This is my 4th year being the photographer for the Siouxland Youth Athletic program. I first started with taking both fall and spring volleyball team photos and softball. My last season taking the team photos for volleyball was Spring 2019, because SYA partnered with the Arena. I was also taking over the program from another photographer who photographed me as a youth softball player, so I put a lot of pressure on myself and wanted to change from it being a traditional look to something new and fresh. Now looking back, eek that first season wasn’t my finest but I did learn some things. I’m still thankful 4 years later, that Jessica from SYA took a leap of faith with me and made the change to us!
Last summer I was asked to photograph a travel softball team for a team banner. This was my first time using green screen. I continued to use the green screen this past fall with a travel soccer team. This summer I wanted to give coaches the choice between traditional and digital composite team photography, but since COVID cases were still happening I felt it was in the best interest of the softball players that we move from traditional to digital composite so each player would be photographed one at a time.
In June I attended a virtual Sports Photography Conference where I learned a lot of information about growing our sports photography business. I ended up incorporating a few things this summer with our softball team photos, some things I’m not too keen on yet because I feel it takes away from the personal touch of the business. For example, many of these sports photographers that were the speakers don’t use paper forms and only have families order online. While that would be nice at times for both parties, being able to talk with a real person and making that connection is nice. Many of the players I have photographed for many years now either through team or action shots, and I love seeing them grow up over the seasons through my lens!!
This season we opted for a white backdrop as many of the presenters were using white vs green. We have both so we went with white. Each girl came upstairs at the SYA clubhouse and took 2 photos with me. One was their individual photo and the other was their team photo. Their individual was a pose of their choice, I had 6 different poses they could choose from, but I also let the girls show off their personality if they had something else in mind. Their team photo was a serious, no smile, pose with their hands behind their back
The digital composite was by far my favorite season of handing out the photos to the teams. I loved how they turned out! It was definitely a joint effort between Tim and I, as I do the photography work and Tim did the digital work of creating the team photo.
I would love to hear some feedback on your thoughts of the team photos, both through the process and the actual photos themselves.
Until next time,