My road to the Special Olympics World Games
I have been covering the Southern California Special Olympics Summer Games for about six years now and have loved every minute of it. It has to be the most rewarding thing I do photography related.
For the last two years I've been hearing about the world games coming to Los Angeles and was told last year through my contact with the Southern California Special Olympics that they wanted me to cover the games, especially our athletes attending the World Games. I constantly get great reviews from those involved in the Southern California Special Olympics Summer Games and have had my pictures used throughout the Special Olympics Organization, which I'm very proud of. I wouldn't call what I do unique or new. I like to refer to my shots as showing intensity, excitement, aggressiveness, competitiveness, and focus. Its these emotions and attitude that show what makes my photography stand above others.
I take my shooting style into the Special Olympics and show those who are competing, not as one with a disability, but as athletes giving it their all while doing something they love.
With that being said, a week before the World Games started I got the email I was waiting for, which I pretty much gave up on. I filled out what was needed and waited. It wasn't until the Friday before the World Games started that I finally received word that I was approved as a photographer for the Special Olympics World Games. Due to work, which isn't photography related, I was only able to request weekend days to shoot. So once everything was said and done I was assigned to shoot at USC on this past Saturday, covering aquatics and athletics, and then next Saturday at UCLA, covering softball, tennis, and gymnastics, but before I shoot anything, we need to go over the opening ceremonies.
Since I knew, or at least thought parking around USC, where the World Games opening ceremonies were taking place would be very limited, I decided to have my son drop me off and then catch a ride with a photographer friend. We all hung out around the Science Center and watch a Humpback documentary at the Imax theater before heading over to the coliseum for the opening ceremonies. I have to say this, the crowd was huge and it took us almost a good hour to get inside and seated, but once we were in I did my thing by walking a bit higher and to one end o the coliseum to get a shot of the stadium.
The first two shots you see were taken by my iphone. The first one was taken prior to the start of opening ceremonies and the second was taken during the parade of athletes. Although I was very uncomfortable with the seats, which were way to small for my large frame, it was all worth it once the torch was brought in. These two shots don't do the even justice, but it was great to experience this and be a part of it.
My first day of shooting the the Saturday following the opening ceremonies. My assignment was aquatics and athletics (track). After parking and walking onto the USC campus, I found my contact and obtained my photographers bib and shot list, which only consisted of three athlete's. I had two athletes running the 200m at 1:20pm and then one athlete running in the 100m at 3:12pm. With my assignment in hand I made my way to the field. Now I have to say I was a bit worried that positioning would be highly restrictive and limit the type of shots I would be able to take, but once I got on the field and made contact with the media manager for athletics, all was great. I was able to shoot from the spots I wanted to and had a great time. Of course I didn't just get the athletes I needed, I also shot other USA athletes as well as those from other countries. It was great capturing the action and doing my thing.
My next assignment is the last day of events, this next Saturday. I'll be at UCLA shooting the action.
After getting what I needed with track, I decided to take a look at aquatics. Even though we didn't have any athletes competing, I thought I take a look and see what kind of shots I could take.
I have to say aquatics wasn't as giving as track was. The spot they had assigned for photographers was along the side and the event taking place once I got there was the back stroke, so needless to say I was very limited in the shots I could take. I did take a few, but after a short visit I decided to leave and call it a day.
Thanks for stopping by and taking a look. I hope you enjoyed them as much as you know I enjoyed taking them.