Call me pessimistic, but I didn’t think this team photo was going to happen. This is the third year I’ve photographed this team, and the coach contacted me early March, because he’s efficient that way. But school closed down at the end of that week, the stay-at-home orders went into effect, and live sports seasons were replaced by watching game highlights from the 1990s. But as restrictions lifted, youth baseball got the green light to proceed, and we had a team photo scheduled.
Then as I scouted the field to set up my equipment, I was blasted by a sudden thunderstorm from which the dugout roofs offered no protection. I was soaked through by the time I got back to my car and found that I couldn’t get a phone signal to see if the game and pictures were still on. I alternated between various parking lots to try to call anyone who might know anything and returned to the field twice, eventually meeting up with the coaches and families who said that the game and pictures were still a go. I set up my equipment as the rain was letting up, but we were almost a half hour behind schedule.
Luckily, the boys were very cooperative. I’ve photographed many of them before, and they were unfazed by the lights and all the different poses I put them through. The team had ordered a photomontage of all their different individual shots, so we could ensure everyone got a great photo with ideal lighting, and we could adhere to social distancing recommendations and still get a great team portrait.
Because of the late start, the rest of the team was in the dugout giving the last player grief and unsolicited feedback as he went through the poses. He was a terrific sport about it, though, and didn’t let them ruffle him. I barely had my equipment broken down and off the field before the game started, but thankfully, everyone was understanding and gracious.
Just like our photos got off to a late and uncertain start, but still turned out well, I hope the league has a great and memorable season!