This past weekend I photographed the Baltimore Ravens cheerleading tryouts for the 10th year in a row. The faces of the competitors have changed, but for 10 years, everything else has stayed relatively the same. To anyone with a creative mind, an assignment like this has the potential to be extremely frustrating.
Every time I go out on assignment, regardless of how many times I’ve photographed something before, I try to look at things with fresh eyes. I try and avoid the “safe” shots that have worked in previous outings and really push myself to be creative. That can be especially challenging when you are also shooting in an environment that is poorly lit and full of distracting elements everywhere you look.
For Ravens cheerleading tryouts, I do set up lights because the available overhead fluorescent spot lights just don’t provide the quality I need to produce images for advertising. As far as the background goes, sometimes I embrace the clutter, while other times I try to hide it depending on the look I am going for it.
No matter what the challenge, this assignment is a lot of fun because it pushes me to be better and see differently.
The Baltimore Ravens made their final selections for the 2011-2012 Cheerleading squad in front of a crowd of more than 600 people Saturday night. This was the first time that cheerleading tryouts had been held in front of the general public, and I think that dynamic really made for some great entertainment. The Sheraton was full of energy the entire night and I think the girls on stage really thrived on it.
Knowing many of the guys and girls trying out made for a bittersweet ending to the evening as not everyone can make the team. So, congratulations to all those who made it and for those that didn’t…don’t be discouraged…everything happens for a reason. Turn your disappointment into inspiration.
This was the first time with a camera my hand after taking some time off due to the passing of my father. Although I was a bit nervous about being able to focus on shooting again, the positive vibe of this event really helped me get back in the groove.
I hope you will enjoy the images…