It surprises no one more than myself that I love shooting youth baseball. Most sports photographers seem to be former athletes, or at least avid spectators. I spent my childhood physical education classes practicing my ball avoidance skills. If I went to a sporting event, I was usually in it for the nachos. Once I embraced photography, I enjoyed shooting professional baseball from the stands, but it was more of a clinical exercise in learning technical skills, like timing and focusing.
Youth baseball is very different. I’m much more drawn into trying to capture the personalities of the players that come out in their expressions and the way they move.
The technical challenges are different as well. You’d think that it would be easier, since the ball moves slower than in the major leagues, but since you are shooting from only a few yards away, it travels across your viewfinder much faster. Even shutter speeds over 1/2500 second aren’t sufficient to freeze the ball most of the time.
Learning to nail the timing is part of the fun, though. The batter is trying to predict the pitch, and I’m trying to predict the batter.
Another thing I like is that there is a new subject every few seconds doing something incredible with his body in a way that I could never pose him.
There’s also watching the team camaraderie. I wonder how long it will take before I get those cheers out of my head?
Of course, there are also those moments of complete adorableness.
I had an umpire jokingly tell me that I could stand where I wanted to as long as I only took pictures of his good side. The kids aren’t worried about their good sides. They are just there to play a game they love, and while doing so, they are being awesomely themselves.
Thank you, Diamond Elite team, for allowing me to share a bit of your awesomeness!