more.”
With that being said, I gave it my best. Let’s just say my first take was absolutely abysmal. No, seriously. It was so terrible I won’t be posting it to my blog. It was a learning experience, no doubt but not one I am willing to share with the world visually. With that being said, here are a few things I picked up along the way:
1. Pick your point of focus. If you shoot gymnastics regularly, you get to know the girls routines which means you’re able to anticipate where they begin and where they land on the mats, which will help your chances of capturing the shot you want.
2. Motor drive to the max. If you have a lens that will allow you to shoot fast and sharp, do it because these girls move fast. Don’t waste your time adjusting, focusing, anticipating or whatever it is you feel that NOW is the time to be doing it. Get her in the frame, set your focus and put your finger to the trigger like your firing a machine gun.
3. High ISO. As bad as it may sound, an image with noise is better than an image with blur when it comes to gymnastics. Aim high!
3. Stay on your feet. Do not plan on getting comfortable. If you can get the access, shoot from the floor OR as close in the stands as you can be to the gymnasts. I find I can get creative with my angles as well as get great vertical landing shots when on the floor. Remember, you want to be able to get the shots people from the stands aren’t able to witness. Get close so you are able to fill the frame as much as possible and be conscientious of distracting objects/people in your background. Another great angle is to shoot from above, looking down. It’s all about choosing the angles that show those beautiful faces!
4. Beam or floor. If you’re the only shooter at the meet, these two events will be your best options because they provide the most photo opportunities and highest ratios. Also, stick around between and grab shots of the girls giving high-fives and hugs between events – those are always great moments to capture aside from all the fast paced action happening on the mats.
So. That’s what I have to share with you all for now. After applying what I learned the first time around, here is what I got the second time around.