Saugus, Ma. High School players pop the cork on a bottle of bubbly to celebrate their victory as Eastern Ma. State softball champs, 8-5, over Billerica (© Michael Maher, The Lowell (Ma.) Sun).
The Ma. state high school softball champions were about to be crowned, but the game was a rout, with no suspense about who would win. The winning Saugus team was clearly better and led much of the game, so I shot whatever action photos I could. There was no exciting finish, so I resigned myself to doing without an emotional celebration photo, although I was ready with a long lens to isolate happy faces from the background, just in case. Suddenly, someone pulled out several bottles of champagne and the winning team could finally show their jubilation by squirting it at one another and into the air. I momentarily wondered if this photo might create a problem when it was published because all these kids were under age, but none of them drank the champagne. While I sought a happy winner picture I never could have anticipated this very unique sports celebration photo for a high school game.
1) Prioritize capturing the happiness of the winning team.
2) Use a longer lens to isolate happy faces and emotional expressions.
3) Position yourself to react quickly for post-game celebrations in many forms.