Ever wonder how you can cram so much into a week? Me too. This week was one that lived up to the billing. I say a week but lets call it 9 days. I’ll fill you in on it.
Friday Feb 1st: New month, obviously but also a new lens. My old 70-200 (zoom lens) was starting to not be as sharp or in focus as I would have liked so I decided it was time to buy a new one. Well used one. Just in time as the next week is insane. My buddy Marc, a fellow photographer, in Tampa has made the switch from Nikon to Fuji so I bought his 70-200 off of him. Drove up to Tampa turned around and came right back to town. This was the first night of the Conley Rodeo. It is without a doubt the most exciting thing I photograph all year. I am literally in the bull ring 15 yards from this bucking beast. These animals are massive and intense. It is basically like photographing a car crash. The conditions for photography in the arena are FAR from ideal, or even decent for that matter so it put the new lens to the test. I would say it did a remarkable job. 3500 images later I was heading home.
Saturday: Feb 2nd. A normal Saturday can include a wedding from time to time. This was no different except for the fact that right after the wedding I was going to be going back to the rodeo. A friend of mine Jacob was having his wedding on this lovely February afternoon. It was a beautiful wedding in a small church with the ceremony and reception happening on the property of the church . I started around 1pm photographing the bride and her bridesmaids, the ceremony was around 4 but it started a few minutes late. After the I do’s, the first dances and the cake cutting, I packed up my stuff. changed from dress pants to jeans and headed over to the rodeo. I rolled in to the rodeo at 7pm just in time to hear the national anthem and get to my photographer spot. Another great night at the rodeo and another 3,000 images between the rodeo and the wedding.
Wednesday Feb 6th: Back to the grind at my old high school. This is the 5th or 6th year I have done the MHS wrestling pictures. Working with Coach Gug is always fun and easy to do. He gets those kids to listen and we knock 33 headshots, 2 team picture, and 6 group pictures out in 37 minutes. After that I headed down to Lakewood Ranch to have a meeting with a client.
Thursday Feb 7th: Back to back days of wrestling. I needed to cover a match for BCS to make sure I had some images of the seniors to use in their collages that I will make later this year. Again another high school gym with horrendous lighting situations. The new lens for the most part performed really well.
Friday Feb 8th: Another busy day for me. Started off driving up to Treasure Island to photograph one of my dear friends Tori. Nothing about photographing her is work. She is a stunning person with an even better personality. She has a lot of clothing brands, well bikini brands that she is in deals with so she needs to photograph them and I don’t complain. We got three different looks done in about 2 hours. After that it was back to Bradenton, a stop off at Sweetberries to grab a quick meal. The Monte Cristo and a medium chocolate shake. Then headed over to Saint Stephens to cover the girls district championship game. This game apparently had a little more intensity to it than it normally does. Which is saying a lot because there is no love lost between these schools. This part is all hearsay, but I believe that SSA called the FHSAA on a BCS player who was ineligible. Apparently only a paperwork issue, nonetheless BCS had to forefit every game this player played in bringing their record to 1-26. Maybe I should also add the player in question used to go to St Stephens. BCS won two games earlier in the week to make it to this game. BCS outnumber the Falcon fans I’d guess 3 to 1 even though it was at St Stephens. SS played out of their minds in the first quarter and led at the end of the first. BCS weathered that storm and fed off of the crowd to take a 5 point lead at the half. The gap stayed about the same until late in the 4th when BCS pulled away. Another 1,900 images.
Saturday Feb 9th. The river regatta is back in town and it is another really interesting, exciting event to cover. I took my big lens down town with me this time and made my way through the crowds to a spot near the water. I couldn’t make it to the railing at first. The event is ran really well with the exception of two things. 1 there is a lot of downtime in between the races. 2 they don’t communicate when the next race will be very well to the people there. I got there right about 1:45. The first thing I got to photograph was actually a train coming over the river. After about 20 minutes of waiting finally some boats. Just a quick qualifying run. Then a quick 10 lap race. Then another break, not as long. In this little break I managed to find a spot right next to the railing and parked myself down right there. The second 10 lap race went off and was done just like that. My buddy Tom, who photographs for the paper actually saw me and called me and got me onto the media dock, so much nicer out there. Again another pretty big gap. I left Tom and went over to the dog show they had going on and grabbed some cool pictures of that. After that was done back out onto the media dock for another race. This one was more contested than the other two races. on the last lap the leading boat even blew off a part of his engine cover. He still managed to win. After this race there was supposed to be another race, plus a We The Kings performance and then a firework show. However the skies were looking dark and the wind was blowing pretty hard. I didn’t bring any rain gear with me so I decided better not risk it.
This is a decently busy week for me. Even tomorrow, Sunday, I am planning on driving to Tampa to cover a college ultimate frisbee tournament. I love weeks like this though. They keep me busy and I love what I do.