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Friday, November 11, 2016

Oh Happy Day!

Volleyball is one of the best sports at providing strong emotional reaction photos.

Very happy Yale volleyball players (from left, Brittani Steinberg, Tori Shepherd, Luci Tashman, Gray Malias, Kelsey Crawford, Kaitlyn Gibbons) celebrate after defeating Penn 3-0 at Yale.

Yale women's volleyball celebrates win over Penn.

The Photo:
I had almost forgotten how emotional volleyball players can be until I began shooting this Yale-Penn volleyball match.  Although I was determined to capture powerful action shots of player diving, leaping, returning, spiking, the players’ intensity made far stronger photos.  After nearly every point or strong effort, the players cheered, shouted encouragement, congratulated one another, celebrated, and visibly displayed their emotions. I finally stopped looking for action shots, and instead focused (no pun intended) almost exclusively on getting photos of powerful facial expressions. When the match was over, I had so many great emotional reactions, I almost couldn’t decide which photo was the best, but finally chose the players celebrating after scoring the final point and winning the match.

3 Tips:
1)     Emotions or strong facial expressions are almost always the strongest sports photos.
2)     Recognize if the sport you are shooting provides opportunities for powerful emotional reaction shots.  
3)     If so, prioritize shooting emotion photos over action throughout the match.